This study deals with the dynamic changes of intra-urban town structures in post-communist Central Europe, focusing on the situation in Slovakia. According to structuralism, the towns in post-communist countries are products of the changes characteristic of a transition from a socialist socio-economic formation to a capitalist socio-economic formation. It is a temporary phase. The conceptualisation of the post-socialist town, as a dynamic and transitory developmental stage, is based on the theory of the town in real socialism discussed in this study. The post-socialist town can be characterised as a transitive developmental stage connected with the dynamic changes related to the adaptation of intra-urban structures to new conditions. Current changes in the town's spatial structure are determined both by factors connected to the transformation of the social system and by globalisation. Methodologically, it is difficult to separate these two interfering factors to identify individual changes. The study concentrates on the identification and brief characteristics of transformational processes that are displayed in individual intra-urban structures. Based upon their occurrence and impact in these intra-urban structures (morphological, functional and socio-demographic), we can define these processes as complex (e.g. suburbanisation, gentrification), partially complex (e.g. commertionalisation) and elementary (e.g. sacralisation, functional fragmentation, segregation, separation and status regression). An important feature of these transformation processes is their various developments in different parts of a town. While respecting spatial and morphological town development, we study the effects of the transformation processes in five town zones - centre, inner town, villa quarters, apartment-block estates and suburbs. The focus of our interest is the dynamic changes of town intra-urban structures in post-communist Central Europe, especially concerning Slovakia. We attempt to conceptualise the post-socialist town as a specific research phenomenon and to suggest methodological aspects of researching intra-urban structures through the identification of key transformational processes. By using concrete examples, we show the occurrence of the processes in different parts of town. We identify the effects produced by these processes in various intra-urban structures.
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”.