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Public Space Transformation in a Post-Soviet City: Evidence from Gorky Park in Moscow
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union public spaces in Moscow underwent dramatic changes in line with the wider adaptation to the market economy, epitomized in the processes of privatization and commercialization. Most recently, though, these processes were overshadowed by the discourses of Europeanization and civilization as the work of market forces under the neoliberal capitalism became more delicate and less explicit; what it essentially entails is the discursive recasting of the very conception of the public and public space. While this issue has been discussed in a range of studies in western cities, there is an apparent lack of relevant research within the field of post-socialist/post-Soviet urban studies. In seeking to improve on this void the thesis aims to analyze recent transformations of public space in Moscow, mirrored through the case of Gorky Park reconstruction. Being theoretically informed by the literatures on public spaces both in western and post-socialist cities, the case study analyzes extensive empirical material collected through interviews, document and media studies, and on-site observations. This paper reveals that despite appealing to the ideas of openness, livability and public good the park reconstruction in fact entails the creation of socially divisive urban space celebrating consumerism at the cost of unmediated and diverse public life. The thesis also highlights more general implications of park reconstruction for the idea of public space in a post-Soviet context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 54 p.
Keyword [en]
Public space, post-socialist city, post-Soviet transformation, neoliberalism, case study, park reconstruction, Moscow, Gorky Park
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97623OAI: diva2:679661
Available from: 2013-12-16 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2013-12-16Bibliographically approved

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