The Institute has been officially founded as a private non-governmental organization on March 1, 2006 and was registered in the National Court Register on May 29, 2006. The founders were Blaž Križnik, Marko Peterlin, Peter Šenk and Tadej Žaucer. IPoP functions as a non-profit organization. Since February 2008 the Institute has also been registered as a research organization at the Slovenian Research Agency.

IPoP includes employees and coworkers, founders, Institute board and Advisory board. The Institute board is an umbrella body that decides on the institute’s policy and monitors its development. The advisory board is a body of experts that also awards research titles.


Aidan Cerar, PhD, project manager

Aidan is a sociologist trained at the University of Ljubljana and Leuphana University of Lüneburg. At IPoP he has mainly been involved in projects dealing with urban regeneration, civic participation, and community involvement in planning and mobility. He regularly gives lectures at Slovenian and foreign universities and regularly speaks at national and international conferences. He is an author of several articles dealing with urban development. During the drafting of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for the City of Ljubljana, Aidan led the participation process. He is also a founding member of Library of Things, a social innovation service established in Ljubljana and a member of Maja Farol, a well-established group of architects. Before his position at IPoP, he had been working at the Regional Development Agency of Ljubljana Urban Region.

Urška Didovič, student

Landscape architect

Urška Didovič is a mater’s graduate in Landscape Architecture at the University of Ljubljana. During her studies, she was active in the activities and bodies of the Association of Landscape Architecture Students, the Student Organization of the Biotechnical Faculty and the Student Council of the Biotechnical Faculty, as well as the Network of European Landscape Architecture Students – ELASA. She spent one semester of her master’s degree at the Technical University of Munich. In 2020, she completed an internship at IPoP and since then has been involved in projects related to green space management and active mobility. She is currently writting her final master’s thesis at the Department of Landscape Architecture UL BF. She is a member of the cultural environmental association Pazi! Park.


Nela Halilović, project manager

Nela is MA in geography, educated at Department for geography at Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana and at Department for social demography and regional planning at Charles University in Prague. As a student, she was actively involved in activities and board of Slovenian student geography association and European geography association, and now she is a member of the board of Ljubljana geographical association. In her local environment, she was active in the field of tourism, sustainable mobility and youth politics and was granted as an above-average socially engaged student. After studies, she was employed at Municipality of Velenje, as a project manager working on transnational EU projects in sustainable mobility and participative planning. She works at IPoP since 2019, mainly on topics related to sustainable mobility with a focus on Campaigning for active mobility.


Goran Jakovac, office manager
landscape architect

Goran is originally from the port city of Rijeka in Croatia. He graduated from landscape architecture at the University of Ljubljana. He went on to design private gardens and municipality plans in Upper Savinja Valley in Slovenia. He spent several years working as an office manager and a riverboat captain at a local tourist boating company on the Ljubljanica River. Later he became a licenced tour guide. At IPoP, he manages the office and administration, documentation and map design. He loves to spend his free time exploring and taking photos.



Pavlina Japelj, junior expert
communicologist and sociologist

Pavlina obtained an MA in Sociology – Spatial and environmental studies and a BA in Communication Sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana and the Department of Sociology at the University of Vienna. In her thesis, she studied local initiatives as a tool for revitalization in cities, based on the revival of the community farmer’s market that she led. In recent years, she worked in Vienna as an associate in one of the urban renewal offices, where she was engaged in temporary use projects and public participation in spatial planning processes. At IPoP, she is currently working on a European project in the field of sustainable mobility and placemaking.



Urban Jeriha, project manager

Urban has been trained as an architect at the University of Ljubljana, where he obtained a Master’s degree and worked as a technical assistant. He works on sustainable urban development, sustainable mobility, and collaborative urban regeneration. He is a researcher and author of several publications on cities, mobility, and spatial development. He worked as a practising architect, collaborated with several NGOs in Europe and took an active role in traffic policy-related local initiatives. He founded Preboj Association, where he organises cultural events and consults non-governmental organisations.



Blaž Križnik, PhD, senior researcher
architect and sociologist

Blaž is an associate professor of urban sociology at the Graduate School of Urban Studies, Hanyang University in Seoul. He finished his PhD in sociology of everyday life at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. He was visiting research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Seoul Development Institute and Seoul National University Asia Center, and guest professor at the University of Seoul and Kwangwoon University in Seoul. His research at IPoP is focused on urban studies, sociology of urban social movements, and Korean studies.



Lucija Ličer, junior expert

Lucija is a Master’s student of geography at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. As a geographer, she works on topics of regional planning and geographic information systems as part of her studies. She’s been improving her knowledge in these fields abroad, completing one semester of her Master’s studies at the Swedish University of Umeå. In the past, through student jobs, she was actively involved in the field of nature conservation, remote data acquisition and tourism. She began working with IPoP during her undergraduate studies on the project Odprta ulica and continued until 2022, when she’s been employed by the Institute as a junior expert. She is currently involved in the preparation of mobility plans for the industrial zone.


Petra Očkerl, project manager
sociologist and translator

Petra obtained an MA in sociology – spatial and environmental studies and BA in translation – Slovene, English, and German at the University of Ljubljana. She is the contact person for the National URBACT Point for Slovenia and a regular contributor to the URBACT Blog. She leads a project supporting the implementation of urban policy in Slovenia and is engaged with other projects in the field of sustainable spatial and urban development and urban regeneration. She is also collaborating in studies on EU cohesion policy.



Jana Okoren, junior expert

Jana has a BA in Translation Studies awarded by the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. In addition to translation work, she was also engaged in other activities and projects in Slovenia and Italy, mainly in the field of culture. In Rome she has worked as a Coordinator and Artistic Director of the film festival Festival delle Terre and Assistant of the multimedia archive for the NGO Centro Internazionale Crocevia. In the south of Italy, she has worked as Tour Coordinator and Production Assistant and travelled with the Canadian theatre company Caravan Stage Company. She has worked as an administrative assistant at the Embassy of Italy in Ljubljana. At IPoP, she is involved in sustainable mobility projects.



Marko Peterlin, director
architect and urban planner

Marko has been initially trained at the University of Ljubljana, later he obtained a Master’s degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona. His previous work experiences include free-lance practice, work in the public administration, and academia. His work focuses on urban development policies. He also takes care of extensive collaboration with NGOs, public, and private institutions within a number of cooperation and applied research projects. He is the coordinator of a network of NGOs on urban and spatial development in Slovenia. In 2008 he led the drafting of documents for the Slovenian EU Presidency in the fields of territorial cohesion and urban development policies as an external expert. In the years 2009-2015 he was responsible for National Dissemination Point of the URBACT programme in Slovenia. He contributed to a number of studies for the European Commission.


Nina Plevnik, junior expert

Nina is finished her master’s degree at Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana. In her thesis, she is analysing the changes in transport as a result of the city’s participation in EU funded projects. As a student, she worked on mobility projects at Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia. To expand her horizons, she also did an internship at Transport Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University. At IPoP she coodinates communication activities, helps with the activities of the National URBACT point and works on projects in the field of sustainable spatial and urban development.



Maja Simoneti, PhD, project manager
landscape architect and spatial planner

Maja is a licensed landscape architect and spatial planner. She used to work in spatial planning and landscape design for twenty years before she first joined IPoP in 2009. She is skilled in organisation and reconciliation within interdisciplinary working groups and public participation processes. Her main interests are participation, placemaking, sustainable urban development, green space planning and management and spatial literacy. She combines work in practice with research; her M. Phil. thesis was about involving users into public green space management. She is also a former president of the Association of Landscape Architects of Slovenia and had various roles within the Chamber for Architecture and Spatial Planning of Slovenia. She has won various prizes for her work in planning practice, in research and in publishing.


Karina Sirk, junior expert

Karina has a master’s degree in Sociology. Her final assignments were about cohabitation communities and the value of home for elderlies. Her previous work experience includes work in public administration, non-governmental sector and education. For the last decade, she has been active in various European projects as a content and administration coordinator. At IPoP, she is currently working in the field of sustainable mobility.


Anja Slapničar, junior expert
urban planner

Anja Slapničar finished her urban planning studies at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana. She spent one semester abroad at the Lodz University of Technology in Poland. In her Bachelor thesis, she dealt with cooperative housing and living in communities. She is currently analysing parking spaces and researching their shared use in Velenje as part of her master’s thesis. At IPoP she started as an intern in 2019 and has been involved in projects on sustainable mobility ever since.



Senka Šifkovič Vrbica, project manager

Senka Šifkovič Vrbica is a lawyer with a state law exam and a Master’s degree in social anthropology, with experience in justice and banking. In the last 20 years, she has specialized in the field of non-governmental organizations, environmental protection, nature and spatial planning. She gained knowledge and practice as a collaborator of the Legal-Informational Centre for NGOs – PIC, with which she still cooperates. She uses her knowledge of international, EU and national regulations on environmental protection, nature and spatial planning in the preparation of analyses of individual systemic problems, proposed solutions, changes in regulations or the preparation of legal remedies. She assists organizations in their advocacy activities and educates them. She is also a member of the Environmental Defenders (Zagovorniki okolja) and participates in the implementation of Zelena svetovalnica, a green consultancy, offering free legal aid.

Institute board

  • Aidan Cerar, PhD (IPoP)
  • Urška Kranjc (LUZ d.d.)
  • Blaž Križnik, PhD (IPoP, GSUS HYU)
  • Jernej Prijon (Prima Ljubljana d.o.o.)
  • Maja Simoneti, PhD (IPoP)
  • Peter Šenk, PhD (UM FG)

Advisory board

  • Margita Jančič
  • doc. dr. Alma Zavodnik Lamovšek (UL FGG)
  • prof. dr. Elen Twrdy (UL FPP)
  • doc. dr. Matjaž Uršič (UL FDV)
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