The countries of Central and Eastern Europe underwent a socio-economic transformation in the 1990s and made the shift from state planned to free market economy. As a direct consequence of this phenomenon numerous large-scale informal markets run by migrants have emerged (Hüwelmeier on a bazaar in East Berlin; Korać on Blok 70 in Belgrade; Nagy on the Red Dragon Market in Bucharest; Nyírí on Chinese bazaars in Budapest; Marcińczak and van der Velde on bazaars in Poland) .Our research and case studies – Belgrade and Warsaw explore how this influence reflects on urban development and infrastructure transformation.
Case study Block 70 – Belgrade, Serbia
The aim of the case study BLOCK 70 is to show the transformation of the blockcaused by the new business in area – the Chinese shopping mall.
Throughhistory the block seemed simply to absorb all the turmoil the cityexperienced, from anarchy and a “flexible” economy to transnational migration– from socialist planned neighbourhood, ghettoization during the 90s to the neighbourhood community how it is perceived nowadays.
The apartments’ owners in tower 111 Jurija Gagarin Str. are renting thereonce,common spacein the buildingto the Chinese entrepreneurs as a storage space. The building has a regular flow of income, creating a self-sustainable system.
The privatization and the transition in the 90s led to an increased awareness of decision-making rights and opportunities to influence the appearance of the common space in and around the building, as well as the responsibility for maintenance. In this way the concept of the “right tothe city,” as conceived and sketched out in Henry Lefebvre, has taken on anunexpected meaning in New Belgrade - here residents are offered a clear opportunityto engage actively in shaping the future of their environments.
Realized in framework of the Bauhaus Kolleg XIII: After Levittown, Bauhaus Foundation Dessau (2011–12).
Case studyWólkaKosowska – Warsaw, Poland
Wólka Kosowska, located on the Southern outskirts of Warsaw is one of the biggest Asian wholesale and retail markets in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) . Over nearly 30 years the market, partly thanks to the resourcefulness of the entrepreneurs who sold and supplied there, and partly through significant infrastructure spending, grew from a single distribution hub to a multi-ethnic village structure.
Goods are transported on containerships from Chinese special economic zones such as Shenzhen to European ports as Roterrdam or Hamburg and then delivered here by articulated lorries. From an agglomeration of halls and small kiosk-like stores, goods from Chinese, Vietnamese or Turkish middlemen are offered for sale and finally distributed all over Poland and to points as far as 1,000 km further away by countless local traders with small vans. They are then offered in shops, open-air markets and sometimes even reach their final customers directly off the back of the van.
Realized in framework of the research project Stop and Go. Nodes of Transportation and Transition headed by Michael Zinganel and Michael Hieslmair (2014–16).
Case studyWólkaKosowska – Warsawwasrealised in the framework of the project Stop and Go. Nodes of Transformation and Transition. headed by Michael Zinganel and Michael Hieslmair (2014–16).