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Dwelling Participatory Style

Power and Empowerment in a Neighborhood. Renovation and Revitalization

Saša Poljak Istenic

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Saša Poljak Istenic, Irene Götz(Hg.), Johannes Moser(Hg.), Alexa Färber(Hg.), Ina Merkel(Hg.), Friedemann Schmoll(Hg.), Nevena Škrbic Alempijevic(Hg.), Dwelling Participatory Style (2019), Waxmann Verlag, 48159 Münster, ISSN: 2511-2473, 2019 #1, S.92

Getrackt seit 05/2018

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Beschreibung / Abstract

The article explores dwelling in a post-Second World War neighborhood in Slovenia and focuses on contemporary practices which require or desire the participation of residents. It presents the results from a qualitative case study of Savsko naselje, the oldest socialist neighborhood in Ljubljana, which had the first formally established housing community in socialist Yugoslavia and organized the first selfcontributed action to improve the neighborhood. It was also the subject of the first city-funded community-led urban renewal in post-socialist Slovenia. The concept of participation, especially in relation to dwelling, is explored through accounts on democracy, development and participatory urbanism. Renovation of two skyscrapers and neighborhood’s public spaces then serve as examples of contemporary participatory dwelling practices. The aim is to disclose how participation is imagined by residents and in what way it is realized, revealing the power relations which dominate the process, while simultaneously hindering and encouraging the empowerment of the people involved. Participation brings positive tangible results, but remains mostly passive, especially when it is defined by law and includes obligatory financial contribution and consent to decisions made by others. Due to the practical goals of participative actions, transformative participation, which would empower people to actively engage in such actions, remains an unfulfilled ideal.

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