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Confronting Suburbanization: Urban Decentralization in Postsocialist Central and Eastern Europe

Kiril Stanilov (Editor), Ludĕk Sykora (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-29589-2
360 pages
September 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
Confronting Suburbanization: Urban Decentralization in Postsocialist Central and Eastern Europe (1118295897) cover image


This fascinating book explains the processes of suburbanization in the context of post-socialist societies transitioning from one system of socio-spatial order to another. Case studies of seven Central and Eastern Europe city regions illuminate growth patterns and key conditions for the emergence of sprawl.

  • Breaks new ground, offering a systematic approach to the analysis of the global phenomenon of suburbanization in a post-socialist context
  • Tracks the boom of the post-socialist suburbs in seven CEE capital city regions – Budapest, Ljubljana, Moscow, Prague, Sofia, Tallinn, and Warsaw
  • Situates the experience of the CEE countries in the broader context of global urban change
  • Case studies examine the phenomenon of suburbanization along four main vectors of analysis related to development patterns, driving forces, consequences and impacts, and management of suburbanization
  • Highlights the critical importance of public policies and planning on the spread of suburbanization
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors vii

List of Illustrations x

Glossary xvi

Series Editors’ Preface xx

Preface xxi

1 The Challenge of Postsocialist Suburbanization 1
Ludìk Sýkora and Kiril Stanilov

2 Urban Sprawl on the Danube: The Impacts of Suburbanization in Budapest 33
Zoltán Kovács and Iván Tosics

3 Confronting Suburbanization in Ljubljana: From “Urbanization of the Countryside” to Urban Sprawl 65
Nataša Pichler-Milanoviæ

4 Suburbanization of Moscow’s Urban Region 97
Isolde Brade, Alla Makhrova, and Tatyana Nefedova

5 Prague: Urban Growth and Regional Sprawl 133
Ludìk Sýkora and Ondrě j Mulícě k

6 Sprawling Sofia: Postsocialist Suburban Growth in the Bulgarian Capital 163
Kiril Stanilov and Sonia Hirt

7 Suburbanization in the Tallinn Metropolitan Area 192
Kadri Leetmaa, Anneli Kährik, Mari Nuga, and Tiit Tammaru

8 Lessons from Warsaw: The Lack of Coordinated Planning and Its Impacts on Urban Sprawl 225
Andrzej Lisowski, Dorota Mantey, and Waldemar Wilk

9 Postsocialist Suburbanization Patterns and Dynamics: A Comparative Perspective 256
Kiril Stanilov and Ludìk Sýkora

10 Managing Suburbanization in Postsocialist Europe 296
Kiril Stanilov and Ludìk Sýkora

Index 321

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Author Information

Kiril Stanilov is a Senior Research Associate at the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge. His research interests are centred on explorations of contemporary patterns of urban growth and change, and the role played by public policies in shaping urban form transformations. His book publications include Twenty Years of Transition (2009), The Post-Socialist City (2007), and Suburban Form (2003).

Ludĕk Sýkora is a Professor in the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague. His research is focused on conceptualization and empirical studies of urban transformations in post-communist cities. He is the joint author of Regional Policy and Planning in Europe (with Paul Balchin and Gregory Bull, 1999) and author of a number of journal articles and book chapters dealing with urban change in Central and East European cities.

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‘This book provides a wealth of novel insights into a process that has received very little systematic attention in among researchers and policy-makers alike: the vast process of urban dispersal unfolding throughout European countries situated east of the former Iron Curtain. Moving seamlessly across a wide range of geographical contexts – from the urbanization of the countryside seen around Ljubljana to Moscow’s regional suburbanization model – the authors demonstrate an acute ability to detect the local nuances and generic trends that characterize such dynamics. This edited collection can thus serve as both a foundational text for scholars as well as a guidance document for practitioners and decision-makers.’
Stefan Bouzarovski, Professor of Geography and Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy, University of Manchester 

Confronting Suburbanization sheds a bright light on the processes of contemporary metropolitan growth in a fascinating region with a long and rich urban history, and communist legacies which formed a springboard for unprecedented post-socialist dynamics. In this volume, a set of renowned international authors with close local knowledge try to untangle the complexities resulting from both external and internal forces - political reform, economic liberalization, social and demographic context - as they manifest themselves in terms of metropolitan development. The authors offer numerous insights, and clearly note that there is much both East and West can learn from this dynamic environment where intensified societal and physical transformation is happening before our eyes.’           
Zorica Nedovic-Budic, Professor Chair of Spatial Planning, University College Dublin


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