Location: Centre of urban culture Kino Šiška
Date of performance: October 15th 2019 at 10:00
Organizer: Pazi!park Associationin collaboration with the Kino Šiška Urban Culture Centre and with funding of City community Ljubljana and Ministry of environment and area Republic of Slovenia
On Tuesday, October 15th, in the co-organization of the Pazi!Park Association and the Kino Šiška Urban Culture Center, an event dedicated to the development of child- and youth-friendly cities took place for the second year in a row, this time entitled “Children plan a city”.
The child-friendly place is friendly to all users. Although the current practice in our country does not yet emphasize the importance of children as co-creators of public open space, children in cities are becoming an increasingly topical topic that touches on many areas. When we talk about planning a space tailored to children, it is therefore necessary to include children as competent interlocutors for adults, as children are able to articulate their needs and desires, cooperate with others and co-create a common space. “I would close the roads and arrange forest paths instead,” said the second-grader, explaining that cars are noisy, sometimes dangerous, as they often do not stop at pedestrian crossings and their exhaust fumes have a bad smell.
“Why participation?” Asked the main guest of the conference, Roel Camps, who is responsible for the involvement and participation of the population in the Antwerp city administration. Camps has developed and tested more than 120 participatory projects involving more than 20,000 young people. He is convinced that a combination of digital participation and field work is key to better involving young people in urban planning. “Residents, including children, need to be involved in planning stages because only in this way can we know their wishes and their experiences add value to future development,” Roel Camps emphasized.
The conference was opened by prof. Janez Koželj, Deputy Mayor of the City of Ljubljana, who said that the opportunity for participation lies in the fact that it establishes informal, voluntary and multifaceted communication between residents and city planners, between users of public space and its managers. The goal of the city of Ljubljana is that one day the whole city will become a playful landscape where children can be more relaxed, more active and more creative. As part of the event, there was also a discussion with many Slovenian experts and agents from practice: urban sociologist, dr. Aidan Cerar from the Institute for Spatial Policy, prof. dr. Gregor Jurak from the Faculty of Sports, Nataša Jazbinšek Sršen, Head of the Department of Environmental Protection of the City of Ljubljana, Majda Koren, a youth writer, and Urška Kranjc, a landscape architect, a member of the Pazi! Park Association. In the conversation, with the presentation of good practices of inclusion of children and young people, Mag. Darja Silan from the Jože Plečnik High School, who presented the school roof garden, mag. Maja Brusnjak Hrastar, the initiator of the arrangement of the community meeting place in Novo Polje, and Lovro Planko and Jan Škrjanc, students from Šiška High school, who together with their classmates helped arrange the “school beach”, as the students call the new vacation space. The guests emphasized the importance of participation, which can have many positive consequences for all, although cannot be left to individual random cases, but rather be systematically supported.
On an urban walk before the conference, the organizers took visitors through various rooms along Vodnikova cesta from Vodnik’s homestead to the Valentin Vodnik Primary School. During the walk, the children talked about the obstacles on their daily way to school, they were mainly bothered by the noise and the difficult crossing of the road despite the pedestrian crossings. At the school playground, they remembered how years ago, together with members of the Pazi!Park Association, they greened the playground. “We dug holes and planted trees and shrubs,” the students recall: “It was quite difficult because there were a lot of stones. We are now very careful about the planted trees, but we would like to see even more of them on the playground. “
The event took place as part of The Month of Space 2019.
The event was accredited by ZAPS with 3 credit points / Part B (Theory and Reference Practice).
MEDIA FROM THE CONFERENCE
Greetings from Gaja Trbižan, the president of Pazi!park Association
Opening speech by prof. Janez Koželj, Deputy Mayor of the City of Ljubljana
Main lecture: The wisdom of the masses, Roel Camps, mesto Antwerpen
Organizers and co-orcanizers: