Photostory of Our Neighbourhood

City / Country / Region: 
Ljubljana / Central / Slovenia
2016 - 2017
Commissioner(s) / Initiator(s): 

Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (UIRS), Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), Civil initiative Skupaj na ploščad!, Posavje District Office of the City of Ljubljana (ČS Posavje MOL), Primary school Danila Kumar, Creative Europe network Human Cities

Local / Citizens' Knowledge Production as a Tool for Placemaking: 

In the context of the urban regeneration of the aged up large housing estate (Russian Tsar neighbourhood in the northern outskirts of the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana) the professional team (part of Creative Europe Human Cities network) indicated the need to develop new approaches to participatory urban regeneration. Even if the team of professionals was interdisciplinary it became clear that without an active participation of residents the comprehensive regeneration of the neighbourhood in general and its public spaces can in particular can reach a successful end. 

Participatory Processes: 

In phase one the “warming-up” tools were used, such as residents-led neighbourhood walking tour, round tables, neighbours’ picnic and workshops for children. The aim was to start a wider discussion within the community on the possible futures of the neighbourhood as well as how the residents themselves are ready to get involved in the regeneration processes with their own ideas and activities. After some time it became clear that some groups of residents had never joined this kind of activities and a decision was taken to develop an on-line digital tool that would allow to activate new groups of residents and make them join the participatory process.

Digital Tools Used: 

The digital tool that was developed and used is called Photostory of our neighbourhood. It is an on-line application where any resident can upload any number of photos and their short captions (2-3 sentences). More than 170 photos were collected and offered many new insights into the life, dynamics and relations in the neighbourhood. The entries were also exhibited in public space to encourage further debates among the residents and between residents and professionals and officials in charge of urban regeneration.  

Bottom-Up Digital Practices: 

The tool is a web-portal where the photos and short accompanying texts can be uploaded. It also tracks the basic data on the contributor as well as the location of the photo. The photos are stored within one of the five thematic sections (Most pleasant place in my neighbourhood, Professions in my neighbourhood, My neighbor, Borders of my neighbourhood, Shared values in my neighbourhood) in order to encourage contributors to focus on positive aspects of the housing estate as well as to support different themes tackled in the neighbourhood’s urban regeneration strategy. 

Disciplinary / Professional Field: 

Urban planning, urban design, community building, IT, social media

Articles / Publications / Websites: