The subject discussed in this paper is the evolution of the ideas of organic development in urban planning, focused on the waterfront areas. The paper also aims to analyze and interpret current trends in urban water waterfront planning, which are infl uenced by the contemporary ideas related to environmental issues, landscape planning, new technologies in the fi eld of building design and civil- and hydroengineering or application of the renewable energy sources.
In the paper author discusses problems related to the leading role of architectural structures, as a part of the creating process within contemporary urban space. Architectural objects establish a continuous dialogue not only with their surrounding space, but also between each other. In this relation, the first plan comes with two factors, determining all spatial and functional solutions: the place in which a given project is localized and the time in which the urban designer came to the architect to create his plan. Based on the analysis of own projects and urban and architectural realizations, the author proves that the architectural dialogue in urban space must be respected in the context of the place and the time, but also in the creators moral responsibility. This responsibility is defined by consequences of design decisions not only for the urban space itself, but above all, for people and their coexistence with the space. For designers it reveals a necessity to comply principles of ethics and professing the value system in order to taking care of the urban space not only three-dimensional, but also “existential”.
The basic resource of urban planning is space, which as a result of transformation has a direct impact on socio-economic development and quality of life. The author’s purpose was to define planning solutions for urban spatial policy, which can raise the quality of living, especially in the residential environment. In connection with the above, the literature of the subject was analysed and examples of good spatial policy and urban development in the living environment were shown. Particular attention was paid to the planning solutions in Paris and Vienna, as well as to the examples of the new living environment creation in some Scandinavian cities.
In the era of transition to a low-carbon economy, optimal use of the developmental resources within urban regions expresses the need to limit suburbanization and increase the energy efficiency. Solutions are sought as an alternative for the suburban housing estates embodying the image high-quality life in the American Dream style. Aspects of the urban innovation, serving the public sector as a tool for improvement of the quality in residential environment, are considered in the article. Selected examples (mainly German) are described with reference to 1) the changes in the standards of housing development, 2) large-scale renewal programs for residential areas, 3) development and dissemination of urban design (the technique). The interaction between scientific research and the implementation sphere, remaining in the hands of local governments, is important here. Synergy, at a local level, is of key importance in at least four aspects in urban development: 1) solving complex, atypical problems, 2) the public sector being a strong (independent) partner, 3) adaptation of foreign concepts, from other planning systems/cultures and morphologically different urban structures, 4) strengthening the position in relations with the EU.
Transport and Space in Socio-Economic Life. This paper deals with key issues arising when transport is confronted with chaotic socio-economic environments. Nowadays especially urbanised areas are facing some crucial issues concerning urban planning under conditions of spatial chaos. Transport, having an important role in connecting the space of social and economic life, is a mean to reduce spatial chaos but is also subjected to the impacts chaotic socio-economic forces have. Within this research the interrelation between transport and disordered environment in which transport has to operate is addressed in regard to: transport infrastructure investment planning, traffic congestion management, transport accessibility, accidents and transport safety and impact of transport on the environment. It is the expected role of transport system to reduce chaos, especially in urban areas. But to what degree transport is actually fulfilling this task? In fact in many places badly organized transport might add to the problem instead of solving it. The effect the chaotic spatial organisation has on transport accessibility influences daily economic and social activity of people. Specifically there are numerous cost drivers activated by chaotic transport development resulting mainly in higher costs of moving people and goods, negative impact on value of time in transport processes, direct costs involved like more intensive fuel and material consumption or heightened depreciation of vehicles. Transport could be also perceived as a source of many significant external effects for society and environment, which entails valid environmental costs. The list of transport external effects is relatively long. This is due to the fact that transport is also one of the most important sectors of the modern industrialized economy and modern society. Poorly planned transport system adds to the already chaotic socio-economic setup. This is especially visible in cities where different layers of chaos can interfere and create dangerous synergies. Due to the lack of adequate space management, and this is the case in the discussed spatial chaos, environmental and social externalities are growing, which leads to higher social costs, which every citizen pays for in the final bill. On the other hand well planned transport system should help to curb chaotic socio-economic environment. Thus the key problem analysed in this paper is whether and how transport system could be an ordering force planned and enforced in effective way in order to reduce chaos created by other activities or rather an additional negative effect within the whole spectrum of chaos drivers.
The article describes the idea of a compact city, due to the needs and capabilities of contemporary Polish cities, with an emphasis on the Silesia region. Special attention has been paid to the possibility of increasing the cities’ density and several examples have been shown to present the possibilities of densifying the cities with new housing investments. Also, the article presents the studies that indicate the capacity for the internal development of selected Silesian cities: Katowice and Gliwice. The article ends with the recommendations for cities to become more compact.
State Urban Policy – concept, Institutional scope and structure in integrative management of the development. The management of space, as a common good, closely linked with economic and social development in Poland – meets a number of barriers. One of the major barriers is flawed and inefficient system of spatial planning and the lack of explicit national urban policy. The causes of this situation are manifold and complex. There is a week understanding that spatial planning has regulatory function and that is a main measure of intervention in inefficient – by its nature – market mechanism of real estate development and location of new construction objects. The existing in Poland since 2015 formal document under the title “National City Policy” is in fact the part of cohesion policy. It formulates only very soft policy recommendations concerning spatial development which are identified in different cities and their functional areas, whereas financial measures go separately through sectoral programs. In the article author consider the future place of national urban policy in integrative system of development policy which combine economic, social and build environmental dimensions. Than he analyzes the relationship between national spatial policy and the urban polices at the national and local level. Finally he presents some general conclusions and recommendations. According to the author, because of complexity of the issues and challenges, the detailed formulation of state urban policies and its implementation must lie within the competence of a strong governmental institution (responsible for research, monitoring and evaluation, elaboration of visions and scenarios in a broad global context). The primary partner in the state urban policy, co-responsible for its success, should be adequately, provincial and local governments. Through the cooperation of state and territorial authorities, is the most strongly manifested multilevel model of “public governance”. The special role belongs to the local authorities due to their assigned competence in creation of local by law in respect of land use and building allocation. Efficient urban policy must have two dimensions; horizontal and territorial. Horizontal domain should belong to the state (national planning, passing the law, systemic intervention, etc.). Territorial dimension should belong first of all to local urban policies but formulated and implemented within the framework and measures defined by national spatial policy and operational state urban policies.
The starting point of the study on the problems, dilemmas and hopes for effective implementation of revitalization projects in Polish cities was the conviction that revitalization is one of the processes affecting the development and changes in the spatial and functional fabric of cities. Revitalization is defined as a deliberate and purposeful process, the effect of which is to restore life in the dysfunctional and degraded parts of cities. Taking up such a topic required an answer to the question about the nature of revitalization and its aspects. The focus of the study was on the problems of revitalization that stem from the legal and socio-economic situation and the dilemmas faced by local government authorities of Polish cities. The introduction to these considerations is the brief outline of the revitalization of Polish cities in the period after World War II, while the conclusion deals with the fears and hopes related to revitalization activities that are presently initiated. The discussion takes into account the existing, critically assessed, legal regulations on revitalization.
The article presents basic changes introduced in the first edition of the governmental Urban Planning and Building Code. The changes regard spatial development, especially planning and permit documents, and competences of the governmental bodies in accepting, legislating and issuing such documents. In this respect, the article points out important regulations for the mining industry, in particular for deposit protection and the initiation of mining projects. In certain cases, critical opinions of some of the governmental institutions are mentioned. In a new document regarding the “Spatial Development Study of a Community”, the draft of the Code orders a division of the community into functional zones. Therefore a mining and extractive industry could be delimited as a functional zone. The Code also specifies that while delimiting a new urbanization area, the documented mining deposits areas should be avoided. In relation to the local spatial plan, the Code establishes the following: in documented strategic mining deposit zones the initiation of non-public purpose investments can only be carried out according to the urban spatial plan. This project also orders that only the local spatial plan can allow for the localization of “establishments that carry a risk of serious industrial breakdown” and “investments that can seriously impact the environment”. The Code also introduces another innovation: the possibility of issuing the local spatial plan with an integrated evaluation on the environmental impact. The “investment permits” are intended to replace both the previous building permits and previous decisions on the conditions of development of the areas not covered in the local spatial plans. The investment permits referring to mining establishments will be issued by the mining administration authorities. The main adverse change for mining is that the exploration of mining deposits owned by the State Treasury loses its previous status of public purposes. The article also indicates that some of the described regulations might be changed during the further legislation process.
The article presents how multi-layered urban lighting projects fit into the programs of integrated activities to improve the living conditions of the local community, the surrounding space, and its economic relations. The role of the electric lighting in revealing the night image of the city, its promotion and public spaces transformations offering new impressions to city residents is growing thanks to the use of the SSL technology. The authors focus on a role of outdoor lighting projects in urban regeneration within the selected urban areas. The paper describes how conscious shaping of lighting by analysing the goals and stages of the project can contribute to the improvement of quality in the processes of renewal of degraded urban areas.
The aim of the article is to present the problem of revitalization of marketplaces in the context of the challenges they face in contemporary socio-economic conditions. This issue was developed based on desk research and inquiry conducted on a representative marketplace in Gdańsk Oliwa. They served to formulate guidelines for the implementation project aimed at improving the image and economic condition of traditional marketplaces in Poland. Despite significant importance for the local economy, traditional marketplaces are not able to compete with shopping malls and shopping centers, as a result of which they become unsustainable. The ongoing degradation of marketplace areas reduce their attractiveness and role they play in public spaces network. The authors of the project recognize that the solution to the issue of marginalization of traditional marketplaces is to strengthen their image in both physical and media realms. One of the proposed solutions is institutional support for marketplaces by non-governmental organizations involved in the revitalization and aestheticisation of urban areas.
The article attempts a comparison of two harbor districts, in Gdansk and in Hamburg. In 2013, a multiannual program - IBA Hamburg (International Building Exhibition) - was completed. The IBA, initiated with the a concept of the Leap over the Elbe River, part of the Growing City development agenda, addressed the problem of restructuring the port-nearby zones in Harburg and Wilhelmsburg, which have been recognised as areas of high potential in metropolitan development. The concept of metrozones (intra-peripheries or intra border zones), similarly to the term in-between City (German: Zwischenstadt), describes the current problems associated with the strive for creation of an original, but efficient and compact European city. Restructuring of the harbor districts enables new development of the urbanized, but never planned as urban space, areas. Shaped in accordance with the technological capabilities and with the regulation standards and norms of the second half of the 20th century, nowadays the areas form the resultative landscape, burdened with the image of an unfriendly or even dangerous zones. In the era of high technology, metrozones are becoming valuable intra-city developmental areas, opened to alternative urban programs, avoiding the homogenising global trends. In connection with the above, the article describes the situation of the area organized around Nowy Port in Gdansk.
The article undertakes quastion of urban design in a context of urban sprawl linking it to the German debate on suburbanisation, conducted under the slogan of Zwischenstadt – a concept created by Th. Sieverts in 1997. The Ladenburger Kolleg „Zwischenstadt” (LKZ) developed 2002-2006 the interdisciplinary research titled: „Amidst the Edge: Zwischenstadt – towards the qualification of the urbanised landscape” The spatial effects of the dispersion processes were considered to be the manifestation of the creation of a new model of the city. The traditional image of urbanism does not fit its logic. Zwischenstadt (in-beetwen-city) recognized as a phase of the urbanization process, uncoordinated by any imposed urban vision, requires a innovative urban design leitmotives. This new planning tool is necessary to obtain the parameters needed to strengthen internal socio-economic development capabilities. The concept of the efficiency of urban design covered the issue of the character of a city›s image. The morphological studies on a megalopolis structure by Frankfurt a. Main, made a creative use of the Lynch research on the image of the city. Their main goal was to understand the characteristics of the dispersion meant as an urbanized landscape and to determine its susceptibility to the process of improving spatial quality – recognition of the endogenous potentials of generating a Zwischenstadt image.
The aim of the presented work is to prove that construction of large sports facilities in the urban space, can generate positive changes and revitalization of degraded areas. On the basis of comparative analysis of cases in which such activities took place, it can be concluded that locating these facilities in heavily degraded urban areas is one of the most eff ective methods of large-scale revitalization. This is mainly visible in post-industrial areas, which are usually well linked to canals, rivers and other waterways or reservoirs. The vast spaces around sports facilities create favorable conditions for additional recreational functions, such as parks and green areas, which in connection with water become a very attractive place for the residents of the city. Increasing interest in the area leads to new investments such as housing estates and gradual development of a multi-functional urban structure. One of the most important factors leading to this type of transformation is the modernization of the communication infrastructure which enables connection between revitalized areas and the rest of the city. A well-planned program of newly emerging sports facilities is also an extremely important factor. As research shows, large multifunctional sports and entertainment facilities, can function as a new kind of public space in the city. This leads not only to the establishment of completely new social relations, but also to the creation of jobs and the general improvement of the broadly understood image of the district.
The book focuses on the issue of nature protection in urban areas. The subject matter of the research was the formal and legal conditions of protected areas in cities. The analysis regarded Polish and global solutions in the scope of the nature protection categories in urban areas, objectives of creating urban protected areas and instruments for fulfi lling the aims of protection in the spatial aspect. The research on globally applied solutions in the scope of nature protection was based on the analysis of source literature and legal acts on nature conservation in cities situated in various countries. As a result, four major types of urban protected areas were distinguished in 80 different cities. The research enabled formulating major characteristics of urban protected areas. Those were, in particular: the integrated approach to the protection of natural and cultural resources and equal treatment of the natural and social objectives of protection. This was the basis for a critical analysis of domestic solutions in the subject matter. The research on formal and legal conditions for the functioning of protected areas in Polish cities was conducted in the administrative borders of voivodeship capitals. The research included 18 cities in total. The analysis concerned basic documents related to the widely understood management of protected areas, including, in particular: legal acts establishing individual protected areas and protected areas management plans, as well as the studies of conditions and directions for the spatial development of communes and local spatial development plans. The research work regarded spatial forms of nature protection, including: national parks, natural reserves, regional parks, protected landscape areas, Natura 2000 areas, ecological sites, documentation sites and nature-landscape complexes. The research included 229 protected areas in total. For the abovementioned protected areas, the following aspects were analyzed: subject matter and objectives of their protection, premises for creating their functional and spatial infrastructure and methods for their development, as well as the scope of provisions in urban spatial planning documents in the abovementioned respect. The research enabled identifying the key problems in the functioning of protected areas in Polish cities, including: • small stability of regulations on nature protection and consequential lack of continuity in the protection of naturally valuable areas, • noticeable tendency to loosen the regulations in the subjected scope, which leads to marginalizing the issues of nature protection while planning urban development. • no coordination of actions performed by various stakeholders in regard to the protected areas, • failure to adjust nature protection objectives to conditions resulting from the location in urban areas, • lack of efficient tools to fulfi ll the nature protection objectives in the spatial aspect. Based on the identifi ed models of environmental protection in urban areas, premises were formulated with regard to the new model for environmental protection in Polish cities. Three scenarios were proposed with regard to potential changes: modification-oriented, reorganization-oriented and radical. The modification-oriented scenario includes: • adding the social aspect to the objectives of nature protection in cities, • extending the scope of the nature conservation act of new nature protection categories appropriate for urban areas, • increasing the importance of the study of conditions and directions for the spatial development and protection plans with regard to the planning permission. Reorganization-oriented scenario provides for: • verifying the objectives of nature protection, • introducing the obligation to prepare management plans for all protected areas in cities, • introducing the obligation to update and prepare development plans for areas were nature conservation areas were established. The radical scenario includes: • introducing new categories of nature protection in urban areas, including categories that ensure preserving and shaping the connectivity of protected area, • exposing ecosystem services as the major motif of nature protection in cities, • introducing new instruments for managing protected areas in cities. Applying one of the abovementioned scenarios may signifi cantly improve the efficiency of natural protection in cities. It may also contribute to introducing a more innovative model for urban nature protection. Each scenarios will entail the implementation of quite significant legislative changes, either in the scope of nature protection and spatial planning.
This article reflects on the results the use and eff ectiveness of design coding as urban design / development tool, focusing on the roles of and the relationships between the different actors playing parts in the in the design coding process: the administration, the investors, the designers, the politics and the community. It reveals the gap in professional circles that impacts the development process, which, deepened by the continuous battle between the creative, the market-driven and the regulatory modes praxis. The article is polemical in that it points to the three main parties of this collective process, referring to is as the creative, market and regulatory tyranny. The author proposes that design coding, if used correctly, could be an effective tool regulating the essentials of urbanism, leaving room for creativity and enhanced market value. Design coding as such results in improvement of the quality of both urbans space and housing architecture.
The article refers to the urban sprawl in Poland. Its objectives are: (1) analysis of relations between negative eff ects, (2) presentation negative effects on transport and energy consumption and on spatial order, (3) analysis of ways of counteracting negative processes including conditions (especially restrictions) on the use of this ways and their effectiveness. The methods used were: observation, literature analysis and logical analysis. Driving forces are heading towards further suburbanization, stopping of which is considered impossible. Orientation of the processes more closely to spatial order is very difficult. There are proper and legal solutions for this, but there are barriers to their use, such as: the lack of awareness and motivation of local authorities and the political conditions that discourage more restrictive regulation.
Kadıköy is a central district of Istanbul and a public transportation hub located on the shores of the Marmara Sea. It has been highly affected by recent developments in Istanbul. The triggers of change in Kadıköy are both planned (developments in transportation facilities and redevelopment of old buildings) and unplanned (i.e. proliferating cafes, bars, and cultural facilities). It is also affected by metropolitan scale dynamics (changes in Beyoğlu, the culture and entertainment center of Istanbul). These changes in Kadıköy have inevitable eff ects on the inhabitants and users. This article discusses the positive and negative aspects of both planned and unplanned development on public life and spaces in Kadıköy. Vitality of public spaces seems increased. The main changes are increasing population and building densities, changes in public space usage, and a proliferation of cultural facilities led by recently opened theatre halls.
During studying and mathematical description of the trends of urbanized territories development as ecological and town-planning systems there were several vague similarities founded between its major parameters change periodicity and other physical values, having undulatory nature. Obtained counterparts had predetermined interest for search of fundamental basics of urbanization. It turned out that all laws of Nature has the same basis – power permanence rule. This law is known in philosophy as principle of «change of unchangeable», in ecology – as a law of ecosystem self-regulation, in accordance to which at conditions of insufficient occupancy of the territory the population amount growths, and at conditions of over-occupancy it decreases. According to research, also development attributable to the dynamics of urbanized territories is noticeable, in which all the four types of physical interactions are expressed to a certain degree. These and other results of research have allowed to articulate the main principles of ecological space «urban physics» content, which have proven to be coordinated with the postulates of new single field physics (Bishkek version). The above-mentioned have allowed to lay down the theoretical foundation for an occurrence of a new branch in the science of townplanning i.e. wave urbanistics, as a science of management by unduly processes of territories development in order to provide a conditions of their sustainable development.
City is a formal expression of social relations. It is a kind of ethos and dreams connected with history and identity of individuals. It is a structure with thousands of meanings. The opportunities it creates can lead to an outstanding civilization. At the same time it reveals all negative aspects of living. City is a collection of separate individuals combined with common perception of spatial affi liation and identity development. It is worth writing about city because despite its well-defi ned value it is an elusive being. In spite of being a kind of collective needs it is still on the move, transforms all the time reflecting human emotions. Existence of city as a phenomena itself is a symbol of realization of people’s most basic needs and the history of its development shows growing complication and diversification of expectations related to it. City along with is diversity reflects human beings of a particular time. It is a spotlight in which both successes and failures of communities and individuals in each epoch can be seen. Thanks to its interdisciplinary character it can be perceived as multidimensional place. It is a multifaceted organism with high hopes and unlimited opportunities. Differences in perception which are due to a number of its users results in a wide range of problems and expectations. Expectations of local communities and individuals of a whole city vary. As a result, what we call a city landscape must be very vague and differs depending on a particular field which is taken into consideration. The number of opportunities and city-related issues is infi nite. In the dissertation below, however, three factors are the crucial ones: structure, meaning and city phenomena as a landscape. Thanks to the interpretation of model and genius loci as well as defining social expectations we have managed to conceive the phenomena of spatial identity. We have decided on this method referring directly to the concept of landscape. City is in here widely defined between urban aspects of landscape and city landscape. We have tried to understand what city is in terms of landscape, where it comes from and where it goes to. It is a trial of translation the Gaugin’s method: where are we from? Who are we? Where are we going to? into the language of present perception of some particular aspects of town planning. We live at times of the unprecedented technological change which is followed by a social change. It all must have an impact on how city is perceived, what it looks like, how it is to live there and what it is going to be like – what the future has in store. We have tried to bring the reader’s attention to the problems and issues which had appeared before the advent of reality we live in. We have focused on what may have led to a kind of city crisis at the edge of 19th and 20th centuries and some radical solutions trying to overcome the arisen problems and its consequences today. Both its pompous character and sentimentalism of town planning and architecture in the early 20th century have made us be bored with form which is felt in many parts of the world even today. Another aspect of our work covers understanding city in social terms as well as contemporary and future solutions. We are of the opinion it is worth asking questions referring to the future and at the same time regarding its current state and recent past. It is commendable to look for particular tools and solutions. Three dimensions which are covered by the book are figurative. Structure – which is everything we perceive as a kind of a template, identifi cation – we assign to city. It is responsible for recognition, adaptation to some forms by which we defi ne space. Meaning is a step forward. While the structure’s equivalent is „I can see”, the meaning equals to „I know”. Meaning does not exist as a city without structure just like structure does not exist without meaning. Things don’t just exist, they have some characteristics and purpose and it refers to trees, buildings and all other urban elements constituting city in all steady and temporary aspects and time dimensions. Meaning is also interpretation and emotion regarding both community and individual. It is the answer to the question „why?” Some particular places and spaces are linked to some particular values which identify them. This system of values is a must to be able to interpret what space we are dealing with and its diagnosis. Meaning is very much about social aspect too. It has to do with perception and remembering city and it is connected with knowledge, tradition and culture of places. Another aspect linked to relations in city landscape combines other aspects and constitutes something to which city refers to. Phenomena is contribution and verifi cation. The way city works is fundamental to all city residents and users. A key to such understanding a city is the term of genius loci. By singling out objects, order, time, character and light we are able to widely identify essence of space and particular places. The graphic model by Panofsky acts here as a verifying tool. City landscape as a form is of great importance here. The sense of beauty is as essential as the way the city works. Social perception of city is not only shaped by the way it is used, but also by the fact what city is like and how it is perceived. Spatial order is an incredibly important factor understood here as everything what accommodates vaguely defi ned beauty and what is connected with its particular structure, history and identity. All these factors contribute to the value of city landscape. When it comes to city landscape studies social aspect is emphasized by the impact of humanities, especially sociology, which perfectly shows expectations related to space. Cities are built and seen in the context of particular tradition, culture and history. Their skyline and ways of functioning are embedded in mentalities of societies which they represent. Despite their diversity from the global point of view they are susceptible to similar trends resulting in crisis or prosperity periods. They are economic archetypes of success.
This paper examines the conservation master plan prepared for in Beyoglu, Istanbul’s Galata Persembe Bazaar waterfront and its Genoese and Ottoman port heritage. This paper initially contains an analytical perspective. This perspective informs the analyses of the evolution of planning process on the conservation of the port heritage. The results of relations between port heritage and conservation planning works have come up for discussion. Spatial interventions on the Persembe Bazaar waterfront began in the 1980s by removing industrial and commercial buildings in the area. These interventions, made in the framework of wiping away the Halic (Golden Horn) waterfront created pressure for urban regeneration in areas with historical and cultural heritage assets like Persembe Bazaar. Major projects such as Galataport and Halicport on the waterfronts of the Halic and the Bosphorus have increased this pressure. Huge functional transformations on the waterfront are desired along with the Persembe Bazaar Conservation Master Plan, which conforms neither to the content nor the context of general conservation principles or Turkey’s conservation legislation. Its content includes no interventions compatible with the theme of “living in harbour cities” and should thus be criticized. The conservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of historical port features, the preservation and development of the service sector and trade in the area requires adopting a holistic understanding of conservation and taking historical features into account. Such an important port heritage site should not be seen as having only touristic functions. It should emphasize more local features for their daily use of local residents and businesses.
The article discusses selected issues concerning both the activities and the contents of Strategy Cracow 2030 – An Ambitious Plan of the City Where Life Can Be Enjoyed. The author analyses how selected concepts well known in the local and regional development policy literature and practice such as territorial capital, second-tier city, integrated territorial planning and metropolisation are refl ected in the key development planning document of the second-largest Polish city. The strategy was adopted by the City Council in February 2018. The article focuses in particular on the applied work method, based on an advanced partnership and cooperation of key stakeholders, assumptions adopted in the strategy and axiology, identified challenges and development resources, and metropolitan city aspirations. The author also discusses selected issues regarding implementation system of the strategy.
The avant-garde is synonymous with the concept of New Art, the breakthrough in art which took place in the visual arts during the first decades of the 20th century in Russia and then in the USSR. Its representatives, determined by the changes brought about by new technical inventions, especially in the sphere of urbanization, were convinced, like the Italian futurists, that they would be at the foreground of social change, new perceptions and shaping of culture. They believed in the new society which would rend apart the class structure of previous ages when its place would be taken by dynamism and creativity in the service of utilitarian and egalitarian solutions. They believed in their mission, the Promethean idea of a new better world, when man- kind would be liberated from all subjection. This social mood was developing in the whole of Europe, but was particularly strong in Russian society in the last twenty years before World War I. In fact, one could say it was a prelude to the war. From this sequence of events came the conviction held by represen- tatives of New Art about their prophetic message of freedom. The actual reality, the advance of totalitarianism, was a bitter epilogue for the whole formation, for almost all the great artists of the avant-garde. Nevertheless, though rejected and often dying before their time, their works remained, suffused with enthusiasm for the new gravitation – belief in the greatness of mankind – in the new, universal idea.