Zunaj, Ljubljana

We supported small local actions in Ljubljana

The local residents often notice small things in their surrounding area that they would like to change so that their neighbourhood would be even more pleasant and tailored to their needs. They have ideas and the time, but they don’t have enough money to make it happen. Project Zunaj (ang. Outside) helped the local residents of Ljubljana to realize their outdoor activities and actions in their neighbourhood.

Open call and selection

As many as 60 initiators responded to our call each time with different ideas on how to revitalize public space in the city. 10 winning initiatives were selected, which we supported with funds up to € 500 for the purchase of materials, and in the second year, 15 initiatives were selected, which we helped with funds up to € 800. The excess costs were covered by the initiators themselves. Each initiative received its own mentor, who also helped the initiators with advice and help with the organization.

Results

In two years, Zunaj proved to be a successful tool for encouraging community-based space maintenance and civic participation. It supported 25 winning initiatives and encouraged 800 Ljubljana residents to participate. Local actions from 22 Ljubljana neighborhoods and 3 village communities were realized.  The initiators of the winning ideas often emphasized the importance of connecting and socializing with their neighbors outdoors even after the local actions were finished. A number of actions have shown, through concrete measures, how to revitalize the common public space with small interventions, while the municipality got an insight which spaces and activities it needs to strengthen in the future. Positive experiences show that the project has the potential to develop into a regular mechanism that can enable long-term, predictable, and steady support to small local actions, proposed by the local community. 

The initiators of the winning ideas often emphasized the importance of neighborhood networking and outdoor socializing after the campaigns. Numerous actions with concrete measures showed how small interventions can revive the common public space, and the municipality gained insight into which spaces and activities need to be further strengthened in the future. Positive experience shows that the project can develop into a mechanism that can provide long-term, predictable, and ongoing support to small local actions proposed by residents.

“If we wish to live in a pleasant environment and make changes, we need to connect with each other. Our biggest reward was the question of many who wanted to know: ‘When will (the cinema) happen again?””
(Barbara Svetek and Maja Žiberna, initiators of action in Zgornja Šiška)

“From a naive loose idea, a community construction project emerged that transcended all boundaries. We ourselves were surprised at how many people were involved in the initiative.”
(Gregor Petrič, initiator of the action in Sneberje)

Project Zunaj supported:

2019:
Krakovo nook (Krakovo): neighbours have planted the nut tree and set up an outdoor common table
The revitalization of an underpass in Tobačna street (Tobačna): team Tobiro has revitalized a neglected underpass
Forest pump track (Zadobrova): enthusiastic cyclists set up a new bike park
Terrace in the forest (Šiška): local residents have cleaned the foothill of Rožnik and made a forest terrace for play in nature
Meeting point Ezl Ek (Novo Polje): neighbours have cleaned the local grove and made it a place for socializing
Ana Ziherlova invites you to the outdoor cinema (Šiška): two local residents organized a free movie night
Playcart (Vrtača): a young family put together a movable cart filled outdoor toys
Friends again (Prule): the “disputed” neighbours have improved their relationships through a working action and picnic
A beach for Šiška residents (Šiška): students from high school Šiška turned their lawn into a “beach”
Red bench (Masarykova street): two future architects turned concrete flowerpots into a bench

2020:
● Benches by the park in Rašiška (Šiška): local residents renovated the benches in the park and organized a free movie night (Šiška)
● Playground for everyone! (Poljane): neighbors have renovated the children’s playground
● “Welcome to the Valley of Besnica Meeting Point” (Besnica): residents have arranged a rest area for cyclists
● Corner by the Ljubljanica (Livada): the bank by the Ljubljanica river has become a corner for socializing
● Renovation of the basketball court (Mostec): sports enthusiasts renovated the basketball court
● Sneberje oasis (Sneberje): the locals built a pump track together with the children
● Social corner under the high-rise (BS3): residents arranged the path to the back entrance and set up a bench for socializing
● Good ideas’ hub (Vič): employees arranged a place for lunch on the green in front of the Faculty for Civil and Geodetic Engineering
● Adventure playground (Brod): an abandoned clearing has become a place where children learn to work with wood
● Poljane’s garden (Poljane): neighbors set up a herb garden for the neighborhood in the local park
● Šiškarjioutside (Šiška): residents built wooden flower beds for children for the blocks
● Green belt between the blocks (Trnovo): the neighbors placed a sandpit and a mini climbing wall for children on the green area between the blocks
● Chatty snake (Murgle): a unique bench has come to life between the houses, combining together a garden and a play area
● Children’s playground “Tbilisijska” (Vič): residents restored benches at the local playground
● Punkl (Center): the team of the Levo workshop arranged space for socializing on the edge of the NUK2 parking lot

Why Zunaj?

Zunaj encourages residents to use and care for open green spaces. It provides the municipality with new ways of productive cooperation and makes residents aware of the importance and potential of open spaces and ensures that everyone can do what they do best.

February - October 2019 and February - October 2020

Support: Department for Environmental Protection, City of Ljubljana

Collaboration: IPoP - Institute for Spatial Policies

Total value of the operation: 19.300€ (2019), 24.750,00€ (2020)

Photo: Nejc Trampuž and Luka Prijatelj