"The Church" played a pivotal role in transformation of all four cities. After being "prohibited" during the socialist state the church appeared in the urban fabric of these cities and gained more importance than ever before. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the church played a major role in the establishment of national identities, since each of the nations had their own church—Serbian Orthodox, Croatian Catholic, or Macedonian Orthodox. Nevertheless, its implication on the urban and social fabric was more or less the same in all cities, which is an expected consequence, because they all work in a similar way. Not by chance, the Croatian Catholic Church became one of the country's leading entrepreneurs. As Boris Buden put forward in his text "God is back in town":
In fact Croatian Catholic Church owing to its properties, annual income and investments has become recently one of the leading entrepreneurs in the country. Already at the end of 2005 it was ranked among the five richest business groups in Croatia.7
Clearly, its social, but also its economic, importance (in the condition of post-socialist Yugoslavia) increased significantly. In all these cities churches are integrated into the neighbourhood blocks, producing certain communal and social values; nevertheless – like in the case of Skopje where a strong policy of "promoting" national identity is in place, they are often visually exposed to the major infrastructural lines. Therefore, the church became a typology utilized to make national identity explicit but also to reinforce the national affiliations of local residents.
"The Kiosk" was a building type that had a significant impact on the economic and social structure of the post-socialist cities in former Yugoslavia. In most of the cases the kiosk emerged informally and challenged the structure of the city, both in terms of scale and in terms of its organization. Since it is flexible and temporary, used for small scale retail, easy to assemble, disassemble or upgrade, it changed its appearance and purpose very quickly according to the changes in market demands. Almost by definition, kiosks are located on the outer edges of blocks and usually next to important transportation points—in the case of all of these cities they are next to major bus stops. During the 1990s, the increased importance of the kiosk (in the post-socialist city) suspended many formal trade facilities. This new condition of state-owned facilities replaced by small scale private or individual developments (usually based on improvised and opportunistic solutions) confronted the top-down organization and seemingly claimed back part of the authority to the people. Many social activities were displaced from the inner block "green open" area to the edge of the blocks, along the infrastructural lines. These new "points" of social activities diversified public and political life within the neighbourhood.
"The Small Retail" building type in most cases consisted of informal retail units that were paradoxically often supported by the city governments during the 1990s conflict because they were a means to support an already degraded economy. They played an important role in shaping social and economic relations in these cities, which is the reason why they are still part of the post-socialist urban landscape. In contemporary times small retail units are under constant threat of being replaced by large-scale shopping malls. Nonetheless, very often, such as in the case of New Belgrade's "Food Street," large concentrations of small retail units led to a centralization of programs and activities comparable even to the shopping malls. Since small retail units were important for both the government and residents of these neighbourhoods they became an essential part of the post-socialist city's landscape. They largely influenced public life because similar to the kiosk, they re-densified public activities (from the inner block to the outer edge along the infrastructural lines).
"The Shopping Mall" is a building type that emerged in these cities in the contemporary condition of a free-market economy. The privatization of land gave birth to private investments which very soon became monopolistic, large-scale developments. Although the shopping mall is becoming an obsolete typology in Western culture, it is gaining incredible importance in ex-Yugoslavian post-socialist cities. Shopping malls are strong attractors of people, not just from their immediate surroundings, but from the whole region. Consequently, all these cities are competing with each other as to whose shopping mall is the biggest, most advanced, most luxurious. Shopping malls are always located along major infrastructural lines, usually on important intersections. This new condition of commercialization largely changed relations within these cities by creating new social and economic centres and by influencing new developments.
"The housing block" was, and still is, the most common typology in all of these cities. During the Socialist era, housing was the primary focus since it precisely reflected the main political agenda. Housing estates were designed by the leading architects of that time with carefully crafted living units on the one hand and very monumental-looking buildings on the other. The large scale of these buildings and of the whole urban areas celebrated the socialist ideal. Nevertheless, housing was conceived as a rational group of dwellings where everyone was equal and, instead of individualism, committed to the greater socialist ideals. The initial socialist idea of having common spaces within the residential blocks - during the 90s conflict, served as a prosperous space for the accommodation of new inhabitants. This transformation of common facilities into living spaces for new citizens put pressure on already extremely rationally designed apartments (which induced their informal transformation) and had great implications on the public life of these areas. Nowadays, in terms of the political agenda, many things have changed although housing typology remains very similar. The scale of newly built buildings has been reduced because it is more feasible to invest in smaller buildings and the size of new apartments is fully market driven in order to better sell them. What is left for architects as the most challenging task is to design facade. In most cases, all new ideas and proposals (such as new common areas and shared facilities) are discarded because they do not bring profit. In the situation of a free market economy, possibilities are even more limited.