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Reshaping public and private: new housing estates and urban development in post-1989 Berlin and Budapest (HOUSING AND THE CITY)
Start date: 01 Aug 2007, End date: 31 Jul 2008 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The proposed research project aims to compare the recent expansion of planned private housing developments, loosely modelled on gated communities, in the metropolitan areas of Budapest and Berlin.The project is organized around three central problems:- The differing extent and imprint of globalization on residential construction through studying the origins and diffusion of design blueprints, and the role of international real estate developers and architects in promoting powerful images and spaces of good living;- The impact of new planned developments on the restructuring of public and private spaces in the city;- The significance of housing construction as a tool of urban development in fostering brownfield regeneration and combating suburbanization;The project will shed new light on the importance of large-scale housing construction in urban development plans and will critically asses the practices of local planning authorities in dealing with private (and often foreign) real estate developers and in reconciling the needs of new housing construction with the objectives of sustainable urban development.The analysis will also reveal the increasing differentiation of housing forms in the past fifteen years in post-socialist cities and its impact on the urban fabric. The project will thus contribute to understanding the interaction between the legacies of post-socialism and consequences of globalization while highlighting important variation in the trajectories of post-socialist cities.The realization of the research project and additional training at the host institute, the Centre for Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, will allow the researcher to extend her hitherto dominantly historical research to the contemporary period, learn about novel research methods in urban development studies while working in a multi-disciplinary research environment, and gain experience in applied social research.
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