Sustainable Urban Regeneration: the Town of Idrija

Citizen-led and environmentally friendly regeneration of a selected area

Sustainable urban regeneration is a set of coordinated activities in a selected urban area involving different stakeholder groups with the aim of improving the urban environment and quality of living. This approach addresses several environmental challenges simultaneously as it focuses on the space and the people that use and manage it.

This project was carried out in the Municipality of Idrija. It included a regeneration pilot project of a selected area, encouraging the collaboration among municipality departments, and a training for local officials. It supported citizen involvement and provided the municipality with an action plan for long-term support and communication with the citizens.

Project description

Idrija is a town with approximately 8,000 inhabitants. Its complex topography and numerous sites of cultural heritage represent a unique challenge for urban regeneration. Our project aimed to regenerate a part of Idrija’s public spacein order to assure a long-term vision for improving the quality of life in this town.

Together with residents, we worked in the selected area of Idrija to determine how they use their public space, what they require from it and how it can be restored or improved. Drawing from residents response and a spatial analysis, we designed a series of urban furniture for Arkova street that runs through the entire selected area. We made eight pieces of furniture (benches, tables, tree trunks) out of wooden boards and old school chairs. We also added garbage bins, bicycle stands and a new street lamp.

All the furniture was built on site with the help of residents. By the end of two test months, we organised a meeting with residents to evaluate the urban furniture. In addition, we presented a conceptual design of Integrated renovation of public spaces in the area. Our interventions helped to establish a dialogue between residents and the municipality about activities that could further improve the quality of life in the area.

Project in numbers

  • 9 months of work in Idrija
  • 50 visits to Idrija
  • 42 temporary painting jobs
  • 124 suggested initiatives by residents
  • 2 meetings with 34 residents
  • 1 meeting with local representatives
  • 4 educational workshops for municipal administration and 40 participants
  • 1 educational trip to Vienna
  • 9 new pieces of urban equipment
  • 6 new waste baskets and 1 bike stand
  • 7 new trees in troughs
  • 20 responses in writing about new equipment, 18 of them positive
  • 1 conceptual design of renovation under sustainable mobility guidelines
  • 1 working plan for Municipality of Idrija, including infrastructural and soft interventions, measurement of impact and a planning proposal.

Idrija, Slovenia

Partners: Institute for spatial policies - IPoP, Municipality of Idrija

Support: Ministry of environment and spatial planning