In October 2018, IPoP – Institute for Spatial Policies published the publication More than a Road to a City (Več kot cesta do mesta), with the support of the Municipality of Ljubljana. The publication describes initiatives and proposals for the pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly renovation of Vodnikova Road in Ljubljana.
Three years ago, the Renovate Vodnikova Road initiative (Iniciativa uredimo Vodnikovo) noted that the existing construction of the road, with its car-oriented character, is contrary to the plans for transforming Ljubljana into a modern and sustainable city. They contacted the Municipality of Ljubljana together with the Šiška Neighbourhood Community (Četrtna skupnost Šiška), who cooperated in further activities to transform Vodnikova Road into a modern city road.
Over the next two years, the Šiška neighbourhood community collaborated with some professional organisations in the field of sustainable spatial planning, especially IPoP – Institute for spatial policies, and other local stakeholders, highlighting the Vodnik homestead (Vodnikova domačija) cultural house, to organise several events. They aimed to raise awareness about urban planning issues and coming up with solutions through public debate and above all, connected the local community of residents and other actors along the road. So far, the most visible results of the initiative’s activities have been two street festivals, a garage sale, three Jane’s Walk urban walks, a workshop with residents and a collaboration with the Faculty of Architecture.
By working in a way that connects the initiatives with the local residents, supported by professional organizations and the formal local and city government on the one hand and by organizing an open action and strengthening the local community on the other, the Renovate Vodnikova Road initiative is an interesting and good example that could also be used for many other initiatives in the city and beyond.