Over 90 ha of new green surfaces
We are transforming brownfield, overlooked and unused areas of the city into new green areas and by doing so contributing to climate change mitigation and a higher quality of free-time activities for Ljubljana’s citizens and visitors (parks, gardens, playgrounds, urban orchards…).
Rakova jelša city park
The new set up includes a park area with picnic lots, which also serves as an entry point into the Ljubljana Marshes Landscape Park, a public orchard with almost hundred different fruit tree species and over 300 new allotment gardens, which are gradually being leased. The possibility of managed urban self-sufficient agriculture/gardening in the immediate vicinity of the city centre represents for the city a reinterpretation of the use of the marshy area on the city’s doorstep. An area of over 80,000 m2 was cleared, new walking paths and a cycling path are connecting the Ljubljana Marshes Landscape Park and a row of trees has been planted to cover up the unregulated construction and divert the eyes to the Golovec Hill. In addition to the allotment gardens the infrastructure had to be set up in connection to the existing system of paths and ditches. The project design has simple elements of great dimensions (overhanging roofs, benches, bypasses), which are all vandal-proof, made out of local materials (low carbon print), they highlight and make use of the natural features of the area (ditches, existing vegetation) and respect the fragile balance of the marsh landscape.
Koseze Pond Park
The brownfield area at the Koseze Pond has been transformed into a multigenerational park with a playground for toddlers and children with playground equipment, suitable also for the disabled, and exercise equipment has been installed that can be used by elderly citizens, as well, for senior sport. In the area dedicated to senior recreation activities we planted a birch grove to provide a shade canopy while exercising.
Vodnik Street Park
The revitalisation encompassed setting up access from Vodnik Street, making, purchasing and installing playground equipment, construction of a walking path and access to the playground surfaces. In the park area a play path was designed on the principle of forest pedagogics. It is comprised of 10 stations connected into a movement, sensory, art and spatial experience. Unlike a regular playground the equipment here is more abstract as it uses elements from nature, namely, children are more imaginative. Based on the free play principle children have more fun in such playgrounds, they find more different ways to use them and occupy themselves. The path is divided according to three topics – movement, senses and challenges. At the very beginning of the play path the paths of the parent and the child separate and then they meet and intertwine at the play stations. These stations call for manual, motor and mental skills as children have to switch between intertwined shelters, tunnels, floor markings, balance trunks, logs and hurdles. The trees damaged by ice in the spring of 2014 were used to make the equipment on the new play path.
Together with our youth we have transformed an abandoned area into a real teaching laboratory, which was also the aim of the international project Green Surge, the framework within which LIVADA was developed. The aim of the project was to create, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, a model of innovative planning and introducing multi-purpose green city infrastructure. By developing the urban green infrastructure at LIVADA, during the period up to 2017, we have been researching and implementing the practice of socially inclusive planning, establishing and managing of a public green city space together with the youth as a vulnerable group of the society. In parallel we have been researching whether social entrepreneurship as a constituent part of the green economy is an appropriate tool for different ways of managing public green city spaces and whether this type of management can help fulfil the role of youth-friendly cities, namely, the inclusion of the youth in the society for them to gain independence as soon as possible. The result of the Green Surge project is the urban community space LIVADA enabling: planning, establishing and using a space tailored to its users; space for the youth for active spending of free-time with green economy features; joint socialising space for the planned Youth Centres Network Ljubljana; development of a healthy urban living area, local production of quality food and promotion of biocultural diversity of an urban area.
Forest classroom for the blind and partially sighted
The aim of the forest classroom, which is also adapted to the blind and partially sighted, is raising awareness among the wider public on the differences between natural parks, that is, natural monuments and landscaped nature (city parks) and to familiarize the people with the main deciduous trees growing in our forests. The forest classroom is set up on the edge of a forest with its south-east side opening into the Tivoli city park. It offers relaxation under the treetops and a view of the park. It has an access path, a sand platform and a wooden terrace, and is enclosed by a wooden fence on three sides. The design of the classroom allows us to get to know its elements by moving along its edge guided by a wooden fence rail and where there is no fence by a raised terrace curb. All elements are designed not to impede the blind but to assist spatial orientation. The wooden terrace is constructed to offer access to individual tree species so the visitors (using information boards, which are also adapted for the blind and partially sighted) can touch the trunk of each tree. It is situated alongside a path within the Tivoli Park main path network for the blind and partially sighted. This way we are enabling people with visual impairments to take part in additional activities in Tivoli to make the visit to the park more interesting.
The setup of the urban orchard and the renovation of the children’ playground between Linhart, Sava and Mislej Streets are all part of the broader project to revive the neighbourhood Savsko naselje. The renovation and revival of the area around the Sava Hill, including a basketball court and a children’s playground, the hill above the shelter and meadows, started in 2014. In cooperation with the ProstoRož society, children and the youth from the local school, kindergarten and rehabilitation centre a plan was prepared for the orchard and the renovation of the children’s playground, which was already designed in the sixties when the neighbourhood was constructed. Playground equipment made mostly of metal was still in fairly good condition but it was no longer in line with safety standards. In the renovation we preserved the playground equipment, painted it to tie it all together and enriched it with a few additions. A real urban orchard was also created in the Savsko naselje district. In the playground and on the hill between Linhart, Sava and Mislej Streets we planted old local Slovenian varieties of apple and pear trees. Walnut trees, service trees and quince trees will provide a shade canopy in the playground, and a row of decorative apple trees is planted on Mislej Steet. The high flags next to the saplings contain information about the tree species, the size of the tree when it was planted and its upkeep procedures to educate and raise awareness among the citizens on the significance of greenery in the city.