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I'm a messy, messy boy, and I rarely get home from school before 6 pm (in fact, I am there right now, waiting 45 minutes in between classes. I decided to use the time to show you what I've been up to.) Welcome back to the regular Bliki!
Seems we're never letting go of suburbia
Odrava has about 600,000 inhabitants in my vision, but an administrative area of about 400 square km, which means there's a lot of free space left. I'm still kind of conflicted in how to fill it though.
In Western Europe, there's a lot of low-density neighborhoods with detached houses, large in area. This is where the middle class usually lives. Apartment buildings - or blocks of flats if you will - outside the city center are usually reserved to the working class and poor people.
Where I'm from, during the First Republic (1918 - 1938), we were headed for the western model too. But then the communists came in 1948, and suddenly everything was property of the state. Suburban development as we know it from Austria or Germany was no longer possible. There was a shortage of housing in all price categories in no time.
The government realizes this and starts mass production of concrete blocks and buildings made of them (the construction spree peaks around 1970.) Every bit of empty space suddenly becomes a construction ground. There's 12-story blocks in between small homes from the 1920's. Where the USA has the suburbia, Eastern Europe has sídliště or osiedle or massive clusters of randomly placed 8- to 14-story houses in the middle of nowhere.
What's interesting about sídliště is that unlike in Western Europe, the inhabitants are a diverse mix of all classes, jobs, ages - my tour guide in Italy told me such apartment complexes often become ghettos, which is not the case in Eastern Europe (with some exceptions, like when the town of Most moved most of its Roma population to a terra incognita near an open coal mine.)
What fascinates me the most is how every house is exactly the same. Everyone had the same door, the same kitchen counter, the same bathroom - it was well possible your friend from the other side of the country lived in an apartment, shopped at a grocery store, or had their kids go to school that was identical to yours. There was a bunch of different construction sets that were used for everything.
That's kind of what I was going for with Želice, even though I scaled it down a lot. I have yet to figure out some background and history, like how it happened, was it government restrictions? Complicated land ownership? Customer demand? I'm really trying not to make my country a second Czech Republic, but it's just so fun.
I hope to finish two more railway stations in Odrava before I go on a trip to the Baltic countries and Russia, expect another post September 18th or so. See ya!
Comments are v appreciated
Have you heard it on the radio, did you turn it up?
I also really love the typical Eastern european Osiedle. They just have something very charismatic, even though they are not very desirable. Zelice look (a foreigner would say "looks great" but not me!) great, so continue you awesome city! Love the railways too! Cheers! --Litvania (talk) 18:15, 13 September 2017 (CEST)
Love your mapping as always Eklas! Been watching you map up Zelice since you've started it, I'm not a creep >_> <_<. What I'm gathering from your explanation is that it's sort of like Kensington in London where there's the high-class and low-class living side by side, with concrete slabs of blocks in free spaces. There's a sadder connotation to this sort of living now in the UK, but hopefully Drabantia is much much more diverse AND integrated than real life. Looking forward to seeing more of your work. And don't worry about worrying to fill up all the metropolitan area, I'm having similar discussions with myself x3 Keep Up The Mapping! --Aces California (talk) 18:19, 13 September 2017 (CEST)
- Thank you! I don't know about the diversity (haven't looked into it yet), but at least Drabantia didn't privatize most of its social housing and has better safety regulations. --Eklas (talk) 19:36, 13 September 2017 (CEST)
- Funny thing is that beside the diversity of people living in one osiedle the fences between different osiedla (plural form for "osiedle" in polish) or even street quarters are common in polish cities. The most off them were built about 10 years ago, today some osiedla are opening their doors again, because people understood that complete isolation don't improve safety (or maybe we are safer than 10 years ago?) and don't solve problems caused by income diversity. Rustem Pasha (talk) 20:28, 13 September 2017 (CEST)
Actually some osiedla have become very desirable places to live - for example Osiedle Tysiąclecia in Katowice (name commemorates the 1000th anniversary of the Polish state). There are a few factors that make it one of the nicer osiedla out there: it's close to the city center. On the opposite side of the road there's one of the biggest parks in the world, the Silesian Park. The neighboorhood is very green itself. You can do the shopping in Silesia City Center, a big shopping center located nearby. I'd bloody love to live there to be honest. --Trabantemnaksiezyc (talk) 11:41, 14 September 2017 (CEST)