The unwanted past and urban regeneration of Communist heritage cities in Central and Eastern Europe. Case study: European Capitals of Culture Pecs 2010 and Maribor 2012 calndar icon image June 6, 2015

Author: Corina Turșie

Abstract: Since 2010, diverse cities coming from Central and Eastern European ex-communist countries had held the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) title. They had to demonstrate de fulfillment of the two selection criteria: “European dimension” and “City and citizens”. The task of these cities was challenging: while carrying the troubled heritage of past socialist regimes, they aimed to strengthen their belonging to the European cultural and social sphere, to re-narrate their history, to re-invent their image and to regenerate their urban infrastructure. This study verifies the implementation of three distinctive potential strategies of dealing with the unwanted past (de-communization, return to a Golden Age, and Westernization) against two case-studies: two former ECoC cities: Pecs 2010 (Hungary) and Maribor 2012 (Slovenia).

Keywords: European Capital of Culture, communism, unwanted past, memory, regeneration, image.

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