Geografie 2015, 120, 275-295

Patterns and Drivers of Inner City Social Differentiation in Prague and Tallinn

Anneli Kährik1,2, Jakub Novák3, Jana Temelová3, Kati Kadarik1,2, Tiit Tammaru2

1Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
2University of Tartu, Institute for Ecology and Earth Sciences, Department of Geography, Tartu, Estonia
3Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Prague, Czechia

Received July 2014
Accepted April 2015

During the socialist era, inner residential areas of Eastern European cities were left to decay both physically and socially, and became mostly occupied by elderly inhabitants. Drawing on 2007–2011 EU-SILC data, we have analysed processes of socio-spatial differentiation in the inner cities of Prague and Tallinn during the post-socialist era, and indicate the household-level drivers of such differentiation. We found a high preference for inner city living among young people and childless households, but also the persisting patterns of elderly population in some inner city sub-areas. A weak correlation between household socio-economic status and place of residence in the inner city, however, suggests that inner cities continued to be socially mixed in the late 2000s, although differences existed in this regard between sub-areas and between the two studied cities. To a large extent, such differentiation relates to the roots found within socialist and pre-socialist legacies, but it also contains new post-socialist features, such as those created by different social and housing policies applied during the post-socialist reforms.


This research was supported by Grant No. 332265 of the Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme; Grant No IUT2-17 of the Ministry of Education and Science Estonia; and Grant No GA14-00393S of the Czech Science Foundation.


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