Suburbanization and sprawl in post-socialist Belgrade and Sofia
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The goal of this research is to examine the processes of suburbanization and sprawl in two post-socialist capital cities in Southeast Europe - Belgrade, Serbia and Sofia, Bulgaria. Our analysis begins with a survey of relevant historical developments in the two cities, which illustrates the impact of major political, economic and social drivers on urban development processes and form. We follow this with an empirical study aimed at identifying contemporary features of peri-urban processes occurring in the two cities. Specifically, we explore spatial patterns, general population trends and changes in urban densities. Our study confirms earlier observations by other researchers that processes of suburbanization are occurring in Belgrade and Sofia. Yet this research goes further and emphasizes the specific combination of conditions inherited from the era of state socialism and the features of South-east European urban culture. Thus regarding the form of urban expansion, we observe relativ...ely weak trends of sprawl with strong local specifics. On this basis, we discuss our empirical results with the objective of identifying the specifics of studied processes in Belgrade and Sofia as a grounds for the articulation of an appropriate policy framework.
Keywords:Post-communist urban trends / South-Eastern Europe / suburbanization / urban sprawl / growth patterns
Source:European Planning Studies, 2018, 26, 7, 1389-1412
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