Forgetting the City: Tactics of Transformation of the City in Motion

Minas Bakalchev1, *, Violeta Bakalchev2, Saša Tasić1
1 Ss. Cyril and Methodius, University, Faculty of Architecture, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
2 UACS Faculty of Architecture and Design, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

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© Bakalchev et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the “Ss.Cyril and Methodius” University, Faculty of Architecture, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia; Tel: +389 (2) 3164 - 974; E-mail:


We conceive the city not only as a material creation but also as a collective memory created in time and through time. While the material aspect is susceptible to continuous changes, the conceptual aspect is the one that permanently reconstructs the image of the city. But, what if the physical transformations of the city become too large, too deviant? What if the collective memory cannot reconstruct the images of the city in that continuously metastable context? What if the city loses its memory, what if it loses the ability for creating a new memory, partial or total inability to recall recent memory. Using the recent history of Skopje as an example, the dramatic history of forgetting the city will be presented. The entire twentieth century was marked by a series of innovative attempts toward reformulation of the city. The result of a century of modernization is a city composed from different cities, different sections, scales, figures these are the different traces of ideas about the city, witnessing a continuous forgetting of the city. Can forgetting be the model of perception and transformation of the city? Can forgetting as an expression of destruction become a model of reconstruction of the city? Can forgetting bring reading the city again? The subject of the present paper IS the forgotten urban pockets and the possible tactics of transformation. In absence of master procedures, through a series of everyday tactics, we shall explore the possibilities of forgetting as a motion toward essential images of space.

Keywords: Collective memory, Forgetting, Housing pocket, Tactics, Urban fragment, Urban transformations.