Human Cities Exhibition / Ljubljana May 25th to September 25th 2017
PUBLIC SPACES FOR LOCAL LIFE / Shared values in diversified urban communities as a foundation for participatory provision of local public spaces
25 May 2017 at 15.00 Human Cities exhibition opening at Ruski car neighbourhood, Bratovševa ploščad 30, Ljubljana
The exibition is one out of eight so called »work in progress« exibitions that are being prepared within EU project Human Cities: Challenging the city scale (Creative Europe 2014-2020). In a period 2016-2018 eight variations of the exibition dedicated to participatory provision of local urban public space will be desplayed in eight European cities.The particularity of the exibition is that it grows along with the development of the project and is upgraded with new themes added by local organisers of each exibition. The exibitions are also related to bigger design events in participating cities.
The exibition was on show for the first time in 2016 in Milan (IT), followed by exibitions in Belgrade (RS) and Saint-Etiennu (FR) in early 2017. We are glad that there is the fourth consecutive exhibition on a display now – this time in Ljubljana. The opening coincides with a joint event of Human Cities project & AESOP’s thematic group Public spaces and urban cultures and the opening of Biennal of Biennial of Design BIO25 Faraway, So Close. The other exibitions will follow in Helsinki (FI), Bilbao (ES), Ciezsyn (PL), Graz (AT) and the final festive exibition will be set in Tallin (EST) in September 2018.
Ljubljana exibition is organised in four sections which reflect various activities of Human Cities project ongoing since 2014.
First and most extensive part of the exibition reviews good practices of local civil initiatives in European partner cities. The whole dataset is accessible online at http://humancities.eu/casestudies/, while Ljubljana exibition exposes some cases through the lenses of so called shared values of Human Cities that have been identified by the partners as important for enriching and assuring the quality of life in public space. These values are empathy, wellbeing, sustainability, intimacy, conviviality, mobility, accessibility, aesthetics, leisure, imagination, sensoriality, respect and solidarity, while the Ljubljana exibition is adding the fourteenth one – cooperation. Special attention is given to the values shared by local inhabitants and other users of local environments in their endeavours for better urban public spaces. This section of the exibition addresses the questions of participatory provision of local urban public space in increasingly economically, socially and ethnically divers urban communities.
Second part of the exibition presents 25 photostories that have ,according to an international jury, best answered to the challanges of an international call for contributions Photostory of my neighbourhood. The competition was ongoing in autumn 2016 and was based on an participatory web-based tool that allowed the inhabitants of any city to express their perceptions of their living environments. The main aim was to reveal the elements of the urban neighbourhoods that are common features in the mental maps of a greater group of people in the local communities, while at the same time reflect the shared values that connect local people. Identification of these values forms an important base for setting up common visions for the future development of local environments. Photostories are »written« by inhabitants themselves by contributing photographs an their subtitles within pre-defined categories. These categories can relate to different aspects of built environments and life in the neighbourhoods, such as perceptions of the borders of the neighbourhoods, neighbourly relations, professions in the neighbourhoods, identification of most pleasant local places or shared values that are common to local people. The web-tool Photostory of my neighbourhood allows an on-going production of further photostories (see http://humancities.uirs.si for more information).
The third part of the exibition is dedicated to the educational activities in the field of spatial culture. The exibition shows cutting-outs from seven thematic workshops titled Neighbourhood, public space and active role of inhabitants, which were ongoing in autumn 2016 jointly with pupils of second triad of the primary school OŠ Danile Kumar. Aleksej, Enis, Enja, Filip, Filip Bor, Gašper, Juna, Lucija, Tilen, Valentina and Voranc have been getting acquainted with the role of public open space in the neighbourhood with a support of UIRS, MAO and Skupaj na ploščad! as well as their teacher and school principal. The workshops were a joint reflection on the role of nature in the neighbourhood and the conception of public space to be attractive to various user-groups (children, elderly, cyclists etc.). Through the role-playing different professions involved in urban design were got known (urban planner, architect, landscape architect, traffic engineer, sociologist etc.). Jointly the bee&bird-house-hotel was made and installed in the open public space of the neighbourhood. In a creative atmosphere the roles of model making, field work and photo-analyses were learnt. We have jointly found out how important it is to discuss the spatial issues, freely express one’s opinions about problems and ideas for the future, and thus pointed out that it is important to impart spatial vigilance to young people from an early age.
The fourth part of the exibition titled A place to get together – design of Bratovševa ploščad – students’ ideas presents five conceptual solution of the invited student competition for the redesign of the central open space of Ruski car neighborhood. This has been organised within Human Cities project and with the support of Lafarge Cement, Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia and civil initiative Skupaj na ploščad! in the seminar of prof. Fikfak at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana. The jury recognized two conceptual solutions, which in the best way addressed the challange to concretely intervene into space to encourage more uses there. For the purposes of implementation of temporary intervention the students combined both selected competition ideas and suplemented them with some elements from other competition proposals. The exibition is organised in a participatory way and invites the local inhabitants to vote for the best solution according to their opinion.