Accepted paper:

From "Student city" to "Sin City": utopias in privatization landscape


Ivaylo Dinev (Sofia University)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of the paper is to represent and discuss different utopian projects and visions for change of “Studentski grad” to ideal city. I depend on qualitative research with participant observation, analysis of documents and materials and semi-structured interviews.

Paper long abstract:

In 1975 was built as object of national importance "Studentski grad" - complex with university buildings, hostels, sport halls, swimming pools and green spaces. Nearly 30 000 students from different universities was accommodated in the place. In 2000 after law changes hundred state properties become private. For few years almost 150 clubs, pubs, restaurant and bars arise. Soon "Studentski grad" renamed to "Sin City". The town gained popularity not as place to educated, but as place to entertain. Everything was so far so good until group of non-student men killed one student on front of night club "Amnesia". The murdered was the spark which provoked national student protest, which the main slogan was "Student town for the students!" From 2008 to 2015 many students create utopian ideas for turning the town into more educational, cultural and ecological place. For seven years different grass-root initiatives made projects for reconstruction playgrounds or has built Student center as public space. On the one hand "Situation is the same", on the other: "Little change can make a big difference".

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