9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS15 Rethinking intergenerational transmission of inequalities

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Changing Patterns of Inequalities Building II, C6.09

Housing for the new economic elite - A case study of Novi Sad in Serbia

This paper will examine the spatial dimension of economic inequalities that occurred in Serbia over the last 2 decades. The paper will present a case study of a city of Novi Sad, the medium sized city, second largest regional center in Serbia and the capital of predominantly rural Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. The city has undergone radical changes both within its social and spatial structure that even today remain unparalleled in the region in terms of their nature and rate.
In the 1990ts, the specific political and economic conditions have led to the great transformations in demographics and the overall social structure, since the city, formerly experiencing negative population growth rates, has been rapidly populated by refugees from the wars in former Yugoslavia. At the same time, a large gap between the poor and the wealthy was created as the result of changes that marked the transition to the post-communist society. This has caused great changes of the built form that previous master plans could not anticipate. The implications of this process for housing involved the spatial segregation of diverse socio-economic groups. The paper will present 2 urban fragments where the houses for the new economic elite were built, both of which represent inadequate models. In the first fragment, luxurious houses were built illegally on one of the most beautiful hillsides on the southern edge of the city. The second complex was planned as a gated community of individual and multi-family houses, surrounded by illegally built structure inhabited by residents with low incomes. Both cases represent monotonous environments that lack spatial complexity and not encourage community binding. The paper will tackle the question: Can these housing models facilitate future sustainable development and become a good starting point for social welfare gains?