New post-socialist city: Competitive and Attractive (ReNewTown)

  • Project team:

    Paskaleva-Shapira, Krassimira (Project leader); Christina Merz, Anika Hügle

  • Funding:

    European Regional Development Fund

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    Polish Academy of Sciences (Mazowieckie, PL), The C.K. Norwid Culture Centre (Malopolskie, PL), Municipality of Velenje (Slovenija, SI), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Baden-Württemberg, DE), Prague 11 Metropolitan District (Praha, CZ), Regional Development Agency of Usti Region, PLC (Severozapad, CZ), Agency for development of Gemer region (Stredne Slovensko, SK), University of Ljubjana (Slovenija, SI)

  • Research group:

    Innovation processes and impacts of technology

Final Project Conference: Call for Papers


University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, February 11th and 12th, 2014

Call for Papers

The project entitled New Post-Socialist City: Competitive and Attractive (in short the ReNewTown project) has been implemented through the Central Europe Programme co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Its primary focus is on reduction of disparities and improved quality of post-socialist urban environment (not only by positive transformation of residential landscapes but also by improved quality and accessibility of public spaces, increased provision of cultural and social events, increased support of entrepreneurial initiatives, strengthened identity, creation of common values, etc.). To this end several model approaches have been identified and four pilot actions implemented in post-socialist cities from four different Central and Eastern European countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia).

Call for Papers Information

Project description

Central Europe's recent socialist past has left more than 300 million people living with a complex urban legacy. Some of them have experienced positive transformations of where they live. But many continue to be challenged by problems related to urban design, use of public spaces, economic decline, and social and cultural deprivation. Poor condition of buildings and public spaces and lack of places and facilities for cultural events and sports are often coupled with high unemployment and shortage of business opportunities for the local population. Lack of community spirit or a real sense of belonging is often the result of depressing living conditions. The new ReNewTown project, which is supported by the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, aims to address some of these problems whilst enhancing positive aspects of the socialist legacy.

ReNewTown – New post-socialist city: Competitive and Attractive – seeks to reduce territorial inequalities between towns and cities in Central Europe by delivering innovative urban development solutions that will enhance the quality of urban areas with socialist heritage. Pilot actions are undertaken in four cities of Central Europe – Krakow (Poland), Velenje (Slovenia), Prague (the Czech Republic), and Hnusta (Slovakia). The planned regeneration activities are diverse, all aiming to improve the quality of life of the local residents.

ReNewTown will be carried out by a cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral partnership of practitioners – urban and regional policy makers and managers – and science and technology experts. Public administrations of four countries – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia – have committed to implement regeneration activities. The Polish Academy of Sciences leads this 3-year project. KIT is one of the knowledge providers in the partnership, pooling its multi-disciplinary capacities and expertise in project design, development and dissemination, and drawing on its long-term experience in national and European R&D projects. The ITAS team of KIT is particularly interested in identifying the strategic pathway to rebuilding the post-socialist city through heritage and tourism, in re-inventing socialist heritage by bonding urban districts and neighborhoods with their people and businesses, and in rediscovering the post-socialist city through re-interpreting old legacies, inspired by local heritage and tourism. This requires a rethinking of the post-socialist heritage in a holistic way – linking tangible and intangible resources with an outlook to the future – and a new framing of the post-socialist city by re-inventing the past and joining up for a new vision of urban transformations. KIT wants to explore how these aims can be achieved by curating the urban space as a cultural heritage experience for both residents and visitors, especially through the use of innovative digital technologies.

Project website:

Additional Literature

ReNewTown Newsletter

Issue 1, June 2011

Issue 2, September 2011

Issue 3, December 2011

Issue 4, March 2012

Issue 5, June 2012

Issue 6, September 2012

Issue 7, December 2012

Issue 8, February 2013

Issue 9, July 2013

Issue 10, October 2013

Issue 11, December 2013

Issue 12, March 2014

ReNewTown Brochure on market research & good practice results


ReNewTown Brochure on Transnational Development Strategy


ReNewTown in KIT Radio: Interview with Christina Götz 03.04.2014



Book Chapters
Paskaleva, K.; Cooper, I.; Linde, P.; Peterson, B.; Götz, C.
Stakeholder engagement in the smart city: Making living labs work
2015. Transforming City Governments for Successful Smart Cities. Ed.: M.P. Rodriguez-Bolivar, 115–145, Springer International Publishing 
Götz, C.; Cooper, I.; Paskelava-Shapira, K.
Local-scale projects and their potential for urban regeneration. Experiences from east Germany
2014. ReNewTown Final Conference, Ljubljana, SLO, February 11-12, 2014 
Paskaleva, K.; Cooper, I.
Open innovation evaluation for Internet-enabled services in smart cities, technovation
2014. 23rd International Management of Technology - Annual Conference (2014), Washington, DC, USA, May 15, 2014 
Paskaleva-Shapira, K.; Cooper, I.; Götz, C.
Forming urban identities by reinterpreting heritage: the case of post-socialist Velenje
2014. ReNewTown Final Conference, Ljubljana, SLO, February 11-12, 2014 
Book Chapters
Götz, C.; Hügle, A.; Paskaleva-Shapira, K.
Comprehensive evaluation: Neighbourhood jury
2013. Ograjensek, I. [Hrsg.] Post-Socialist City: A Role Model for Urban Revitalisation in the 21st Century Handbook of Models Ljubljana : Faculty of Economics 2013, 194–201 
Götz, C.; Paskaleva, K.
Comprehensive evaluation: tower block of culture
2013. POST-socialist city: a role model for urban revitalisation in the 21st century: Handbook of models. Hrsg.: I. Ograjensek, 126–137, Ljubljana 
Hügle, A.; Götz, C.; Paskaleva, K.
Comprehensive evaluation: trial living
2013. Post-socialist city: a role model for urban revitalisation in the 21st century: Handbook of models. Ed.: I. Ograjensek, 208–215, University of Ljubljana 
Hügle, A.; Götz, C.; Paskaleva, K.
Comprehensive evaluation: guardian houses
2013. Post-socialist city: a role model for urban revitalisation in the 21st century: Handbook of models. Ed.: I. Ograjensek, 201–208, University of Ljubljana 
Götz, C.; Paskaleva-Shapira, K.; Cooper, I.
Urban regeneration in Cottbus Neu-Schmellwitz - The transformation process of a city quarter
2013. ReNew Town Project Report European Union, 2013 
Götz, C.; Paskaleva-Shapira, K.; Cooper, I.
The MiKa project in Karlsruhe, Germany: Conversion of a military area into a community-based residential area
2013. ReNew Town Project Report European Union, 2013 
Götz, C.
Urban regeneration in Germany
2012. 1. ReNewTown Technical Meeting zum Thema “Regeneration through bonding” (2012), Karlsruhe, Germany, February 1, 2012 
Götz, C.
ReNewTown Projekt. New post-socialist city. Competitive and attractive
2012. ReNewTown Diskussionsrunde zum Thema “Beteiligung im Stadtumbau” (2012), Karlsruhe, Germany, June 20, 2012 


Dr. Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira, PhD
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe