Value saving and community use regarding urban renewal Cover Image
  • Price 2.00 €

Value saving and community use regarding urban renewal
Value saving and community use regarding urban renewal

Protection of Hungarian industrial heritage and possibilities for its reutilization at the turn of the millennium

Author(s): Erzsébet Urbán, Zorán Vukoszávlyev
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts
Published by: Historický ústav SAV, v. v. i.
Keywords: integrated heritage protection; industrialization; reutilization; industrial tourism; memory

Summary/Abstract: INDUSTRIAL CULTURE AND IDENTITYThe culture of manufacture has its roots in everyday life. In the guild manufactories renowned in history, and later within industrial working-class families, traditions of expertise, working methods and special techniques have been passed down from generation to generation. Beside the concentrated placement of factories, capitalist industrial development also brought about residential colonies. The residents of the workers’ settlements formed autonomous communities, where closeknit of life involved a strong feeling of togetherness, implying that cultural conventions generally remained within the community. Consequently, it could be interesting to examine these enclosed workers’ settlements, since in this way more information can be obtained about the larger industrial area and its operation. The collective memory of traditional industrial towns holds a wealth of still unknown knowlege that could be lost in a short time in case of the closure of the industrial building or factory zone, and without conscientious collecting work it could vanish /1/. The exact knowledge of the applied processes and mechanization was linked to specific towns or regions, thus determining their identity for a long time. Industrial heritage protection pays concentrated attention to the protection of immaterial factors alongside protecting the physical manifestation of industrial activity, the building stock. The importance of such factors has grown significantly due to the rapid technological and social change of the 20th century. The memory of the people plays an important role in this study, since the abandoned buildings and machines are difficult to interpret without written or authentic pictorial sources, and provide a less informative picture regarding their use. Authentic heritage protection covers not only the protection of the localized material remains, but also takes the mobile and spiritual heritage into account. Thus the industrial area and the industrial building in the narrow sense – compared to other types of monuments whose usage still haws a living culture – require the application of significantly more complex criteria to be taken into consideration.THE INTERNATIONAL PRACTICE OF INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE PROTECTION AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EAST CENTRAL EUROPEAN REGIONWithin individual countries, the protection and presentation of national industrial heritage serves to strengthen the national consciousness, because it clearly demonstrates the role of the nation in the industrialization of the world. The pursuit of industrial heritage protection started in Great Britain, later, following its successful example, other countries of the world began to pay even greater attention to preserving industrial monuments. Placing buildings under individual protection has established a social demand that placed these culturally important monuments on the level of general awareness of matters of identity. Because of the complex historic background of the heritage buildings, in time larger-scale revitalization plans were formed that concentrated not only on the individual structure, but on globalscale, comprehensive rehabilitation programs developed for different regions. The most successful interventions are the revitalization of those port areas that fell into disuse due to changes in ship transport and storage. The fate of transportation facilities with their related industrial zones resulted in spectacular interventions at a local level, by activating and using the areas given to the public. Rehabilitation of larger coherent industrial areas that, given their technologies, were established mainly in colonies outside the city, has been faced with more significant problems. However, in the last decade precisely this area of heavy industry, especially projects related to mining areas have been realized – of which the best known is the transformation of the Ruhr region.The situation of industrial heritage protection in the post-socialist countries situated in the Eastern part of Cental Europe shows a more complex picture. Special attention is understandable because of the specificities of the last hundred years’ history: capitalist industrial growth of the fisrt part of the century was replaced by socialist industrial development after World War II. In the era of the communist state, beside the ever-changing economic demands, a major difference lay in the aggressively controlled planned economy, not always led by rational decisions, which remained in place for almost 40 years. Beyond the fate of the individual monuments, we must take into account the specific historic situation that defined not only the economy, but also the theoretical and practical scope of historic preservation. In this region, thanks to the continuous expansion of industry through the planned economy, a dual process can be observed regarding the industrial building stock. On the one hand, a great part of the industrial heritage established in the late 19th century and especially at the time of the industrial development in the early 20th century has managed to survive intact. These nearly 100-yearold properties were formed by the expectations of the artisanal system that established the general system of production after World War II. On the other hand, in the meantime the heroic era of socialist production created huge new industrial areas. The development plans gave priority to the growth of the heavy industry, far surpassing the agricultural development in this region. Without doubt, it can be stated that during this time the region became relatively advanced industrially, even in the European context. In the immediate vicinity of the production centres within in the jurisdiction of the Soviet Block, approximately 1000 cities were founded – 11 of which were in Hungary – that functioned as a kind of melting pot, since the workers moved to their new homes from different social layers and different regions of the country. Currently, these industrial areas established in the Soviet era generate mixed feelings, since during this time the newly created industry did not serve the country’s own interest, but was treated as part of the broader economic politics of the Socialist Block, not least as a political tool for a foreign power. The democratic political change of the early 1990s caused a massive shock in the massively overproducing industrial sector. The economy started to draw upon more realistic demands, resulting in the abandonment of many industrial areas. At the same time, the post-socialist countries were subjected to a secondary process of colonization – this time by the Western capitalist economy – which was interested instead in the shrinking and liquidation of certain industries by buying up the market, thus creating an area of distribution for its own capacities. A practically direct result of the economic background processes was the revaluation of property values. The private sector, representing its own economic interests, destroyed industrial quarters that became regraded as inner-city properties, piece by piece, and the myopic insistence on the right of further utilization of the land obliterated a great quantity of valuable structures...

  • Issue Year: 48/2014
  • Issue No: 3-4
  • Page Range: 156-177
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: English