In his article "Urban Landscape and the Postsocialist City" Krzysztof Nawratek discusses contemporary capitalism as shaping the urban environment of Riga, a multiethnic and bilingual postsocialist, post-Soviet, and postindustrial city. When communism collapsed at the end of the twentieth century the majority of European socialist cities in central and East Europe adopted two ideas: 1) the idea of neoliberal deregulated management based on private, multi-agent ownership of land (and on land speculation) and the weakened role of the city council and 2) the "cultural turn" rejecting the industrial heritage of the socialist city and the ideology of the proletariat and instead focusing on a postindustrial service-based economy of tourism and cultural production aiming to (re)create society with a strong middle class. These two notions are significant changes of paradigm — from material production to immaterial production — and Nawratek argues that both of these notions caused crises in postsocialist countries such as Latvia.
"Urban Landscape and the Postsocialist City."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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