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    (**Work In Progress - More soon**) The transformation of the “Eastern” landscape with its monumental communist-era buildings to one filled with … Read More
    (**Work In Progress - More soon**) The transformation of the “Eastern” landscape with its monumental communist-era buildings to one filled with financial centers epitomizing present-day capitalism reflects a certain universal trend in urban development. If we were to disregard the verbal messages permeating urban public space, we would notice the increasing unification that is an outcome of the logic of global economy. This also ties in with a new separation between central and peripheral areas as a consequence of the preferential treatment given to some sectors of the economy. Banks, financial institutions and the entertainment industry are often located in attractive, central urban areas. These areas have also been taken over by the employees of these sectors and the housing market that caters to this group. The seizing of prime location real estate by the representatives of the new sectors of the economy (in particular, by highly qualified managerial staff) has caused migration within the urban perimeter, deeper social stratification and the increasingly higher functional specialization of urban public space generating an ever sharper split between the office and entertainment functions of the downtown and the purely residential functions of the suburban areas. Such processes, with varying intensity, can be observed in Chinese, Russian, Polish and post-East German towns. The remnants of the communist past, still visible in the urban landscape and lingering in the minds of the urban planners and decision-makers, form a backdrop to these processes. The inhabitants of metropolitan areas have an increasingly weaker say in issues relating to urban planning and neighbourhood development because the rules governing urban public space are subordinated to the logic of growth and profit. The trend is all the more apparent in the countries that are attempting to overcome the gap separating them from the “West” since the transformation has been towards a capitalist model – be in Europe or Asia, in a democratic or authoritarian state. While remaining within the bounds of documentary photography, though blurring the boundaries of the arbitrary categories of distinctness and its manifestations (signs and symbols), it is possible to give a visual synthesis of the global processes of the transformation of the contemporary cities of the “East”. Read Less
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