Materiality, Symbolism and daily routine of the Sofian Gated Communities

(Raumproduktionen: Theorien und gesellschaftliche Praxis, Volume 24)

At the end of the 1990s little-known, Gated Communities meanwhile have become part of the visual appearance of cities in Eastern Europe. How did this development come about? Which political, economic and social parameters contributed to this kind of building boom? Which social power relations are responsible for the observed development? And who are the inhabitants? Why do people decide to live in Gated Communitis and what is their daily life about? Christian Smigiel analyses these questions using the example of the Bulgarian capital Sofia by availing different approaches of critical urbanism. Hereto he examines Bulgarian transformation processes as well as the arrival and the impact of neoliberal urban policy. Furthermore he analyses the backgrounds of the financialisation of living space by taking the example of Gated Communities and exposes strategic arrangements between (inter-)national real estate industry and public purse. Besides Christian Smigiel sketches conflicts, lifestyle and social conception of the inhabitants of Bulgarian Gated Communities. 

Smigiel, C. (2016): Raumproduktion im südöstlichen Europa. Materialität, Symbolik und Alltag Sofioter Gated Communities. Münster, Westfälisches Dampfboot

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