Steel Cities

Steel Cities – the Architecture of Logistics in Central and Eastern Europe. How fast and where are the new logistic parks and distribution centres rising which are needed for large companies and the growing sector of online shopping? The Czech Centre Berlin holds a discussion on the fast-growing logistic industry and its hugely problematic effects on the built environment, landscapes, societies, and individuals on March 24, 2021, 17:00 via live stream on Facebook and Youtube.

The publication Steel Cities (edited by Kateřina Frejlachová, Miroslav Pazdera, Tadeáš Říha and Martin Špičák, Prague 2020) deals with the problems of the fast-growing logistics industry in Central and Eastern Europe from different point of views: urbanism, architecture, ecology and working/living conditions: The simplest possible architecture rigs up and wraps a complex of trivial processes of logistics. During the past three years the total area of warehouses in the Czech Republic has doubled. A combination of cheap labour, central location and a boom in online shopping is an ideal precondition for the current explosion of logistics parks. In relation to the GDP the Czech Republic has almost twice as many of them as Poland, and three times more than Hungary and Slovakia.

Logistic parks are often built in island-like locations

However, if we are talking about warehouses growing, it is not to say that the cities grow with them. Often, what matters is the distance to the western border rather than the questionable purchasing power of the closest Czech city. For many distribution centres of large companies it is for the most part irrelevant if they are located near Pilsen, Prague or Ostrava. The logistic parks are often built in remote, island-like locations, with no access to public transport and amenities. Thousands of people from all around Czechia as well as from Romania or Ukraine not only work but sometimes also live in such places; in the middle of nowhere, next to the motorway, yet without a car. The logistics landscapes, which we only see as we pass by them on the road, are ‘inhabited’.

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Discussion on logistic industries as Steel Cities

Anh-Linh Ngo, editor of the German architectural magazine ARCH+ will hold the discussion with authors of the book Steel Cities, Miroslav Pazdera and Tadeáš Říha.

  • March 24, 2021, 17:00 (CET)
  • The lecture and discussion will be in English.
  • Follow the live stream on the Facebook page and Youtube channel of the Czech Centre Berlin.

Read an article from the authors of the book Steel Cities about the Corridor 8, the Czech part of the motorway between Prague and the German city of Dresden, in topos 114 on fringes.