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Urban Realities

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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The abandoned construction pits became an urban reality of Ljubljana's architectural, political and social situation in 2008. Ljubljana's wider centre hides at least ten abandoned construction pits. After the collapse of the biggest construction companies in Slovenia their remains evokes many problems. Those empty construction pits are a degraded space and there is no legislation in Slovenia, which would foster investors to actively engage in their reuse.

The mayor Zoran Jankovic is still convinced that Ljubljana is the most beautiful city in the world. "Slovenia is not a friendly country in terms of foreign investment and the attitude towards those who gather the courage and even their own money to build something new, it's quite shocking." said Csaba Toth, director of the project company Emonika, new passenger-shopping centre with a 100-foot tower, which should be constructed out of the hole at the railway station and is now an empty construction pits. According to Toth municipal contribution and compensation for building land are extremely high - among the highest in Europe, as well as labour costs and bureaucracy, which is very complicated.

What could happen with devastated construction pits in the future was the topic of the Blind Date. Amongst inspiring approaches from various countries, the international jury selected 3 finalists from the launched international Blind Date open call: Jason Hildefort, Land & Civilization Compositions (Rotterdam, The Nederlands), Tomaz Pipan and Georg Hubmann, Urban as I (Ljubljana, Slovenia and Berlin, Germany) and Giulia Carabelli and Orsalia Dimitriou, SYN (London, United Kingdom). One of the interesting outputs of the Blind Date discussion in MAO was to prepare a non-architectural competitions and in this way develop suitable contents for these hidden and abandoned spaces. The solutions, which Ljubljana Municipality proposes for these sites today, are temporary parking spaces or commercial advertising with jumbo posters. These solutions don't solve the problem of abandoned and neglected construction pits.

The contribution of the international young experts at the Blind date event, were mainly to propose their own experiences and to include in the solution also:• Functional reuse and connection of the sites to the city,• Foster also the symbolic meaning of space (not only the profit a lot has) and inclusion of the community,• Property solutions and legislative framework,• Temporary use as a solution for reanimation of abandoned construction pits,• Sustainability as a general principle.The lively Blind Date discussion can be seen here.

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bostjan, November 18th, 2016
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