In collaboration with local residents and other interested citizens Obrat Culture and Art Association initiated the transformation of a long-fenced-off plot of land in Reselj Street in Ljubljana, Slovenia into a community space for urban gardens, socializing, education, and culture.
A construction site of 1000 m2 in the middle of a neighborhood, a symptom of real estate speculation that promotes the maxim of profit and ignores the quality of everyday life, turned into a space that is not only promoting alternative approaches to deprived urban areas revitalization and active role of citizens in urban planning, organisation, and management, but also putting them into practice.
The project started in 2010 as part of a festival organised by Zavod Bunker that aimed to explore the green of the city, foster urban gardening and support social urban spaces with a set of events. The form of a cultural festival eased the way to obtain all permits for land use. At first, only for the time of the festival, but later on the initiators succeeded to get a contract from the land owner – the Municipality of Ljubljana – for free use of space that is now renewed every year.
Currently around 100 people take care of app. 40 individual and community gardens. They have a list of rules that defines common use and management of the space and is being changed according to the needs.
Beyond a Construction Site has hosted several public events in the past five years – workshops about ecological produce, various lectures and discussions as well as art and cultural projects and activities for children. The space has played an important role as a promoter and advocate of (community) urban gardening and temporary use of space.
Beyond a Construction Site (Onkraj gradbišča), a community urban garden
Initiator: Obrat Culture and Art Association, supported by Zavod Bunker
Timeline: 2010 –
Location: construction site between Reselj Street and Kotnik Street, Ljubljana
Land owner: Municipality of Ljubljana
Relation between the user and the owner: a contract of free land use