The Bata company towns - building, development, changes, continuity?
9:30 AM, Thursday 1 Sep 2022 (20 minutes)
UQAM, pavillon J.-A. De Sève (DS) - DS-1540
In our paper, we will try to outline the comparative development of the Bata company towns in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. The Company began its development from a small Central European town, which was transformed under the Garden city concept. This specific model with functionalist architecture was later transferred to two dozen company towns around the world. We will discuss the reasons why Bata searched for sites in predominantly agrarian areas near river flows, railways and with a plentiful and unqualified local workforce, for whom the company provided training through a network of educational institutions. Following the Zlín model, the company built residential areas for its employees with social, educational, sports and medical facilities surrounded by greenery. After the Second World War, production and life continued, but there were considerable differences in the development of the individual towns. With regard to global influences (decolonization, relocation of production to Southeast Asia), the towns experienced several waves - investment, expansion, the process of de-industrialization, termination of production, revitalization. We also wish to discuss how the towns adapted to the conditions after the closure of the factories and different practices in the search for a new identity, as well as the preservation of the industrial heritage.