Project Outdoors (Zunaj) is about supporting local communities in their place-making activities. Communities were invited to submit their place-making proposals. Based on criteria and evaluation of proposals ten were selected for support. The support consists of material support of 500 € for material needed for the implementation and consultation on project implementation. The community that initiated the project contributes with voluntary labour and leads the project. The first success of the project was that more than 60 communities of Ljubljana applied. Considering the fact that this was first such project in Ljubljana and Slovenia, much lower number had been expected.
The projects supported by Zunaj are rather diverse:
- popup cinema in the housing estate,
- refurbishment of a neglected bus station,
- maintenance work, cleaning and small infrastructure (bins, benches…) improvements in the local park / small forest,
- neglected underway refurbishment – cleaning, painting, new bike racks etc.,
- community events, …
The aim of the project was to support and motivate communities with a place-making interest in implementing it. Additionally, as the project targets communities and not places, it enabled simple refurbishments of places in which authorities could not invest due to unclear ownership etc. Zunaj enabled communities’ actions in this kind of publicly accessible places.
Zunaj goes beyond supporting particular projects. It is expected to deliver a draft plan of a mechanism that would integrate such support of community place-making activates in the regular city management system.
Zunaj is supported by The City of Ljubljana. ProstoRož NGO is a lead partner and IPoP – Institute for spatial policies is a partner in the project. The project started in spring 2019 and will end in autumn 2019. Hopefully, it will be repeated in some form of supporting local bottom up place-making next year. Zunaj has been inspired by similar foreign mechanisms such as Grätzl oaze Wien, Neighbourhood Matching Fund Seattle …