Cultural Acupunctures for Suburbia
Central European cities are becoming a political arena of citizens, initiatives, NGOs, and other forms of activism, but we are witnessing a lack of such activities in suburbia. At the same time we can see the extreme growth of suburbs around all cities, meaning a huge number of inhabitants are placed out of the dense city but still have access to all it’s advantages. Project Culburb aims to activate a public realm in the suburbs of central European capital cities, by minimal means, and to start the cityfication of suburbia. A first step in such a process is the improvement of public spaces in the suburbs. We started this process through acupuncture interventions in six localities around Central European capitals: Ljubljana, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava and Warsaw.
Urban Acupunctures in Ljubljana
Acupuncture methodology establishes co- operation between the residents in suburbs of the city and increases the quality of life of the community. Urban acupuncture is the response to the current spatial disparities in the suburbs and acts as tool for the creation of social innovations in the community. They are formed on the ini- tiative of non-governmental organizations and other forms of urban activism and in this way seek the creation of quality public spaces in the suburbs.Ljubljana represents the story of Zalog, located in the eastern part of the city. This part of town has seen a lot of immigration from areas of the former Yugoslavia, especially after the Second World War. Closure of industries has increased the lack of employment opportunities. Availability economy stagnated for so long that it lost the inspiration to dream of a better future. This is especially true for the younger generation, who are facing in their daily lives with a sense of isolation and exclusion from the social and cultural life of the city. Zalog is facing with the generations that have roots in very mixed cultural backgrounds. Youths are excluded from the public sphere and decisionmaking, therefore, indicates a high degree of vandalism, crime and spatial disparities. Young people have developed their own urban identity, resulting in their own urban (non) perspective.
The Meeting Stripe
The goal of creative workshops is to create a seating area at Plata (Zalog District) in collaboration with the local inhabitants. The locals were invited to collaborate in creating the benches with tape art and object making.
Design Your City
The project analyzes the way in which young people from the suburbs and marginalized areas relate to the city and its urban environment as well as the way they perceive public space. The workshop will foster the analysis of the students to “design” their ideal city, which will respond to the way they perceive public space and the way they would like to break the social and physical barriers to link up with the areas in the city they do not usually use. This information will be documented in video for post-production, the result of which will be presented in both places showing the opposite side's project in Ljubljana and in Mexico City.
Down by the Water
The on-going acupuncture intervention is designed as cooperation between the young and the selected experts, who will help them in building and selecting materials. The project is designed to use recycled waste material. The project, reusing materials, thus stimulates a larger sense of responsibility to the environment. It turns from a consumer society to a society that has a higher awareness of the spatial, ethical and ecological aspects of our environment. The experience and knowledge from the project and the reflection on the city’s workings and possibilities will be published in a textbook available to educational institutions and general public.
The project explores several questions about the relation of women in Zalog to the open public space. Within the series of workshops women of different ages and backgrounds talked about how they are involved in a public space, how they feel in it and what arrangements they need and wish in public space. Their thoughts were collected in the form of stories, drawings and maps. Through the exploration of the mental map of Zalog, we identify potential areas for different activities and integration of the community.