Accepted Paper:

Re-forming Heating System of Russian Cities: People and Material Infrastructure  

Author:

Evgeniya Popova (Tomsk State University)

Paper short abstract:

A setting of Soviet society (with its principles of universalism and collectivism) was built in the design of urban networks around Russia. I show empirical examples about transformation of heating supply from point of setting of the Soviet culture embodied in technologies.

Paper long abstract:

For most analysts of administration of Russian municipal sector the implementation process evolves in 'materially free' environment where the "right" new technologies can successfully "teach" consumers to live in a democratic pro-market society. Focusing on financial requirements, they neglect several things including: (1) the everyday usage of technology in post-Soviet conditions, (2) the interactions of new technology with old elements of the network, and (3) the overall effect of new technology on the implementation of democratic and market policies across Russian cities. Most studies do not account for fact that technological innovations were introduced in the field with the already existing scripts of consumers' behavior and experts' power. How did old technologies that promoted collective use interact with the new equipment that encourages individual consumption? What are implications of such a conflict for urban development in Russia? In the case of housing and urban technologies in current Russia, a setting of Soviet society (with its principles of universalism and collectivism) was built in the design of urban networks around the country. I intend to make reinterpretation of empirical sources about heating supply in Russia from point of setting of the Soviet culture embodied in technologies. I will look at the transformation of heating system in terms of water leak flow, disbalance of organisational and technical infrastructures.

Panel T108
Urban STS and Post-Socialist Cities