Geografie 2011, 116, 276-299

Urbanization and Suburbanization in the Urban Regions of Prague and Vienna: Structural Differences in the Presence of Different Political-Economic Regimes

Darina Posová, Luděk Sýkora

Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Přírodovědecká fakulta, katedra sociální geografie a regionálního rozvoje, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czechia

Received July 2010
Accepted March 2011

This article compares urbanization and suburbanization in the urban regions of Prague and Vienna, during the final decade of communism and the early years of transition to a capitalist society. In the 1980s, patterns of urbanization in the two cities differed radically with urbanization occurring in Prague and suburbanization developing in Vienna. The 1990s were characterised by rapid suburban growth rates in both cities. However, this growth was achieved in the presence of a specific structural characteristic, namely the low share of population and housing in the rings of the cities’ urban regions. In addition to suburbanization, Vienna continues to experience strong urban development of its city core through public support for new housing construction, housing rehabilitation, and the regeneration and conversion of old inner city brownfields. Sustainable development in Prague is currently threatened by a lack of development coordination at the urban regional level, which is leading to decentralization and an unregulated, fragmented, sprawl-like pattern of suburban growth.


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