INFRASTRUCTURE OF HOPE, Škograd, Ledine
→ Elementary school Vladimir Obradović– Kameni, Dobanovačka 2a, Ledine, Novi Beograd
A case study of Urban hub 2 will be developed and managed in Belgrade by BINA together with the partner project team Škograd.
By launching this experimental Urban hub for the advancement of open urban spaces through cooperation with the communities, BINA wants to explore opportunities for implementing the proclaimed "right to the city" in our environment. The knowledge acquired during this project will be used for developing a more active attitude towards the construction of the city through citizens' participation, as well as for opening the space for a more quality-driven and engaged approach to decision making where the future development of Belgrade is concerned.
Preparations for the project Urban hub 2 commenced in February 2018. The project of cooperation with the community on improving a launched urban area will begin in May 2018 during BINA 2018 FROM COMMUNIS TO COMMUNICATION. It will continue for 6 months. After implementation of the project, the expert team will process and prepare the project documentation. This documentation will be published and exhibited at BINA 2019, and then at other SCCM events.
The living conditions in Ledine are predominantly characterized by processes and patterns of self-provision of housing. Following the local and state government’s inability to provide housing for refugees fleeing from Yugoslav war zones in the '90s, for internally displaced people from Kosovo in the early '00s, and, lately, for returnees from western Europe, newcomers to the area have resorted to building their own homes.
In addition, without effective support or public interest, locals were forced to take initiative and responsibility for building their shared infrastructure. These processes have lasted for almost a quarter of a century, creating a new, irreversible urban condition shaped by internal dynamics of intertwined individual and collective interests. As a consequence, public space and public goods have been jeopardized, with the local school facing the major threat. This is why we chose the local schoolyard, as a refuge of shared neighborhood life, to be the locus of Urban Hub 2. By working with the community to improve shared infrastructure around the only public institution in the area, the intention of team Škograd is to advocate for the preservation of public space and public good in Belgrade.
INFRASTRUCTURE OF HOPE
This project relates to the experience and sensibility of our ongoing work. We are excited to participate in this project together with professionals across disciplines and borders, and we believe that the exchange of ideas will help develop our process and strengthen the impact of our efforts. Our main aim as Urban Hub 2 facilitators is to create a spatial intervention in the schoolyard that will address issues of the increasingly segregated neighborhood.
This project will build on the series of dialogues we organized in Ledine during the past year. These dialogues showed a need for a commonly used public space - the school staff expressed great interest in a space for both curricular and extracurricular activities outside of the school building, and the children and neighbors placed great focus on a space for cultural and leisure activities. From February to March we will work on developing context-specific participative methodology that will aim to incorporate the needs of all groups involved. In March and April, we will conduct the participatory design process with children, neighbors, teachers, and school administration, and propose a preliminary design based on the process. In May, we will communicate the preliminary design with experts during Belgrade International Architecture Week. By implementing the feedback from the professional community, we will develop the final design and start the building process. Our goal is to finish construction by the end of the summer and have the intervention completed in time for the beginning of school in September.
We see the process of design and building as a process where we grow closer as a community by working together to reach our shared interests. Our team seeks to create a physical intervention that embodies and symbolizes this process. We believe, in the long run, that by strengthening our capacities to persist in this effort we will be able to develop infrastructures of shared cities.
GOETHE INSTITUTE IN BELGRADE IS PROJECT PARTNER