Henrieta Moravčíková

Urbanism and zoning in the former Eastern Bloc countries have been in a state of crisis since the end of the 20th century. This is associated, on the one hand, with a change on the state level, when the market economy replaced the socialist state-planned economy and, on the other, it is connected with the changes inside the profession that affect the working patterns and practices, as well as how the profession is practiced. However, the most significant change can be seen in the perception of the planning process, urbanism and city or town. A modernist version of urban planning was pushed aside to the very fringes of public interest, as a discipline that was far too abstract. Some researchers have even found a name for this phenomenon and call it “urbanistic anti-communism”. Nonetheless, the crisis associated with the distrust in the mechanism of planning can be observed in the Western countries, where it is strongly driven by politics. A closer look at European cities, in particular at those located in the Eastern part of the continent, shows obvious reasons of the crisis. On the one hand, it is a logical response to the mechanism of planning, as a factor restricting an independent approach to real property. On the other hand, it is related to the difficulties associated with using an abstract urbanistic plan and quantitative parameters in real-life construction in cities and the resulting abandonment of planning tools. However, with the paradigm change towards the end of the 20th century, qualitative categories such as an urban space, urban morphology, urban structure and architectural object again started to gain a place of prominence in city planning. Moreover, with the attempts to revise the modernistic urbanistic planning, the planning and construction in this period became the subject of research. An ever growing number of urban designers/planners and architecture historians, both men and women use the experience of modern urban design, comprising the period between the end of the 19th and the end of the 20th century, as a source of advice for future shaping of cities. It is the modern urban planning that has had a decisive impact on shaping of the current looks of the city. Two studies in this journal’s issue present the results of such research. They are part of an extensive research into modern planning and construction in Bratislava, which will be comprehensively covered by a monograph (Ne)plánovaná Bratislava. The book will be published by Slovart this November. For those who would love to learn more about the nuances of planned and unplanned city growth in Europe, I suggest participating in an international conference (Ne)plánované mesto / (Un)planned city, which will be held via a digital conference platform in the beginning of October 2020. Further information is available at http://www.register-architektury.sk or http://www.architektura-urbanizmus.sk/.

Keywords: research, editorial, ALFA, urban design, urban planning, FAD STU