Transformation of public space with small interventions with the aim of reducing car traffic in the vicinity of schools and kindergartens.

prostoRož, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Street of youth.
Čufarjeva Street is a major cross-connection between the center of Ljubljana and the Tabor Quarter. The street connects a wide variety of cultural and educational institutions, including two elementary schools, a high school and a kindergarten. It could be called the school street or the street of youth.
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Youth and Public Space.
Today, children and young people living in the city spend most of their time indoors. Even their free time is constantly monitored. Due to car traffic, streets have become dangerous for small children. And young people are usually unwanted in public places. The space can play a big role in the upbringing and development of children and youth. In the urban environment they learn about other age and social groups, they build their self-esteem through public space and integrate into society.
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Cooperation between the city and its users.
In this sense, the interaction is very important. City must therefore ensure that the urban space is equally applicable to all participants, both young and old, and both cyclists and pedestrians or motorists. Locals can contribute to the quality of the space itself, as well as life in the city with their positive encouragement and active involvement
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The problem.
The Čufarjeva Street, even though it is defined as a pedestrian zone, has become very dangerous. The part between Kotnikova and Resljeva streets has been problematic due to increased traffic during drop off and pick up time of youngsters from school. The part in the direction of the Kolodvorska Street has been extremely dangerous because it was mostly packed with cars.
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Pilot project aimed at solving the problem.
The project was conceived as a pilot project that will try to find ways to regulate the street from the bottom up. Young people were a part of the project and themselves suggested improvements while the urban furniture was made under the supervision of experts in various fields. With part closure of the street, we drew focus to the problem of the space and the Čufarjeva Street got the necessary attention so the discussion regarding the regulation of motorized traffic with the city was able to begin.
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Timing and planned activities.
We have planned three sets of activities: coloring northern half of the roadway, conversion of a 50 meters long fence along the street and manufacturing of urban furniture. Activities took place from March to May 2013.
In all, we worked closely with pupils from nearby schools and kindergarten, their parents and neighbors. The fence was made with preschool children and furniture with pupils at a nearby boarding house. We all participated in the painting.
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The result.
With small interventions and partial change the traffic regime we managed to limit car traffic and the street as so allowed more carefree walk, play and rest. We created street furniture together with students and schoolchildren, while the youngest children, through a series of workshops, designed interactive play on the fence. They all created the space they wished to have. Due to the width of the street it became a place for playing, sitting, chatting, observing, meetings, waiting, entertainment, socializing...
The project represents an important contribution to reducing car traffic in the vicinity of schools and kindergartens, and encourages parents to lead children in educational institutions on foot or by bicycle.

Submitter

prostoRož, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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