The politics of scale in the EU trans-border revitalization projects
The case study of revitalization of the Neisse suburb on the Polish side of the German-Polish border town Goerlitz-Zgorzelec is used here in order to discuss the role of built environment in the process of Europeanization. Basing on this case study proposed paper identifies the phenomenon of “architecture of Europeanization”, which articulates the EU scalar regime on the urban scale. The first aspect of this phenomenon’s meaning is about the realization of the EU political and economic goals by spatial planning. It includes projects like bridges, roads, surveillance equipment, recreation zones etc., which in both social and spatial terms adjust trans-border relations and, thus adjust and reconfirm a specific scalar regime. In the second aspect, “architecture of Europeanization” is the built environment, which becomes the locus of scalar shifts and struggles emerging from the changing border regime. These scalar shifts and struggles materialize in place-specific trans-border uses of the built environment. This way “architecture of Europeanization” complicates or even challenges the existent scalar regime. This paper is based on the empirical material gathered as a result of qualitative interviews with actors involved in spatial planning and cultural trans-border cooperation projects crucial for the analysed area and of fieldwork conducted in Goerlitz-Zgorzelec (between 2007 and 2009).