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Durham and Chisinau: Urban Revitalization through Adaptive Re-Use of Industrial Structures

Durham’s recent revival of its downtown’s economic and social activity can be used as a model for other cities with similar post-industrial disinvestment.   Besides being relevant for analogous American cities, Durham’s redevelopment strategies are even more pertinent for post-Soviet cities that are still undergoing industrial downsizing and could learn to prevent further urban degeneration.

Click here to view the presentation where I discuss these issues.

Kseniya Benderskaya


  1. Very interesting topic. Its easy to see a similarity between post-Soviet run down factories in Chisinau and post-tobacco factories in Durham.

    Great job on the analysis of the steps Durham took to transform out of use factories into apartments and restaraunts.

    Good use of pictures throughout this presentation. They make the reader feel more aware of the current situations and great to use in showing transitions undergone in an area.

    Interesting to see all the changes undergone in post-Soviet states over the past few decades. Great job illustrating the changes.

    My only concern is length. 44 slides seems to be a lot for a 15 minute presentation. I would suggest trying to cut down the length a bit and remove some slides that are not as necessary as others.

    Otherwise great looking powerpoint and I look forward to the presentation on Wednesday.

  2. The concept of comparing Durham’s revitalization to post-Soviet regions is extremely interesting and something that never occurred to me. I think that is important to look internationally as well as domestically when catering local solutions, so this is a wonderful step.

    They do, however, seem to be very unique situations. As you mentioned, 90% of land in Chisinau is publicly owned, which make comparison difficult.

    Also, I think the development of some sort of quantifiable way to compare the two cities might be tremendously interesting.

    It seems as if you have put a great deal of thought and research into this, and I am looking forward to your presentation.

  3. I thought you made good use of pictures/maps to better explain the landscape of Chisinau, considering that the majority of the class probably knows very little about Eastern bloc cities in general. Also, 45 slides is a lot for a 15 minute presentation. It might be better to cut them down into talking points, and then elaborate on them orally. Regarding content, I thought it was very interesting. Obviously the benefits of renovating these buildings aren’t as lucrative for developers as they are in Durham. Is that a big reason for lag in redevelopment? Also, I found the lack of success for newer, higher cost developments to be interesting.

    Ross Sylvester

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