Socio-spatial urban research
Master Dissertation (theory)
International Master of Architecture: 'Urban Projects, Urban Cultures'
University: KU Leuven, Campus Sint-Lucas, Brussels
Studio: Collective Urban Spaces for Super Diversity
Professor: Prof. Dr. Burak Pak
Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, is a city in rapid development. Since the Lithuanian independence in 1990, it is, as a Post-Soviet city, making a change towards a city with Western looks integrating in the capitalist system. It has not been the first transformation of the city in which the urban fabric has been as a tabula rasa to make place for new radical urban strategies. Just like the older transformations, the current urban change of Vilnius can be questioned. What future do the new urban projects propose? And what elements and qualities of Vilnius’ urban past does it discard?
As a byproduct of Vilnius Soviet past, the older context of the city is full of open and less defined spaces, informally configured into creative communal gardens, shared playgrounds, informal pathways, open parks etc. Simultaneously, contemporary housing projects are being built in a rapid tempo, proposing a completely new identity with contemporary Western layout and looks (gated, controlled, exclusive, over-designed, flashy, sterile). If architects, planners and developers ignore the older context of the city, are existing socio-spatial qualities ignored as well in favour of a new identity? What would be a more inclusive development inspired by and building further on the open and creative public spaces?
The first chapter has been published in 2019 as an essay 'Vilnius is changing (again)' for Horizonte, Issue nr. 013, titled ‘Common’.