The Ljubljana Human Cities team is opening the second stage of Human Cities project: EXPERIMENTING in the urban territories with citizens.

What is experimentation process in the Human Cities project? Experimentation is a speculative method, which intrinsically includes a factor of uncertainty. It implies all kinds of activities (actions, projects, programs, etc.), which are targeting an objective. Experimentation is managed by respecting rigorous protocols concerning both the planning and the implementation of experimental situations, and the collection of data. The goal is to test hypothesis and confirm or reject them at the end of the experimentation process in order to improve knowledge.

Co-Creation Briefing sessions are the starting point of this process. They try to develop a problem-solving approach to an issue chosen by each city trough brainstorming and exchange of ideas and knowledge. Alice Holmberg, design strategist, lecturer and innovator is in charge of these sessions.

Ljubljana decided to focus on a peripheral urban open public space of “Bratovševa ploščad” in the “Ruski car” neighborhood in northern Ljubljana.

The exchange with the locals and professionals will be facilitated in a cooperation between the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (UIRS) and a local initiative ‘Skupaj na ploščad‘ led by Damjana Zaviršek. They aim to create a more attractive and lively open public space on a currently empty and unused urban area.

The goal of this co-creation briefing session is to motivate a team of people to lead and take part in the experimentation process in the following years, to find new ways and to test new methodologies in the processes of co-design of urban public spaces.  Nowadays, participation processes exists in Slovenia as part of the top-town urban planning procedures but are rather superficial and people tend to reject them. The idea is to find new approaches and make the participation processes more attractive and playful.

In order to create a momentum, Human Cities team in Ljubljana will gather some key local players from the neighborhood and will try to raise issues regarding the quality of life in the neighborhood. Next to this a picnic will be organized at the end of the day to attract potential new partners to help in leading the process of the experimentation. The picnic will be a working session at the same time – an urban planning game will be played to address the issues of public space improvements. This playful approach is a part of the experimentation that aims to attract people who are not usually involved in the discussions related to local matters.