Zagreb, Croatia
City population: 787619
Duration: 2016 – 2018
Implementation status: Planned, but cancelled
Scale: Meso-scale: Regional, metropolitan and urban level
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Central Business District / City Centre
Last updated: November 2021

“Zagreb for Me” was an ambitious and comprehensive project launched in 2015 by the Zagreb Society of Architects in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Zagreb and the City of Zagreb. The goal of the project was to start a revitalization of public spaces through the realization of 17 urban interventions in the whole city area at the same time. This distributed approach aimed to improve the general “image of the city” and raise the quality of urban life in segments of housing, recreation, leisure and social cohesion and revitalization of Zagreb's public spaces using public participation as a tool. This project aims to decentralize designed public spaces and draw attention to some forgotten city spots. At the same time, the project, created from a “bottom-up” initiative, establishes a new model of public participation as well as new forms of collaboration (Ref 1, 2, 3). The project "Zagreb for me" was created on the basis of Acupuncture of the city - an interdisciplinary approach and public participation, but it covers a wider urban space, ie it deals with public spaces throughout Zagreb. After the conducted urban-architectural tenders for the selected solutions, the realization is planned. Only one urban-architectural tender was conducted and the implementation of the project stopped there, but the project "Zagreb for me" was recognized as an example of good practice with the possibility of application in other cities. (Ref 5)

Overview

Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Alley and street greens
  • Railroad bank and track greens
  • Riverbank greens
  • Green playgrounds and school grounds
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Air quality improvement
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Regulation of built environment
  • Inclusive and effective governance (SDG 16)
  • Inclusive governance
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social cohesion
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Enabling physical activity
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape/infrastructure
  • Promotion of cultural diversity

Focus

Creation of new green areas, Maintenance and management of urban nature, Strategy, plan or policy development, Other

Project objectives

The goals of the project were; - to start a revitalization of public spaces through the realization of 17 urban interventions in the whole city area at the same time. - to improve the general “image of the city” and raise the quality of urban life in segments of housing, recreation, leisure and social cohesion. Although Zagreb has some significant historical parks and squares in its centre, as well as a few recreational zones, the rest of the city has plenty of neglected open spaces that have no specific function. - to develop pedestrian areas on derelict train tracks, bike paths, connecting existent green areas and adaption as areas for socialization and recreation (Ref 3) - to insert small green areas in the city fabric was planned to decrease the urban heat island effects (Ref 1).

Implementation activities

After the official project announcement, neighbourhood councils, civil society groups and experts were invited to state their opinions about the city's spatial problems and solutions. Zagreb for Me team conducted field surveys at several locations asking citizens what they think which locations they would like to have revitalized. A web platform has been established to share information about the project and to allow citizens to suggest locations online. In total 211 locations were identified, of which 51 were mentioned by numerous people. A scientific team created by the Faculty of Architecture, examined potential locations in terms of the locations importance for the city and its reference in urban planning documents. Both surveys were overlapped and 33 locations were presented and proposed for further selection by citizens. Two pilot subprojects, Think Space and Trnje are part of the project and project for both have already been developed. Only one urban-architectural tender was conducted and the implementation of the project stopped there, but the project "Zagreb for me" was recognized as an example of good practice with the possibility of application in other cities. (Ref 1, 2, 5).

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Increase or improve urban vegetation cover to help reduce outdoor temperature
  • Create or improve outdoor spaces to help people escape from urban heat

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Restore native species

Main beneficiaries

  • Researchers/University
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Other

Governance

Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Public sector institution
  • Non-government organisation/civil society

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning
  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Citizen monitoring and review

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The project Zagreb for Me was launched by the Zagreb Society of Architects and the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Zagreb. It was planned to be implemented in collaboration with the City Office responsible for spatial planning and construction and was planned in coordination with the citizens and civic initiative Akupunktura grada. ( Ref 1)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? No (It was conceptualized to apply the principles of successful bottom-up city revitalisation used in Accupuncture of the city project.)

Financing

Total cost

€50,000 - €100,000

Source(s) of funding

  • EU funds
  • Public regional budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget

Non-financial contribution

Unknown

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Lowered local temperature
  • Enhanced carbon sequestration
  • Environmental quality
  • Improved air quality
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Reduced biodiversity loss

Economic impacts

  • Increase of jobs
  • More sustainable tourism
  • Stimulate development in deprived areas

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved social cohesion
  • Improved liveability
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Increased involvement of locals in the management of green spaces
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental health
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Improvement in people’s connection to nature

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system

Unknown

Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records

References