Klaipėda’s urban development from 1945 to 1990
Number of pages: 384
Dimensions: 210 mm x 270 mm
Publisher: VšĮ Vario burnos
Klaipėda’s urban development from 1945 to 1990 has almost no meaningful connection to the earlier time period as far as conditions and means of implementation. Industrial enterprises, land, and other economic resources were nationalized. The entire initiative for urban development was in the hands of government institutions. The most important decisions, having the biggest influence on the city’s expansion and redevelopment, were not made at the lower levels of the chain of command in Klaipėda or Vilnius, but at the highest levels of governmental organs in Moscow. The local government had very little influence on these decisions, especially during the first decades after the war. Massive resources in the 50s and 60s were thrown into the fishing industry, enterprises related to building and maintaining the fishing fleet, and into the industrial expansion of fishing depots, oil depots and coal processing plants. For this reason, Klaipėda became not only a strong industrial center, but also a meaningful port for export services, and an important intermediate point in the Western-Eastern European axis of communication. During the 1960s, the local and republic governments tried to take the initiative into their own hands. Attempting to slow down the growth of local demand and the expansion of industry that ignored capacities, Klaipėda’s growth began to be intentionally limited. For this reason, the postulated model of city expansion at that time, and its most important elements – the linear structural plan and the territorial development to the south – were not fully realized. Nevertheless, the fundamental forces behind the city’s development had been put into effect earlier, so the Lithuanian architects planning Klaipėda faced their greatest challenge in adapting to the environment created by these forces. They had to make planning decisions that took into account the consequences of the establishment of complexes such as the Baltija shipyard, the oil depot, the Western boat repair enterprise and the USSR-GDR international ferry terminal. The systematic creation of a humanized environment only became possible in the 60s and 70s with the founding of professional organizations in Klaipėda that could offer urban development plans that paid attention to local facts and conditions. They were the response to Klaipėda’s earlier development that had been based on a schematic and standardized arsenal of decisions.