Lilia Voronkova, Oleg Pachenkov: Urban Activism in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Strategies and Practices

Urban Activism in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Strategies and Practices

Ed.: Tsypylma Darieva / Carola S. Neugebauer



Over recent decades, there has been a rise in the number of grassroots initiatives in urban spaces across Eastern Europe and Eurasia. A variety of groups and individuals are claiming the city space and its development and finding their own ways to initiate urban change. This book examines central questions about these activities. What are its main features in contem­porary post-Soviet cities? What are the strategies and practices of an urban civic engagement that evolves both on a micro level and through larger-scale processes?


Oleg Pachenkov and Lilia Voronkova based their article on both – research[1]and insider experiences as consultants for activist groups – and  describe the new mode of urban activism for the case of St. Petersburg. A new urban activism, as they call it, has emerged in big Russian cities. It is marked by projects of productive Do-it-Yourself urbanism, by flexible and project-oriented cooperation and ‘strategic’ thinking (Do-it-with-Others urbanism), by horizontal (nonhierarchical) forms of self-organization.


[1]This text is partly based on the results of two research projects realized in 2016 – 2018: a study funded by Russian RSSF according to the research project № 16-03-00508 «Quality of Urban Space: Vectors of Civil Initiative Groups Development in Russia and Germany», and a research project “Claiming the public space” funded by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.