The Radical Transformation of Vilnius
(2016) Paper, KU Leuven, Master of Architecture, Brussels, within the framework of the course: 'Critical Urban Theory'
Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a city in development. Since the Lithuanian independence in 1990-1991 it is, as a post Soviet city, making a rapid change towards a city with Western looks. In making this change the architects and urban planners ignore to a certain extend the older context of the city. Big office towers are built for instance in areas with low and old wooden housing, creating an enormous contrast within its surrounding. This contrast could be noted as problematic when thinking about the numerous examples in which contrasted urban planning results in a social distress of aestheticization, segregation and eventually inequality. (Bahn, 2009, Harvey, 2005; Tonkiss 2013, Hoock and Vrdoljak, 2002) In this text I want to investigate these possible problems occurring in Vilnius, though leaving an eye open to the spatial and social qualities the new planning might generate. Here I am interested in the numerous ‘un-designed’ and ‘leftover spaces’ (Slavoj Zizek, 2013) that the new buildings create.
This text is part of an ongoing fascination and observation of the Urban configurations of Vilnius
Vilnius business district 2015
Housing directly next to the business district (Google street-view, 2017, Vilnius, Silutes g.)