, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 729-730,
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Date: 17 Oct 2012

Hirt, Sonja, A.: Iron curtains: gates, suburbs and privatization of space in the post-socialist city

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The difference between ‘space’ and ‘place’ is that the latter is chosen and accustomed, like the planet of ‘Little prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Human clusters within a so-called socialist city, whether the latter really existed or not, had come up more or less inadvertently, at least in Europe. The place of residence of the population was in many cases more a consequence of assignation than a choice. The resident population was rather a human collective than a community; the respective areas within the city were ignorant spaces, not places created by the communities. All these had evolved beyond the Western-specific division into public and private. Private possession was limited in its stock and usage; the ‘public’ had meant state—no man’s and rather hostile. These phenomena, it seems, were the most evident common features of cities, the development of which had gone through the rise of state socialism—the most common, since this category was strongly diversified. In that sens ...