'Bojary' may be seen merely as one of the several neighborhoods that Bialystok is divided into. However, there are certain features that prove the uniqueness of that place, such as rustic style of buildings, localisation near the city centre and the local history. Despite the public declaration that the original style of the neighborhood should be protected, since 1990s 'Bojary' has undergone numerous changes, including new buildings development. These factors provoked a public debate on the image and future of Bialystok, which inspired us to conduct a series of interviews with the inhabitants of the neighborhood. Following our impressions and knowledge obtained mainly from observation and press materials, we were able to formulate hypotheses regarding the type of community present in 'Bojary', and its struggles to prevent irreversible changes. The interviews were conducted in July 2005. We focused on seven streets, where most of the original buildings are preserved. Firstly, we were interested in the way the inhabitants of the neighborhood perceive their place of living. Secondly, our aim was to test the hypothesis that they share the characteristics of the type of community described by Ferdynand Tönnies as 'Gemeinshaft'. Next, we asked them to express their opinion about the neighbors from recently built houses and apartment blocks. What is more, we wanted to know how the inhabitants of 'Bojary' consider the actions taken by the local authorities towards the protection of this area. Finally, we inquired our respondents whether they support the idea of creating there a form of environmental and cultural reserve, whose main aspect would be the prevention of the oldest buildings.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.