Open Public Spaces Are Important

We identify problems, look for solutions and propose measures

Renewal of public space in post-socialist housing estate in Slovenia poses a great challenge. “Social property”, denationalisation and privatisation processes in the past resulted in an unclear cadastral and ownership status for public spaces, along with poor maintenance and land fragmentation. Any renewal process was hindered by the lack of both public and private funding.

To understand why renewal of public spaces in housing estates is such a difficult process, we conducted a research and awareness-raising campaign.

  • We interviewed residents of post-socialist neighbourhoods, municipal representatives and relevant ministry representatives, jurists, urban planners, architects and sociologists.
  • To complement the interviews, we gathered different cases from Slovenian neighbourhoods and published reader comments and media responses to our project.
  • We also held five debates with municipality’s representatives.

The broad range of issues identified by interviewees, showed that spatial issues on small, neighbourhood scales are embedded in a wider political, legislative and social context. Public institutions displayed ignorance towards public spaces and do not function in the interest of the public. The on-going process of transition from a socialist to a neoliberal system means complicated ownership issues and affects the development of planning, legislation and maintenance aspects of renewal.

However, we noticed that the most pronounced issues are related to poor communication and lack of mechanisms for public participation.

Partner: Irena Ostojić Udia

Client/Support: Creative Europe programme, Artizen Project

Link: Open Public Spaces