“Green Spaces in Socialist and Postsocialist Zagreb”, an article by Valentina Gulin Zrnić (2017)

The article “Green Spaces in Socialist and Postsocialist Zagreb” by Valentine Gulin Zrnić is published in the volume “Green Landscapes in European City, 1750-2010” edited by Peter Clark, Marjaana Niemi andi Chatarina Nolin, Routledge (January 2017).

The chapter by V. Gulin Zrnić focuses on green and open spaces in Zagreb as seen through historical and cultural anthropological lenses. It aims at a comparative analysis of the planning of green spaces from the mid-twentieth century until today, as well as examining everyday uses and practices in open and green spaces. The study combines research on planning documentation, interviews with architects and planners, and ethnographic material on living in residential estates. The research has been carried out as part of the project “City-making: space, culture, and identity

Description of the volume: Routledge

Green space is a fundamental concept for understanding modern and contemporary urban society, shedding light not only on the ecological development of cities but also societal relations, urban governance and planning processes. Closely linked to issues of environmental change, changing perceptions of nature, urban well-being and social integration, as well as city economic competitiveness and branding, it is an important element both in the internationalisation of European cities, and the forging of their distinctive communal identities.

Building upon recent research on the history of green landscapes in the city in Europe and North America, this volume mirrors the burgeoning global attention to urban green space developments from city policy-makers and planners, architects, climatologists, ecologists, geographers and other social scientists. Taking case studies from Paris, London, Berlin, Helsinki, and other leading centres, the volume examines when, why, and how green landscapes evolved in major cities, and the extent to which they have been shaped by shared external forces as well as by distinctive and specific local needs. Quantifying green space trends in this way raises important issues of classification and categorisation of the different varieties of urban green space. While urban parks have received considerable coverage, many other smaller, less prestigious, spaces have been largely ignored. This volume argues that green landscapes can only be properly understood when the full range of spaces from parks to recreation grounds, housing areas, allotments and domestic gardens is taken into account. Adopting a broader approach to urban green space helps put European developments during the 19th and 20th centuries into a global perspective.

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  • Project is supported by Croatian Science Foundation

  • Project leading institution: Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb

  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology

  • Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Department of Geography