Planning profit, simulating socialism: housing in Novi Jelkovec
Paper short abstract:
My presentation focuses on the relationship between the planning politics, urban policies and the (im)possibilities of harmonical dwelling. Novi Jelkovec, Zagreb's large-scale subsidized housing estate built in 2009. is being discussed as a case-study.
Paper long abstract:
Novi Jelkovec is one of the first planned state-funded (later city-funded) residential housing development in Zagreb built after the fall of socialism. Its large scale, public funding and allegedly socially oriented policy resemble massive housing projects of the previous regime. However, the resemblance stays on surface as the project tried but failed in delivering equal living conditions. Its urban policy and planning documents reveal ad-hoc developed strategies and decisions, state/city interventions aimed for a fast profit in the time of housing market crisis and and populist attempts of the city authorities to gain more votes on local elections. Despite the planners' efforts to even out spatial and social inequalities through the creation of socially mixed community, the outcome is socially divided neighbourhood where the large part of the community is marginalized towards the whole, while the neighbourhood itself rates as a marginalized towards the city, thus repeating the center-periphey pattern. Its inhabitants' home-making practices result in both the attempts of the creation of (an image) of the desirable middle-class place in the benefit for the neighbourhood as whole, and as the deepening of the divide by excluding the internal Others from the social infrastructure. I argue that such practices can be viewed as a survival strategy for compating uneven development and aimed for improvement of the neighbourhood status. They arise from the urban rescaling process where the neighborhoods are conceptualized as bounded delineated spatial units rather than an ouvre and result in creating of more social and physical inequalities.
Clashing scales of infrastructural development