How are we going to sing some new songs because of gentrification

If you are nostalgic, remember your grandmothers and grandfathers who said that “Belgrade will never be the same now that they have built buildings in New Belgrade where people sit on each other’s heads in blocks.”

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how the gentrification of Belgrade around the Sava River (and in the future, around the Danube) will affect the spirit of the city. When the mayor announced that Sava Square would become a “new city center”, some said: “It is not my center and it will never be!”. Others say: “This is no longer my Belgrade!” But it is forgotten that they are cities living organisms and not to live from nostalgia.

For ten or more years, the true center of creativity and nightlife of Belgrade has moved to the Sava, Savamala and the BIGZ building. It is logical for hotels and banks to move in (besides BIGZ), and then for large capital to smell the potentials of the river. Especially when the coast is untidy. Many worry that this will change the “spirit of the city”, and that the new Belgrade that is emerging will not be the same as the old one. Well, they won’t.

Many worry that this will change the “spirit of the city”, and that the new Belgrade that is emerging will not be the same as the old one. Well, they won’t.

But Belgrade is not alone here. Similar questions were asked about the gentrification of other cities. The citizens of Novi Sad, although they complained about the disorder and “hipster chaos” of the so-called Chinatown along the Danube, now fear what the “washed” version of this district, once occupied by creatives of all kinds, will look like. That has already happened in, say, Bilbao and Manchester, or in Barcelona before the 1992 Olympics.

New buildings in Bilbao on the site of failed factories; Photo: Wikimedia

Bilbao: From Eta to a tourist destination

Bilbao went through a similar hell: in the 70s and 80s everything went wrong: it appeared AND, little by little a bomb exploded in the post-industrial part of the city, but also in the center, kidnappings took place, shipyards and ports and factories around the river collapsed, crime grew: people fought in the streets, unemployment was high, drugs, weapons, prostitution, gangs and terrorists made Bilbao like some big ghetto, with the addition of polluted air: it was the most polluted city in Spain.

Spain and the Basque Country have decided that this is the end of it evicted failed factories from the Nervion River which flows through the whole city, built all kinds of buildings on the banks of the river and suddenly Bilbao has become a “super fancy” city that is perfectly safe and everyone wants to go to Bilbao! They say that this is the most spectacular renovation of the city center in Europe. A beautiful tram that runs silently on grassy rails… Grassy? The rails are hidden in the grass, skillfully trimmed.

This effect is called the “Guggenheim effect”, and it has been going on for 24 years, inspiring other cities to follow the same path.

The most impressive building is the Guggenheim Museum, built by Frank Gehry, which made the rivers of tourists head to Bilbao and make the former “port, bandit” city suddenly “rebranded” as an art city and one of the best for living in Spain. New jobs have been created. This effect is called the “Guggenheim effect”, and it has been going on for 24 years, inspiring other cities to follow the same path, he says in his analysis.Bilbao and applicable lessons to other citiesDr alona martines-peres, a professor of architecture at Plymouth University, adds, naming the effect differently: “This effect, now known as the ‘Bilbao effect’, immediately became a success story because all cities in the world wanted to replicate this type of intervention in brownfield industrial sites.” The city’s strategy was to carry out large-scale urban interventions with architectural stars and iconic buildings, while removing and demolishing the existing industrial heritage left in those locations. “

Of course, it was all “Copied” from Barcelona, which became a “fashionable” world destination in the 1980s from a semi-ruined metropolis: Maria Dolors Garcia-Ramon of the University of Barcelona wrote in 2000 that Barcelona had become a “template” for 10 cities in the UK that hired architects to do the same.

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry, has long been included in architecture textbooks; Photo: Wikimedia

Manchester: From Rave to Oasis

Manchester is one such story. Which did not pass without bitter struggles, which continue today. “Numerous cotton factories have been turned into ‘smart buildings,'” he says Tanja Aldred in Intelligent Life, 2011. Along the Mercy River that flows through the city, and which comes from rival Liverpool, factories and guards have been replaced by shiny buildings and paved promenades.

During the 80’s, Manchester looked like like Majdanpek with the river. Poverty and industrial grayness were sung by bands like Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths i The Fall, each in his own way. But no one was happy. This is where, due to its grayness, poverty, crime and rain, Haçienda was born, the legendary place where rave and “Madchester” were born in Europe – a movement that inspired Europe. Probisveti as Happy Mondays or just a little smoother The Stone Roses they ruled the scene, and then came a group of angry street people from the suburbs who made great melodies and gave small social pictures “on a spoon” to the rest of Britain and the world – Oasis.

The music of that time was a reflection of the then Manchester. Now, there is no such Manchester anymore, except in some parts of the city. Some wonder, how did Happy Mondays and Oasis once come from this city, and today ironed Hurts in suits, or peppers The Ting Tings, who are the most famous performers from this city? Well, they sing about Manchester they know. And he is gentrified.

New Manchester – new kids; Photo: Aswin Mahesh on Unsplash

Some new kids will sing new songs

It will happen with Belgrade as well, it happened with the Bronx, it will happen with Novi Sad. There will be no new Happy Mondays from Manchester. Maybe from some uncentrified, dilapidated environment “left behind”, as British politicians gently say. Savamala and BIGZ will be different, as will Chinatown. Something new will come down. Some new kids will sing new songs, in keeping with the city they grew up in and saw.

There will no longer be Wenders’ “Sky over Berlin”, because there is no longer that Berlin with so much empty space and abandoned houses. There is no Wall. No new Lou Reed will sing Wall-inspired songs anymore. He won’t David Bowie, Nick Cave ili Depeche Mode to come here to be inspired by a city that is half-ruined and surrounded by a wall. He’s great now, hipster, shiny. It comes from him Alice Merton.

One new Berlin; Photo: Wikimedia

There will no longer be Wenders’ “Sky over Berlin”, because there is no longer that Berlin with so much empty space and abandoned houses.

If you are nostalgic, remember your grandmothers and grandfathers who said that “Belgrade will never be the same now that they have built buildings in New Belgrade where people sit on each other’s heads in blocks.” Or in Limani, for the people of Novi Sad. The spirits of the cities are changing. We are on an exciting journey, for which we do not know where it will end.

When you are already here…


Source: Gradnja by www.gradnja.rs.

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