CULTURAL HERITAGE OF POST-SOCIALIST NEW TOWNS. A COMPARISON OF EISENHÜTTENSTADT AND VELENJE
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This paper deals with the issue of the New Towns built in the 1950s in East Germany and Yugoslavia, in particular Eisenhüttenstadt in Germany and Velenje in Slovenia. The authors would argue that socialist New Towns have gained historical and public recognition over recent decades and seem to have adopted a sense of heritage, both on the local and national levels. This article discusses the interpretations and recognition of (post-) socialist towns as places of cultural and historical value, as well as the post-socialist practices of the locals with regard to the cultural heritage of their towns. The national and local recognition of both New Towns reflect their position at the time of their planning and building in the 1950s. Eisenhüttenstadt was a showcase town for East Germany and has currently been (inter-) nationally recognised as a new, model town, while lacking a local sense of heritage. On the other hand, plans for the new town centre of Velenje, its financing and construction, were initiated by the local authorities and the Coal Mine Company managers, with the substantial assistance of the town’s residents. While the New Town of Velenje immediately started to cultivate its mining identity, as well as the value of being a town built with the voluntary contribution of its residents, the heritage of Velenje being a new, modern town was and is discussed and contested locally and only partly nationally.
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