[Sofia Re-claiming space for public life- messages from the north- western periphery of Sofia.pdf



A case-study based qualitative research on public space and public life in four housing estates in the north-western periphery of Sofia provides the basis for re-thinking urban legacy and the Modernist concept of public interest, once placed in the core of urban planning. The expert estimation of the current physical state and functioning of open public space in the housing estates, initially developed from the 1960s to 1980s, is compared to current inhabitants’ estimations of the potential of public space to respond to their needs and visions regarding its quality. The capacity and limitations of local inhabitants to articulate a common vision of public space in dialogue with experts and authorities are discussed. The authors claim that further urban research is needed to conceptualize present visions for public interest, public life, and public space in the transforming housing estates in Central and Eastern Europe in order to enhance the effectiveness of inclusive planning approaches for urban regeneration.