City Squares

GRADSKI TRGOVIThe project Revival of City Squares in Balkan Cities was implemented during 2011-2012 The project aimed to contribute to the revival of city squares as viable public places that foster cultural identity and promote diversity through enforcement of public policies and active community participation. The project lead partner was organization Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development from Tirana, Albania; while the project partners were: Coalition for Sustainable Development KOR from Skopje, Macedonia; EXPEDITIO from Kotor, Montenegro and Polis University (International School of Architecture and Urban Development Policies) from Tirana, Albania.

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The final workshop “SQUARE PLAY” took place in Skopje (Macedonia). The series of 3 regional workshops aimed to provide creative ideas how to “give life” to the open public spaces as well as valuable input for the guidelines that will act as a reference material to local authorities to undertake concrete actions based on participatory principles for city square transformation. Not less important result from these workshops will be the contribution towards creating a network and “esprit de corp” of young advocates in the three Balkan countries to promote the discourse on how city squares can be transformed into vibrant community places.

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The project “Revival of City Squares in Balkan Cities” began in January 2011. The project aims to contribute to the revival of city squares as viable public places that foster cultural identity and promote diversity through enforcement of public policies and active community participation.

The lead partner of the project is Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development from Tirana, Albania | while other partners are: the Coalition for Sustainable Development (CSD) from Skoplje, Macedonia; EXPEDITIO from Kotor, Montenegro and Polis University (International School of Architecture and Urban Development Policies from Tirana, Albania.

The project will last for two years, until December 2012.

The project is funded by the Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans (CSP) under the Regional Cooperation Projects programme line.

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The public space of intervention

Students from the course of urban design were divided into groups of three, four, people and began a research and analysis of urban territory that brought them very soon, into conflict with the issues of space to which they had not thought of before.  Each group was then asked to think, together with the coordinator, of an intervention1 that could be realized  in the investigated space; an intervention that was a metaphor for the current situation and a look towards a possible future offered by their architectural projects; an intervention that was a key point of contact for citizens; an intervention that spokes of potential, something that belongs public space in general as area of sharing and conflict. What it is derived is a new place, not physical, but mental. A space of reflection in which going into with the unconscious fear of not recognizing what we are looking at. Losing references leads to feel dizzy, what we’re not able to recognize forces our brain to make us look differently, in a new way, inside the image in a far and wide journey towards a new perspective, a new reality , a new poem; a journey through a global space, along with urban and natural, real, realistic and imaginary.

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Within the project Revival of City Squares in the Balkan Cities, a workshop “SQUARE PLAY” will be held in Skoplje. The workshop will take place from 14 to 19 October 2011.

The project Revival of City Squares in the Balkan Cities aims to contribute to the revival of city squares as viable public places that foster cultural identity and promote diversity through enforcement of public policies and active community participation, conducted in partnership with the organizations Co-PLAN and U-Polis from Albania and the Coalition for Sustainable Development from Macedonia and EXPEDITIO. The project donor is the Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans (SCP) within the Regional Cooperation Projects programme.

The workshop “SQUARE PLAY” is organized by the Coalition for Sustainable Development (CSD) from Skoplje, Macedonia |www.kor-csd.org.

Brief description of the workshop can be obtained here.

EXPEDITIO has the opportunity to send ten participants from Montenegro to this workshop. For the selected participants, all travel and accommodation expenses in Skoplje will be covered.

If you are interested, please send us your CV and brief motivation letter (max. 150 words) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., not later than Wednesday, 5 October 2011.

v-lipovac-webIn the frame of the project Revival of City Squares in Balakn Cities, on behalf of the Coalition for Sustainable Development Arch. Divna Penčić prepared an initial research entitled “Urban Notes: City Squares and Public Spaces”, which served as introduction to the research on city squares.

When talking about squares and public spaces, in order to be clear, first of all, we will have to define their meaning. In our communication we use the term "square" quite frequently, and it appears that we are pretty clear what does it mean. However, if someone, using any of the languages of the Balkans, tries to find the right word to indicate the great diversity of urban areas that rightfully deserve to enter the ranks of attractive (large or small) squares / public spaces, as pearls of the city space and urban life, they will definitely experience the problem of finding the correct word.

This initial research examined the following aspects of city squares: Definition, Names and Naming, Form and function, Squares through and today, as well as: Role of Public Spaces and Why they are Important, How to Make Great Public Spaces (Squares) and Who is Responsible for Public Spaces? It also considered the topic of Creating New Models for Public Spaces.

The research “Urban Notes: City Squares and Public Spaces” can be downloaded here.

radiokotorRadio Kotor broadcasted interviews with several participants in the workshop “Kotor City Squares”. “For us this is quite an interesting experience because, although we have been in Kotor for a long time, we have not focused our work much on the Old City itself. This is an opportunity for us to find out how young people see the squares and the ways in which they can be revived, while, through short interactive programmes, we could see the reactions of the citizens of Kotor and tourists,” said Tanja Rajic from the NGO Expeditio, who, together with the workshop participants, was a guest of Radio Kotor. That the city of Kotor is inspirational for all forms of artistic creation,  is the opinion of future architects from the neighbouring countries, Mamica Burda from Tirana, Gordan Vitevski from Skopje, Matija Vukovic from Podgorica, Milica Tanasijević from Belgrade and Alma Džinalija from Sarajevo, who were our guests in today’s edition of “Summer Stories” at 17.15.

graphDuring the past few months, Expeditio conducted a research on Kotor city squares. The research is part of the project Revival of city squares Balkan cities, and its author is a sociologist Miomirka Lučić. The research on Kotor city squares treated some issues that are common subject of scientific and even ordinary conversation: how much people use the squares in general, what is the purpose of their usage, who determines or, rather, defines the strategy of public spaces organization and their use.

EXPEDITIO is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to encourage sustainable spatial development in Montenegro and SEE region through activity in the fields of sustainable architecture, cultural heritage, urban planning and through projects that encourage overall development of the civil society. Expeditio was established in 1997.

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