Zagreb, Croatia
City population: 787619
Duration: 2013 – 2013
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 1500 m2
Type of area: Previous derelict area
Last updated: October 2021

Eko Ekipa Prečko is an alternative urban garden in Zagreb which was initiated and promoted by the locals. The initiative was not supported by the government initially. Regardless of the lack of support, citizens jointly cleaned an illegal waste disposal site and the bushes and shrubs there to initiate a communal garden. Besides ecological food production, they also organize educational workshops for children and adults to get familiar with life in nature (Ref 1). People of all ages, the majority between age 30 and 40, from Prečko and neighbouring districts are involved with the garden (Ref 4).

Ekoekipa Prečko
Source: Ref. 1

Overview

Nature-based solution

  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Allotments
  • Community gardens

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Air quality improvement
  • Waste management
  • Inclusive and effective governance (SDG 16)
  • Effective management
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Improving mental health
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Economic development and employment (SDG 8)
  • Economic development: agriculture
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable production

Focus

Creation of new green areas, Transformation of previously derelict areas, Knowledge creation and awareness raising

Project objectives

The main objective of the intervention was to grow organic food and to create a green space where children can play and learn about gardening. Other objectives were to clean a waste disposal site, division to communal and individually farmed areas, organization of workshops, and connect with nature and to ensure space for recreation and socialization (Ref 1, 2).

Implementation activities

During March and April 2013, a group of about 30 citizens who volunteered to clean a neglected plot of land owned by the city of Zagreb, located next to Jarnovićeva Street, across from the school playground of the Nikola Tesla Elementary School. The land was full of garbage and overgrown with blackberries and weeds, but the work of interested citizens quickly turned it into an attractive garden of unusual design, which was officially opened on 09.06.2013 (Ref 4). The garbage has been removed and shrubs that grew there cleaned, the area has been divided into communal and individual gardening plots, an area for barbecue and socialization has been prepared, joint activities and educational workshops to pass on the knowledge to interested citizens (Ref 1, 2).

Climate-focused activities

Climate change mitigation:

  • Increase green urban nature for carbon storage (wetlands, tree cover)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Restore valued species
  • Public engagement

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups

Governance

Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Citizens or community group

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning
  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)
  • Citizen monitoring and review

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

A group of citizens organized through posters an initial gathering and then through social networks continued to grow and organize its activities. The authorities are aware of the gardens and have given tacit approval to the initiative, but provide no funding or support to the Ekoekipa Prečko ( Ref 2).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? No
... a local policy or strategy? No

Financing

Total cost

€10,000 - €50,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Other

Type of funding

  • Other

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of land
  • Provision of goods
  • Provision of labour
  • Provision of expertise
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Public authorities (e.g. land, utility services)
  • Citizens (e.g. volunteering)

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Enhanced support of pollination
  • Restoration of derelict areas

Economic impacts

  • Increase in agricultural production (for profit or not)

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Increased involvement of locals in the management of green spaces
  • Increased access to healthy/affordable food
  • Increased sustainability of agriculture practices
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Improvement in people’s connection to nature
  • Education
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system

No

Presence of indicators used in reporting

No

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No

References

Ekoekipa Prečko
Source: Ref. 1
Ekoekipa Prečko
Source: Ref. 1