Co-plan - Albania
''Urban regulatory plan for Kukës''
Feb 14th 2010, Tirana, Albania:
The ongoing project ''Urban regulatory plan for Kukës'', which builds on Co-Plan's previous experience of designing urban regulatory plans, is based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between USAID and Kukës Municipality. The City Regulatory Plan will steer private investments in Kukës, and bring them in line with public investments. Kukës is situated in northeastern Albania, on the border with Kosovo. Until the early 1970s it was situated at a historical settlement. However, owing to construction of one of Albania's major hydropower plants, it was demolished and moved in 1976 a few km away from its original location to its present one. Construction of the Durrës-Kukës-Morinë highway has already improved links between Kukës and the central part of the country, and has laid the groundwork for a faster, better connection with Kosovo.
The main objectives of the Urban Regulatory Plan are:
1. To equip the city with the instruments necessary to steer urban development
2. To encourage sustainable development of the city by promoting participatory planning processes.
The Urban Regulatory Plan will include a zoning code and establish a GIS database. These will be submitted to the municipality as an aid to further territorial management.
Press to Exit - Macedonia
Feb 1st 2010, Skopje, Macedonia
Press to Exit has just rounded off a series of collaborative exchange and research-based workshops with a final exhibition in Rome, ''If you don't have God, you'd better have a multiverse'', designed by 1:1projects (Rome) in partnership with the Kadist Art Foundation (Paris) and ''Press to Exit" project space (Skopje). The exhibition presents three itinerant workshops that took place in Rome (25-27 September), Skopje (30 October-1 November) and Paris (27-29 November), during which invited groups took part in open discussions on the issues of time and space and how the latter are perceived. Envisaged as a moment of encounter, each workshop included presentations by the participants; a guest lecture or intervention by an invited artist, scholar or scientist; and an event open to the general public. The exhibition in Rome in late January, 2010 was the last chapter of the project, at least for the moment.
IPOP, Institute for Spatial Policies - Slovenia
''Celoveška, what will be''
February 2nd Ljubljana, Slovenia.
A panel discussion named ''Celoveška, what will be'' was organized by IPOP (Institute for Spatial Policies), the local community, the city council of Staro Šiško, and a group of landscape architects named PAZ!PARK. The purpose of the panel was to highlight problems associated with the crossroads at Drenikovo Road/ Ruska Street, and ultimately to enhance public space there. The panel organizers presented some brief spatial analyses of Celoveške Road. In that respect, they offered interesting insights into the spatial regulation of pedestrian zones and their contribution to the new governmental spatial plan.
Muzil - Croatia
February 2nd 2010, Pula, Croatia
Activists involved in the ''I love Pula-Initiative for Muzil'' gave their full and total support to activists from Zagreb, who blocked the street and organized the rally in protest against plans to turn a section of the pedestrian zone into a ramp for an underground garage, as part of the Cvjetni shopping centre and luxury flats development planned for the historic city centre of Zagreb. On the ''Muzil'' website activists stated, "It must be made clear to the political elite that - in spite of broad legislative and bureaucratic support for the general trend to privatization throughout the whole country - we will not allow the city and public space to be privatized. The city belongs only to the citizens - and only the citizens may legitimately decide about the future of the city.''
The rally protest is still going on.
Right to the City - Croatia
February 11th 2010, Zagreb, Croatia.
At 03.30 in the morning around 100 riot police arrested 23 activists from ''Green Action'' and the Right to the City
initiative in Zagreb, Croatia. The raid took place just hours after 4000 people turned out in snowy conditions to protest against plans to turn a section of the pedestrian zone into a ramp for an underground garage, as part of the Cvjetni shopping centre and luxury flats development planned for the historic city centre of Zagreb. The operation aimed to remove the accommodation container, which the groups had put on Varsavska Street, a pedestrian zone, as a 24-hour info-point, in order to prevent work beginning on the ramp, which is still under legal dispute. Activists inside of the container and on the roof resisted removal peacefully by locking themselves together using arm tubes, and were arrested after the fire brigade cut the tubes. Around 50 more activists blocked roads to prevent the lorry carrying the container from leaving the site, but riot police removed them also. The activists have announced that protests will continue.
Urban - Rural Recycling Design, Vladicin Han
Exhibition ''Once and Never''
February 16th 2009, Vladicin Han, Serbia
Urban activist from Vladicin Han, Ms. Suzana Stankovi?-Aleksi? has announced several activities that will hopefully re-shape the image of modern-day Vladicin Han. One of the current projects (2009-2010) is the reconstruction of the pedestrian zone in Zagubica, a small village situated in East Serbia. This will give Žagubica a chance to enhance tourism and promote its local sightseeing attractions. Suzana has also announced that the exhibition "Once and Never" will be entered in ''Arhienale V'', a competition organized by the Engineering Chambers of Serbia. In that respect, Ms. Stankovic-Aleksic has stated: "Without analysis of current values and situations in V.Han... in the field of XXI century urban-design planning, we can do little to address the preservation of cultural heritage. Politicians, planners, and architects from Serbia or from V.Han itself have disturbed cultural heritage... important cultural monuments of Serbia. Unfortunately, even in the XXI century, southern Serbia and V.Han display abundant stupidity and social conflicts regarding professionalism, which creates new barriers. How shall we be able to justify our actions in the eyes of the generations to come?''
ADAPTations1 - Bulgaria
''Looking for a funding''
February 17 th 2010, Sofia, Bulgaria
ADAPTATIONS1 from Sofia is currently fundraising for their next project. The project will provide recommendations on improving the physical conditions of Roma communities in Bulgaria. At present the Roma people are suffering from long-term disinvestment in their communities' physical capacity to deliver basic health, welfare and economic growth opportunities. In the past, national and regional governments approached these communities with culturally inappropriate infrastructural and technical solutions. This led to the communities' ongoing marginalization and also fostered their mistrust of the motivations for and efficacy of interventions in public improvements. The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) alleges that large numbers of Roma in Bulgaria are segregated from non-Roma populations. Roma live in separate settlements, often walled off by physical barriers such as metal or concrete fences and almost completely removed from the mainstream of Bulgarian social and economic life. As the Government itself recognizes (for e.g. in "1999 Framework Programme for Equal Integration of Roma in Bulgarian Society") Romani neighborhoods are usually found on the outskirts of cities, town and villages, are not included in urban planning schemes, and therefore lack adequate infrastructure.
Expeditio - Montenegro
''A presentation about Expeditio within the project ''Supernatural Eco Pavilion'', Belgrade''
February 16th Belgrade, Serbia
The Belgrade-based organization "Supernatural Environmental Movement" (Supernatural ekološki pokret) invited a representative of Expeditio to present the work of the organization within the framework of a competition for the "supernatural eco pavilion". The presentation took place in the Cultural Centre "Grad", on 2nd February 2010, at 6.00 p.m. For more information about the organization "Supernatural", please see www.supernaturalfest.com
Novi Put - Bosnia & Herzegovina
''A new website and a upcoming project''
Mon February 22nd 2010, Biha?, Bosina&Herzegovina
The Biha?-based NGO ''Novi Put'' (New Way), an organisation working in the fields of Human Rights and Cultural Management in Una-Sana canton, Bosnia&Herzegovina, has announced that their new website is now online. All activities and news can now be found at www.novi-put.org
Novi Put is also organising for the third time the event ''Days of German and Austrian Culture in Biha?'', which will take place at schools in Biha?'s municipality. This project is endorsed and supported by the Goethe Institut BiH, Bauern helfen Bauern and the German Embassy in Bosnia&Herzegovina. The aim of this project is to reinforce cultural and educational connections between Bosnia on one side and Germany and Austria on the other. As the NGO ''Novi Put'' says, the main focus of the project is the integration of young people and children, who are the future (adult) citizens of the European Union.