Restitution of private property in pre-war buildings and revalorization of urban space in Warsaw: mechanisms and effects

Date: 2014-07-10 - 2017-08-09

Supervisor: Magdalena Górczyńska

Contractors: Beata Zielińska, Magdalena Górczyńska

Orderer institution: Narodowe Centrum Nauki
No.: 2013/11/D/HS4/03899

(project SONATA)

The main aim of the research is to explain the importance of pre-war buildings in the process of revalorization of urban space and in the processes of transformation of the socio-spatial structure in Warsaw. The second objective of this study is to provide the knowledge about the mechanisms of social and spatial changes related to the prewar buildings. The term ‘pre-war buildings’ used in the project refers to buildings constructed de facto until 1944 (according to the age categories of buildings adopted by the Central Statistical Office), which in 1945 were communalized by the Decree on Ownership and Use of Land within the Capital City of Warsaw (26 October 1945, Journal of Laws No. 50, item. 279), and today are the subject of re-privatization as a result of claims of former owners or their successors. Due to the overlapping processes of privatization of municipal dwellings on the one hand, and those of changes in the ownership of the buildings on the other, the contemporary ownership structure and the structure of residence in the pre-war buildings take very complicated forms.

According to the main hypothesis made in this project, the phenomena of restitution of the private property of pre-war buildings impacts the revalorization of both the urban space and social structure. In this project, the term ‘revalorization’ concerns both the urban space and the social structure which undergo important changes, being a consequence of inflow of new inhabitants or replacement of former ones. The process of refurbishment of the pre-war buildings by their ‘new’ private owners, contributes to the restitution of their quality and to an increase of their value. These in turn may contribute to the process of displacement of their previous inhabitants (tenants), which are being replaced by middle and upper social categories. This process is characterized by different dynamics catalyzed by different set of factors. In this project, the role of the two factors will be investigated: localization in the specific part of the city, as well as the level of differentiation of the ownership structure of dwellings in the pre-war buildings.




  • Bouloc Caroline, Górczyńska Magdalena: Habitat d’avant-guerre et position sociale à Varsovie. [w]: Les espaces du logement. Pratiques habitantes et politiques publiques. Dir. Laurent Cailly, Fracoise Dureau. Paris: l’Harmattan, 2016 - s. 251-263 (Habitat et Sociétés)

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