The reurbanisation concept and its utility for contemporary research on post-socialist cities: The case of the Czech Republic

Open access


The concept of reurbanisation is discussed in this article from theoretical and methodological perspectives. Reurbanisation has been defined as one of the stages of urban development recently, but it is also tied to processes of gentrification, or perceived as a policy aimed at the revitalisation of inner cities. The main objective of this contribution is to discuss three principal and different perspectives of reurbanisation: firstly, reurbanisation as defined on the macro-scale of settlement system development; secondly, the concept as elaborated at the micro-scale of the transformation of inner cities; and, thirdly, reurbanisation viewed as a specific urban policy at the local government scale of analysis. The authors’ singular understanding of the reurbanisation process – as suburban-to-urban migration – is then presented as an alternative conceptualization of reurbanisation. This paper presents and evaluates the use of the reurbanisation concept in research on residential environments in current conditions in the Czech Republic and relates it to the broader domain of research on post-socialist cities.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • ALLEN C. BLANDY S. (2004): The future of city centre living: implications for urban policy. Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research Sheffield Hallam University.

  • ATKINSON R. (2003): Introduction: misunderstood saviour or vengeful wrecker? The many meanings and problems of gentrification. Urban Studies 40(12): 2343–2350.

  • BARBER A. (2007): Planning for sustainable reurbanisation: policy challenges and city centre housing in Birmingham. Town Planning Review 78(2): 179–202.

  • BARON M. OCHOJSKI A. POLKO A. WARZECHA K. ŠIMON M. (2014): Economics and Strategic Management of Local Public Services in Central Europe: Towards multidisciplinary analysis of infrastructure and service costs. Prague: Institute of Sociology Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

  • BERNT M. (2009): Partnerships for demolition: The governance of urban renewal in East Germany's shrinking cities. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33(3): 754–769.

  • BIJAK J. KUPISZEWSKA D. KUPISZEWSKI M. (2008): Replacement migration revisited: Simulations of the effects of selected population and labour market strategies for the aging Europe 2002–2052. Population Research and Policy Review 27(3): 321–342.

  • BORGEGÅRD L. E. MURDIE R. (1993): Socio-demographic impacts of economic restructuring on Stockholm’s inner city. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 84(4): 269–280.

  • BOTEV N. (2012): Population ageing in Central and Eastern Europe and its demographic and social context. European Journal of Ageing 9(1): 69–79.

  • BRIDGE G. (2006): It’s not just a question of taste: gentrification the neighbourhood and cultural capital. Environment and Planning A 38(10): 1965–1978.

  • BUTLER T. (2007): Re-urbanizing London Docklands: Gentrification Suburbanization or New Urbanism? International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 31(4): 759–781.

  • BUZAR S. OGDEN P. HALL R. HAASE A. KABISCH S. STEINFÜHRER A. (2007): Splintering urban populations: emergent landscapes of reurbanisation in four European cities. Urban Studies 44(4): 651–677.

  • CASSIERS T. KESTELOOT C. (2012): Socio-spatial inequalities and social cohesion in European cities. Urban Studies 49(9): 1909–1924.

  • CHAMPION T. (2001): Urbanization Suburbanization Counterurbanization and Reurbanization. In: Paddison R. [ed.]: Handbook of Urban Studies (pp. 143–161). London SAGE Publication.

  • CHESHIRE P. (1995): A new phase of urban development in Western Europe? Evidence for the 1980s. Urban Studies 32(7): 1045–1063.

  • CHESHIRE P. HAY D. G. (1989): Urban Problems in Western Europe: an economic analysis. Unwin Hyman London.

  • COLOMB C. (2007): Unpacking new labour's ‘Urban Renaissance’ agenda: Towards a socially sustainable reurbanization of British cities? Planning Practice & Research 22(1): 1–24.

  • ČERMÁK Z. HAMPL M. MÜLLER J. (2009): Současné tendence vývoje obyvatelstva metropolitních areálů v Česku: dochází k významnému obratu? Geografie 114(1): 37–51.

  • DANDOLOVA I. (2003): Deurbanisation in Bulgaria: Challenges of transition and sustainable development. In: Eckardt F. Hassenpflug D. [eds.]: Consumption and the post-industrial city (pp. 127–140). Frankfurt/Main Peter Lang.

  • DEMIFER – Demographic and Migratory Flows Affecting European Regions and Cities ESPON 2013 project.

  • DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS (DETR) (2000): Our Towns and Cities: The Future. Delivering an Urban Renaissance White Paper presented to Parliament by the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Environment Transport and the Regions by Command of Her Majesty. London: HMSO [online]. [cit. 20. 10. 2013]. Available at:Ľ1127167

  • FISHMAN R. (2000): The American metropolis at century’s end: Past and future influences. Housing Policy Debate 11(1): 199–213.

  • GERŐHÁZI É. HEGEDÜS J. SZEMZÖ H. TOSICS I. TOMAY K. GERE L. (2011): The impact of European demographic trends on regional and urban development. Synthesis Report (Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union) Budapest.

  • GLASS R. (1964): London: Aspects of Change. MacKibbon and Kee Centre for Urban Studies London.

  • GLATTER J. SIEDHOFF M. (2008): Reurbanisation: Inflationary Use of an Insufficiently Defined Term? Comments on the Definition of a Key Concept of Urban Geography with Selected Findings for the City of Dresden. Die Erde 139(4): 289–308.

  • GO F. GRIBLING M. VAN DUEREN DE HOLLANDER M. (2000). Rotterdam 2001: Creating More Cultural Capital than it Costs. International Journal of Arts Management 2(2): 26–39.

  • GRABKOWSKA M. (2015): Between gentrification and reurbanisation: The participatory dimension of bottom-up regeneration in Gdańsk Poland. Geografie 120(2): 210–225.

  • GRIFFITHS R. (1995): The politics of cultural policy in urban regeneration strategies. Policy and Politics 21(1): 39–46.

  • HAASE A. STEINFÜHRER A. KABISH S. (2003): Understanding Hypotheses and Key Indicators of Reurbanisation with Reference to Demographic Change. Compilation based on the contributions of the project consortium. EU financed Project „Re Urban Mobil – Mobilising Reurbanisation on Condition of Demographic Change“ 6th Framework Program of the EU Key action City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage pp. 44 [online]. [cit. 20.6. 2015] Available at:

  • HAASE D. HAASE A. KABISH S. BISCHOFF P. (2008): Guidelines for the “Perfect Inner City”. Discussing the Appropriateness of Monitoring Approaches for Reurbanization. European Planning Studies 16(8): 1075–1100.

  • HAASE A. KABISH S. STEINFÜHRER A. BOUZAROVSKI S. HALL R. OGDEN P. (2010): Emergent spaces of reurbanisation: exploring the demographic dimension of inner-city residential change in a European setting. Population Space and Place 16(5): 443–463.

  • HAASE A. STEINFÜHRER A. KABISCH S. GROSSMANN K. HALL R. [eds.] (2011): Residential Change and Demographic Challenge. The Inner City of East Central Europe in the 21st Century. Surrey/Burlington Ashgate.

  • HAASE A. RINK D. (2015): Inner-city transformation between reurbanisation and gentrification: Leipzig eastern Germany. Geografie 120(2): 226–250.

  • HALÁS M. ROUBÍNEK P. KLADIVO P. (2012): Urbánní a suburbánní prostor Olomouce: teoretické přístupy vymezení typologie. Geografický časopis 64(4): 289–310.

  • HALFACREE K. (2001): Constructing the Object: Taxonomic Practices Counterurbanisation and Positioning Marginal Rural Settlement. International Journal of Population Geography 7(5): 395–411.

  • HALL P. HAY D. (1980): Growth Centres in the European Urban System. London Heinemann Educational.

  • HALL R. OGDEN P. E. (1992): The social structure of new migrants to London Docklands: recent evidence from Wapping. The London Journal 17(2): 153–169.

  • HAMPL M. KÜHNL K. (1993): Migratory trends in former Czechoslovakia. Acta Universitatis Carolinae – Geographica 28(1): 53–71.

  • HNILIČKA P. (2005): Sídelní kaše: otázky k suburbánní výstavbě kolonií rodinných domů. Brno Era.

  • HOFF A. [ed.] (2011): Population Ageing in Central and Eastern Europe. Societal and Policy Implications. Farnham UK & Burlington VT USA Ashgate.

  • HOLM A. MARCIŃCZAK S. OGRODOWCZYK A. (2015): New-build gentrification in the post-socialist city: Łodź and Leipzig two decades after socialism. Geografie 120(2): 164–187.

  • HUTTON T.A. (2004): The new economy of the inner city. Cities 21(2): 89–108.

  • HYRA D. (2015): The back-to-the-city movement: Neighbourhood redevelopment and processes of political and cultural displacement. Urban Studies 52(10): 1753–1773.

  • ILLERIS S. (1991): Location of services in a service society. In: Daniels P.W. Moulaert F. [eds.]: The changing geography of advanced producer services (pp. 91–109). London Wiley.

  • KABISCH N. HAASE D. HAASE A. (2010): Evolving reurbanisation? Spatio-temporal dynamics as exemplified by the East German city of Leipzig. Urban Studies 47(5): 967–990.

  • KOPEČNÁ M. ŠPAČKOVÁ P. (2012): Rezidenční stabilita obyvatel pražského zázemí: případová studie obce Říčany u Prahy. In: Ouředníček M. Temelová J. [eds.]: Sociální proměny pražských čtvrtí (pp. 206–228). Praha Academia.

  • KOUCKÝ R. (2014): Územní plán sídelního útvaru hl. m. Prahy [online]. [cit. 20.6. 2015]. Available at:

  • KÜHN M. LIEBMANN H. (2012): Urban Regeneration – Strategies of Shrinking Cities in Eastern Germany. Die Erde 143(1–2): 135–152.

  • LADÁNYI J. SZELÉNYI I. (1998): Class ethnicity and urban restructuring in post-communist Hungary. In: Enyedi Gy. [ed.]: Social Change and Urban Restructuring in Central Europe (pp. 67–86). Budapest Akadémiai Kiadó.

  • LAIS K. PENKER M. (2012): Local Government Budgets Stressed by Population Decline? - An Analysis of Residual Costs for the Local Communities of Styria in Austria. Lex Localis 10(1): 111–128.

  • LEES L. (2000): A reappraisal of gentrification: towards a ‘geography of gentrification’. Progress in Human Geography 24(3): 389–408.

  • LEES L. SLATER T. WYLY E. (2007): Gentrification. New York Routledge.

  • LEETMAA K. TAMMARU T. ANNISTE K. (2009): From Priority-Led To Market-Led Suburbanisation in a Post-Communist Metropolis. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 100(4): 436–453.

  • LESTHAEGHE R. WILLEMS P. (1999): Is Low Fertility a Temporary Phenomenon in the European Union? Population and Development Review 25(2): 211–228.

  • LEVER W. (1993): Re-urbanisation – the policy implications. Urban Studies 30(2): 267–284.

  • MATOUŠEK V. (1966): Soudobé tendence rovnoměrnosti a koncentrace osídlení v kapitalistických a socialistických zemích (II. část) 2(6): 792–802.

  • MCINTYRE Z. MCKEE K. (2008): Governance and sustainability in Glasgow: connecting symbolic capital and housing consumption to regeneration. Area 40(4): 481–490.

  • MILLARD-BALL A. (2002): Gentrification in a Residential Mobility Framework: Social Change Tenure Change and Chains of Moves in Stockholm. Housing Studies 17(6): 833–856.

  • MUSIL J. (1977): Urbanizace v socialistických zemích. Praha Svoboda.

  • MUSIL J. (1993): Changing urban systems in post-communist societies in Central Europe: analysis and prediction. Urban Studies 30(6): 899–905.

  • MUSIL J. (2005): Why Socialist and Post-Socialist Cities Are Important for Forward Looking Urban Studies. Unpublished conference paper presented at the conference ‘Urban Science Forward Look’ Helsinki 26–28 May 2005.

  • OGDEN P. E. HALL R. (2000): Households reurbanisation and the rise of living alone in the principal French cities 1975–1990. Urban Studies 37(2): 367–390.

  • OTT T. (2001): From Concentration to De-concentration – Migration Patterns in the Post-socialist City. Cities 18(6): 403–412.

  • OUŘEDNÍČEK M. (2000): Teorie stádií vývoje měst a diferenciální urbanizace. Geografie 105(4): 361–369.

  • OUŘEDNÍČEK M. (2003): Suburbanizace Prahy. Sociologický časopis 39(2): 235–253.

  • OUŘEDNÍČEK M. ŠPAČKOVÁ P. FEŘTROVÁ M. (2011): Změny sociálního prostředí a kvality života v depopulačních regionech České republiky. Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review 47(4): 777–803.

  • OUŘEDNÍČEK M. ŠPAČKOVÁ P. NOVÁK J. [eds.] (2013): Sub Urbs: Krajina sídla a lidé. Praha Academia.

  • PIRO R. GANSER R. [eds.] (2012): Parallel Patterns of Shrinking Cities and Urban Growth: Spatial Planning for Sustainable Development of City Regions and Rural Areas. Farnham Ashgate.

  • PICHLER-MILANOVIČ N. GUTRY-KORYCKA M. RINK D. (2007): Sprawl in the post-socialist city: the changing economic and institutional context of central and eastern European cities. In: Urban Sprawl in Europe: Landscapes land-use change and policy (pp. 102–135).

  • POLANSKA D. (2008): Decline and revitalization in post-communist urban context: A case of the Polish city–Gdańsk. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 41(3): 359–374.

  • RÉRAT P. (2012): The New Demographic growth of Cities: The Case of Reurbanisation in Switzerland Urban Studies 49(5): 1107–1125.

  • RINK D. HAASE A. BERNT M. ARNDT T. LUDWIG J. (2011): Urban shrinkage in Leipzig Germany: Research report EU 7 FP Project Shrink Smart Working Paper WP2. UFZ-Bericht Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung [online]. [cit. 28.3.2015]. Available at:

  • RUMPEL P. SLACH O. (2012): Je Ostrava „smršťujícím se městem“? Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review 48(5): 859–878.

  • SEO J. K. (2002): Re-urbanisation in Regenerated Areas of Manchester and Glasgow New Residents and Problems of Sustainability Cities 19(2): 113–121.

  • SJÖBERG Ö. TAMMARU T. (1999): Transitional Statistics: Internal Migration and Urban Growth in Post-Soviet Estonia. Europe-Asia Studies 51(5): 821–842.

  • SMITH N. (1996): The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the revanchist city. Routledge New York.

  • STEINFÜHRER A. BIERZYŃSKI A. GROSSMANN K. HAASE A. KABISH S. KLUSÁČEK P. (2010): Population decline in Polish and Czech cities during post-socialism? Looking behind the official statistics Urban Studies 47(11): 2325–2346.

  • SÝKORA L. (2005): Gentrification in post-communist cities. In: Atkinson R. Bridge G. (eds.): Gentrification in a Global Context (pp. 91–105). London Routledge.

  • SZABÓ T. SZABÓ B. KOVÁCS Z. (2014): Polycentric urban development in post-socialist context: the case of the Budapest Metropolitan Region. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin 63(3): 287–301.

  • SZELÉNYI I. (1984): Cities and the problem of the transition: introduction and rejoinder. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 8(1): 1–12.

  • ŠIMON M. (2011): Kontraurbanizace: chaotický koncept? Geografie 116(3): 231–255.

  • ŠIMON M. (2014): Exploring Counterurbanisation in a Post-Socialist Context: Case of the Czech Republic. Sociologia Ruralis 54(2): 117–142.

  • ŠIMON M. MIKEŠOVÁ R. (2014): Population Development and Policy in Shrinking Regions: the Case of Central Europe. Prague: Institute of Sociology Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

  • ŠIMON M. OUŘEDNÍČEK M. (2010): Migrace na venkov a kontraurbanizace: Přehled konceptů a diskuze jejich relevance pro výzkum v Česku. In: Geografie pro život ve 21. století (pp. 738–743). Ostrava.

  • ŠOLKS G. (2010): Reurbanizácijus processi Rígá. Processes of reurbanization in Ríga. Latvias univerzsitátes Raksti Zemes un Vides zinátnes (pp. 156–163).

  • ŠPAČKOVÁ P. OUŘEDNÍČEK M. (2012): Spinning the Web: New Social Contacts of Prague's Suburbanites. Cities 29(5): 341–349.

  • TALLON A. R. BROMLEY R. D. F. (2004): Exploring the attractions of city centre living: Evidence and policy implications in British cities. Geoforum 35(6): 771–787.

  • TEMELOVÁ J. NOVÁK J. OUŘEDNÍČEK M. PULDOVÁ P. (2011): Housing Estates after Socialism: Various Trajectories and Inner Differentiation. Urban Studies 48(9): 1811–1834.

  • TODOROVIC J. WELLINGTON S. (2000): Living in Urban England: Attitudes and Aspirations. London Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions.

  • TUROK I. MYKHNENKO V. (2007): The trajectories of European cities 1960–2005. Cities 24(3): 165–182.

  • URBED MORI SOCIAL RESEARCH & THE UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL (1999): But Would You Live There? Shaping Attitudes to Urban Living. London HMSO.

  • VAN DEN BERG L. DREWET R. KLAASEN L. H. ROSSI A. VIJVERBERG C. H. T. (1982): A Study of Growth and Decline. Urban Europe Vol. 1. Oxford Pergamon Press.

  • WATTERS I. (2004): Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family? London Bloomsbury.

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1,870
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1,858

CiteScore 2018: 2.07

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.445
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.877

Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 421 289 18
PDF Downloads 206 141 5