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Průmyslová minulost, kreativní budoucnost

Is the ‘old’ industrial tradition of the Ore Mountain foothills only a barrier or a stimulus for its development? This question was at the beginning of several years of research at the J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.

Text by a wide collective of authors (Vladan Hruška, Pavel Raška, Martin Balej, Jan Daniel Bláha, Silvie Rita Kučerová, Eva Nedorostová, Jan Píša, Zdeňka Smutná, Michaela Štěbetáková, Jiří Toman, Petr Hlaváček, Tomáš Sýkora, Jakub Konupka, Karel Míšek, Zdeněk Kučera, Martin Zubík) is not only a detailed description of the current situation, but also a summary of the search for starting points and possibilities to build on the rich industrial past of the region and its prospective future.

The book examines the industrial heritage of the Ore Mountain foothills, a heavily urbanised old industrial region located in north-western Czechia between the towns of Klášterec nad Ohří and Děčín, and its role in the future development of the region. The first part of the book introduces the processes behind the emergence of the phenomenon nowadays referred to as industrial heritage. It is emphasised that instead of the popular notion of the Industrial Revolution, it is necessary to speak rather of several waves of modernisation or industrialisation, under the influence of which significant social, economic, and environmental changes have taken place since the end of the 18th century (or since the mid-19th century in Central Europe). These changes are subsequently demonstrated on the territory of Czechia (historically Czech Lands), and particularly in the Ore Mountain foothills, which became one of the cores of industrialisation both from the perspective of the whole Czech Lands, as well as in the broader Central- and Eastern-European context.

The graphic design honours the character of the publication balancing on the edge of professional and popular-scientific literature. The individual chapters are separated by compositions from an imaginary ‘industrial brick-box’, which directly refers to the possibilities of creative (re)use of often dilapidated buildings and complexes in the Ore Mountain foothills. The cover uses a layer of partial UV varnish to depict a ‘layer of the future’ in which the industrial site is given a new lease of life. The entire book is then permeated by the excellent photographs by Jiří Dvořák.

The publication was published by the Faculty of Science of Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem in 2022. Photo: Jiří Dvořák.

The publication of this book was supported by the European Union, the European Social Fund and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (Smart City — Smart Region — Smart Community — CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/17_048/0007435 project).