Geographia Polonica (2020) vol. 93, iss. 2

The impact of social structure and physical characteristics on housing estate renovation in postsocialist cities: Cases of Vilnius and Budapest

Balázs Szabó, Donatas Burneika

Geographia Polonica (2020) vol. 93, iss. 2, pp. 229-244 | Full text


The article aims to analyse the renovation of housing estates in postsocialist cities. Two cities with different share of housing estates and public support system, Vilnius and Budapest are in the focus of the analysis. The renovation of housing estates is a new process in both of them; it started only in the 2000s and its outcome is far from spectacular. The most important and most common type of renovation activities is the insulation of blocks of flats because it significantly decreases the utility costs. The article investigates whether and how the social and physical characteristics of housing estates influence their renovation. The size, age, type, spatial location all have some impact on the renovation level. The authors point out that the necessity of renovation and its costs depend on the physical characteristics of the buildings but the opportunity for renovation derives from the ability to finance it. Consequently, the social status of the inhabitants and the availability of state support are of crucial importance. The findings of the analysis indicate that different combinations of state support and social status result in very different renovation activities in the two cities.

Keywords: housing estate, urban renewal, Budapest, Vilnius

Balázs Szabó [], Geographical Institute Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences Budaörsi út 45, 1112 Budapest: Hungary
Donatas Burneika [], Lithuanian Social Research Centre A. Goštauto g. 9, LT-01108 Vilnius: Lithuania