New publication in Journal of Planning History

Transport in Mikrorayons: Accessibility and Proximity to Centrally Planned Residential Districts during the Socialist Era, 1957-1989 (2017).Residential housing compounds known as mikrorayons were enclosed within vast housing estates and served as central features of socialist urbanism in the Eastern Bloc. To reduce daily travel, designers located the communities on well-considered metropolitan sites and proposed embedded commercial opportunities and community services. This article examines, twenty-five years after the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the vision and implementation of transport planning in these modernist residential districts. A novel source of information is a rich literature, published during the operative years of the USSR, which explains and promotes contemporaneous socialist urbanization. This literature is enhanced with subsequently published critique and commentary to explore commuting, mobility, and transport-land use interaction vis-a`-vis the legacy of central planning for housing estates. Findings suggest that various elements of built environments that were vital to access and mobility significantly lagged the timing, quality, and completeness of housing construction. The Soviet system substituted proximity for mobility in certain aspects of urban life, but incomplete service networks in residential districts meant that the promises of propinquity were unrealized.

To access the article in Journal of Planning History click here.

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