17.06.2009., srijeda

PULA: A FLIGHT FROM POST-SOCIALISM TO POST-CAPITALISM

Pula, as important military port, was heavily bombed and almost abandoned in WWII. In early 60`s it received the first urban master plan in Yugoslavia which implemented ideas of self-management in urban planning. Basic idea of the plan was to decentralize city into self-managed political cells called "rajon". Rajons were planned as neighborhoods who have all needed facilities which made them autonomous from the existing center of the city. Decentralization was a tool in urban planing which disabled segregation in the city.
Second master plan came in the late 70`s who pushed the idea of urban self-management further. It was focused on more pragmatic level and tried to make self-management more operative. One aspect of the plan was "social contract" or "self-managed agreement" signed by all the actors in the neighborhood who, then, were obligated to perform specific actions so that the plan could be realized.
This was the highest level of development of urban self-management. Although the method was democratic in its essence the problem was that the actors and neighborhood assembles were not politically autonomous subjects. They were economically depended on higher level of government and politically depended on communist party which remained centralized despite it stimulated decentralized of society.

Self-managed system dissolved in 90`s but transition didn't bring any operative system in urban planning in Pula. Some of the neighborhood assemblies and social centers are still active and it is this informal situation, with no operative system in function, which gives them full autonomy that they never had. Some new social compositions emerge from the transition and they started to use ex military areas which were left empty after break of Yugoslavia. In this "no-man land" or better to say "common land" special socio-economic experiments are active right now with no interference from the government or municipality. We are observing and stimulating these experiment hoping that they are able to produce a system beyond capitalism.

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The city is the space where the reproduction of social, political and economic forms of life takes place and where these forms of life confront instrumental political power or political diagonal. This reproduction of forms of life represents the central site of exploitation as well as of resistance. Resistance is manifested through production of common values and through cooperation. This complex environment can be the key force behind the making of democracy, justice, common values and free space. Cities can become places of post-capitalism.

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