THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF CZECH HOUSING ESTATES
Post-war housing estates (HEs) represent an important part of the housing stock in postsocialist countries and their development over the past decades is often discussed. Yet, in spite of relatively rich research evidence based on case studies, systematic and comprehensive research on housing estates in specific countries or regions is lacking. This project aims to bring new empirical knowledge about HEs in Czech cities using a comparative perspective and a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
The project has three main interrelated aims: (1) to identify development trajectories of HEs in Czech cities; (2) to assess residential satisfaction of inhabitants and their attitudes towards residential mobility; (3) to understand everyday life in today's HEs, residents' attachment to place, and their relation to the material environment and social environment of HEs. The results will also contribute to developing theories in urban studies and are useful for planning and creating interventions in HEs.
The generous scope of this research project, the combination of methods, and its overall character make it the first attempt to propose a follow-up to the biggest survey on HEs in Czechoslovakia that was performed in the 1970s by Jiří Musil and his colleagues in the Research Institute on Building and Architecture (Výzkumný ústav výstavby a architektury [VÚVA]).
The project is carried out in collaboration of Charles University, Faculty of Science and Academy of Sciences, Institute of Sociology and is funded by Grant Agency of the Czech Republic.
QUALITATIVE PART OF OUR RESEARCH HAS STARTED
We have finalized the methodology and chosen case study localities for the qualitative part of our research! We will perform semi-structured interviews, go-alongs and participant observations. Where? In Prague (Petřiny, Barrandov, Hloubětín), Brno (Kohoutovice, Bohunice, Kamechy) and Ostrava (Poruba VII).
While reflecting on the wider social, economic and political contexts of the transformation era, the project will identify different types of trajectories that HEs in Czech cities and towns took, and it will analyse factors of their upward or downward development over the past three decades.
The project will perform in-depth studies of everyday life in HEs in Czech cities and of its relation to their material environment and social environment.
RESIDENTIAL SATISFACTION AND RESIDENTIAL MOBILITY
The project will systematically conceptualise and research the quality of housing in the estates and of their environment through their residents’ perception. It will lead to understanding the relation of inhabitants to HEs as their place of residence and the dynamics of this relationship as it has evolved and changed over the past decades.