How Tabor Park became a lively hub of people and creativity
Tabor Park represents a green oasis of the Tabor neighbourhood, yet it didn’t resemble an oasis for many years. An almost abandoned and poorly maintained park didn’t attract many visitors, especially after dark due to its poor lighting.
Based on a research study carried out in 2009 by Bunker Institute and IPOP institute, we developed a strategy for revitalization of Tabor Park. The research study identified key issues of the neighbourhood and its park and gave a voice to the needs and wants of local residents and institutions. We developed a strategy of action that was three-fold: smaller spatial improvements, a change of traffic regime, and creating opportunities for locals and visitors to socialize.
Each year between 2010 and 2014, activities in Tabor Park started with a grand opening in May and continued all the way to September. In the summer, residents and visitors were able to participate in free and open cultural, sports and educational events. Saturdays were dedicated to fairs and markets: Garage Sale, Vintage Fair and Art Fair soon became the most popular events in the city. With our aim to contribute to a solidary and conscious community, we invited different organizations and individuals that helped us organize events like plant and vegetable seed exchange and toy exchange for children. ProstoRož coordinated the collaboration between volunteering organizations, designed urban equipment for the park and planned the improvement of traffic regime.
Besides that, prostoRož also organized working and cleaning initiatives. We wanted to encourage Tabor residents to start taking care of their park on their own. The response exceeded our expectations and the park became a true heart of the neighbourhood where different generations and interests were tied together into a community. The perception of the park changed; it is now seen as a tidy and pleasant space.
Park’s numerous events were a jumpstart for youth that contributed with their activities; they provided an opportunity for networking and reconnecting. Eventually, Tabor Park reclaimed its space on the city map as a point of interest. The project is important for the city of Ljubljana by showing that revitalization does not have to be a physical renovation. In Slovenia, the project serves as a best practice example of inclusion of a local initiative into a strategy for sustainable development. To this day it remains a best practice example and an encouragement to many other initiatives.
Park Tabor in numbers:
- four years
- 950 events
- 150 contributing organizations and individuals
- 3,500 work hours
- 3,000 volunteering hours