The urban location assigned for the regeneration project proposal is the 600-odd m long section of the Ilica Street defined as the stretch between two city squares, Britanac Square and Dr Franjo Tuđman Square. Stretching from the main city square (Ban Josip Jelačić Square) to the western boundaries of Zagreb, the Ilica Street used to be the longest street in Zagreb and certainly remains its most well-known street today. The analysis of the spatial, economic, residential and cultural context of the assigned area led to identifying its two characteristics that we find vital to its identity and consider to be solid basis for the further development of the regeneration project. Firstly, the Ilica Street may be viewed as the connecting area where the densely built city blocks meet the foothills and greenery of Medvednica, a mountain and nature park just north of Zagreb. Secondly, the Ilica Street may be further viewed as the space where the traditional artisan production rooted in its historical economic background blends with the young professionals of the cultural and creative industries, the latter having been based on its current economic and cultural traits and potential.
Building on the specific nature of the assigned area that includes several smaller locations along the Ilica Street, we propose this project of sustainable conversion to establish an urban laboratory, which encompasses one central location and its affiliated satellite locations. The central location of the urban laboratory brings together experts from the fields of architecture and landscape architecture, urbanism, spatial planning, civil engineering, sociology, art history and other professions/fields dealing with the transformation of the urban space. Its main goal is the continuous exploration and analysis of the spatial, social and cultural elements and of the needs of the local community, in order to define, create and initiate new content introduced in the converted spaces of satellite locations. The latter aim to introduce cultural and commercial content by including as associates on this project young professionals of the cultural and creative industries and local artisans.
In order to carry out the proposed project of urban regeneration, we defined the seven stages of its implementation, structured to establish the urban laboratory and all resources necessary for its further functioning, to adapt and put in use the satellite locations with newly introduced content, but also anticipated steps that enable the further implementation and expansion of the proposed concept. In the chapter on participation, we presented the research methods that included gathering input from local citizens and individuals working towards the revitalization of the area themselves, while also presenting specific possibilities for a community inclusive development of the regeneration project.
In the chapter on the project of adaptation, we identified the assigned area as part of protected heritage and suggested the appropriate approach accordingly. We further outlined a detailed description of the current state of the assigned locations within the area and suggested the plan for their adaptation based on a single unit. In keeping with the main goals of the entire project, we examined and proposed the possibilities for the energy-efficient renovation of the area while taking into account the nature of the assigned locations and the restrictions thereby implied.
In the following chapters, we looked closely into all the aspects of our proposal in order to identify all its positive effects on the environment, society and culture and compare it to some other examples of urban regeneration, but also to present a detailed analysis of all considerable internal and external risks, as well as possible responses to those risks. Seeing as the assigned area of the Ilica Street is a very well-frequented part of Zagreb located near its very centre and the old town core, while at the same time deeply laden with rich cultural history and an identity recognizable and relatable to the citizens of Zagreb, the benefits of regenerating this area truly prevail over the possible risks. In the final chapters, we defined and proposed the business model of our urban laboratory as an association, outlined the initial expenses for the first stages of the implementation of the project and considered possible financing and marketing strategies.
The Compass project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
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