LED2LEAP 2021 - Zagreb Team 3
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Landscape Democracy Rationale
The landscape is a place where different groups of people come together, accessible to everyone anytime, a place of gathering and entertainment. Especially if it is a space that connects several different communities and even two cities, it is important to have a good understanding of all the needs of users. Communication with people (users of space) is the starting point from which we should start when planning the design of location. Each space has its own peculiarities and problems that need to be solved in collaboration with people.
Location and scope
Phase A: Mapping Your Community
Welcome to Our Community and Their Landscape
The cycleway is located in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia and it's about 22 km long and it stretches along the railway from the center of Zagreb to the eastern city edge to center of city Dugo Selo. Since the cycleway passes through half the city it is connected to the whole range of content, purpose, landscapes and communities. There is also big diversity in surrounding environment which consists of a dense urban matrix through residential neighborhoods, industrial areas, nature protected areas all the way to the outlying rural parts of the city, agricultural areas, forests and villages.
Main spatial problems are:
- discontinuity of the cycleway
- the current inadequate width
- the railway that acts as an obstacle in space, it divides the city of Zagreb into two parts: north and south and act as border between the neighborhoods
Main challenges are:
- providing space for all users
- creating a safe space without conflicts
- to reconcile jazz between all social groups / provide a sense of welcome
- integrating the cycleway with the whole city and it's open public spaces
Very important points are brownfields that are also stretching along the railway line. Since the space within the city is limited (which then means it's very valuable) by renovating, reviving and embedding these abandoned places with the planned cycleway the city gets a whole new look and value. So even though brownfields are currently abandoned they represent a huge spatial potential for future revitalization.
Groups of Actors and Stakeholders in Your Community
Given that the planned cycleway passes through 2 different cities, and one of them is the capital and largest city in the country, it is to be expected that the range of users will be wide and diverse. Groups of actors and stakeholders are divided here in three groups: primary, secondary and tertiary users. Those three groups are then organized in diagram by distance to the cycleway.
- The primary group includes users who would use the trail regularly on daily basis: cyclists, recreational users, pedestrians, roller-skaters and people going to and from work.
- The secondary group of users are ones who live relatively close by, and would come often to the area: families, children, youth, elderly people, dog walkers, students, low socioeconomic housing and roman people.
- The tertiary group includes people who live furthest from the cycleway and it is to be expected that they would seldom use the track, such as: organized groups (school/student trips, travelers etc.) and religious communities. On the other hand we again have groups of people who live furthest from the cycleway but have the greatest influence and decision-making power regarding the cycleway: local political groups, brownfield owners, local committees and similar.
Needs of each group are different and each has its own priorities. Our goal is to gather everyone's wishes and needs and put them together in the best possible strategy. While some need a direct route from home to work and back, others would like to enjoy the nature that stretches along the cycleway and value safety very much.
Relationships Between Your Actors and Groups
Since there are a diverse number of users on our track at different times of the day, as well as at different ages, it is unlikely that the whole community will be in good relationships. Their place of residence does not play a big role. We can see the worst connection is between the Roman community and a large number of users. A very weak link is between students and older people, as well as the younger generation and children, since they do not have much in common. A good connection can be noticed between cyclists and roller-skaters, as well as for pedestrians and dog walkers.
When it comes to the notion of power, the greatest power have actors who don't actually live in or close to the area. Politicians, and in a way local communities that live there, who do have some power, but sadly they do not use it. On the other hand students, cyclists, young people, those who go to work by bicycle have some power because they are the ones who use the space the most and it is up to them to express an opinion on what the space should look like to those who have more power. The users who have no power are children, elderly population and the Roma community.
Summary of Your Learnings from the Transnational Discussion Panel
We learned about parallel international projects in other countries and we really liked to see different ways of analysis, different approaches and different graphic expression towards a similar problem that we all solve. We think it is very useful to have an insight into other people's ways of working and visual thinking so that we can broaden our own horizons and ways of thinking.
Disorientation as learning objective: Applying transformational Learning Theory in Participatory Action Pedagogy We don’t want people to feel neglected. Therefore, it is important to include them in the very beginning of the design and planning process, without prejudices. We as planners, need to be open to all community advices and comments because each member sees the world from their own perspective. We create the world for people and not in our memory.
Design for Ecological Democracy The way we presently inhabit the earth is not sustainable, and the root to the majority of critical issues lays in urbanity. Poor city design divides us from others in our communities and destroy natural habitats. Instead of destroying forests to build highways that are still unable to relieve traffic congestion, that are adding to greenhouse effect etc.m and then hiring ‘’experts’’ to fix the problem, we need real experts who will not allow such things in the first place. We need to design cities that take advantage of natural factors, that are inspired by their regional characteristics and are connecting communities instead of dividing them.
Pledge for a transformative science Development catalyzed by scientific knowledge may sometimes interfere with natural and human systems and produce unintended ecological and social side effects. Humanity has to find a way of dealing with these processes and organize societal systems differently. In order to deal with these challenges science needs to change from its descriptive functions and cooperate with non-academic actors to achieve shared goals
Landscape convention -The importance of acting locally -Keeping people updated about developments and encouraging their engagement through various polls, referendums, workshops, public debates, etc. -Not relying solely on hi-tech solutions for global warming and other forms of devastation of landscapes, but through learning about the ways in which our ancestors managed -Landscape and culture should be observe as a unity, rather than separate entities, in order to assess the needs of the habitants of spaces in question more accurately
Landscape concepts The literature was useful for understanding the landscape at the concept level. It shows its non-continuous development throughout history. ‘From painting to real space’ - created the ideal of the landscape. The contrast between the village and the city can be connected with the cycleway since it passes partly through the city and partly through the rural area. The landscape, which is understood as a rural one, gets the connotation of freedom - which drives the inhabitants out and into nature as a break from the social constraints and social narrowness of the city, which the cycleway would provide to the users.
- Schneidewind, Uwe et al (2016): Pledge for a Transformative Science
- A conceptual framework
- Council of Europe (2000):The European Landscape Convention
- Landscape Convention Contribution to human rights, democracy and sustainable development
- LED Team (2019):Landscape Education for Democracy
- Kühne, Olaf (2015): Landscape Concepts
- Kühne, Bruns et al: Landscape Culture - Culturing Landscapes
- Hester, Randolph (2006): Design for Ecological Democracy
- Wilson, Barbara (2020): Disorientation as a Learning Objective
Phase B: Democratic Landscape Analysis and Assessment
Paula Kovač and Anna Kulperová Correspondence
Through our discussion, we've noticed the communities we're working with are facing similar issues, for example the question of how to integrate minorities, namely the Roma people. We've also reflected on how cultural events can bring community members closer together through group efforts needed for those kind of festivities to take place. Elitism among expert circles has also come up, and the fact that through our studies we haven't really been introduced to the concept of democratic participation. Our cultural similarities (Slovakia and Croatia) have made this an interesting discussion.
Kristina Komšo and Klaudia Dočekalová Correspondence
Klaudia and I first heard from each other via Gmail and immediately converted to Facebook. We started to get to know each other, where are we from, what are our interests and opinions on LED2LEAP seminar and general education. Conversations with Klaudia were interesting and thoughtful and I enjoyed our short ‘friendship’ a lot. It was completely new experience for me and it has given me more confidence in sharing professional opinions with someone I don’t know. We shared quality discussions and had no problem to present opposite opinions and explain them to each other. There was no judging, only validation of each others opinion.
Kristina Tomaša and Digjam Tandel Correspondence
My partner Digjam and I first spoke through email, exchanged numbers and then switched our communication via WhatsApp. We agreed that in addition to commenting our given literature we would take out notes we found important in order to get the most out of it, so that is what you can see on the picture. We mainly agreed in our discussions and we both found it important to finish the books when we find the time so we can implement what we read in our work as professionals one day. We both agree that 'Design as democracy' was the most interesting and fun for us to read and to identify with. We came to the conclusion that although we live in two very distant countries and are working on a different projects, the problems and processes in the landscape democracy are very similar, if not the same.
Tina Radić and Sara Santos Correspondence
It was very interesting to see how many of the same challenges me and Sara (my pen pal) have. We started communicating by getting to know each other, getting to know each other, exchanging ideas and talking about our own projects. Each of us gave our comments on parts of the book, which we then compared to some of our projects and noticed how many important things can affect the project. It was very interesting for me to hear the ways in which other people solve the same challenges that are found in landscape. In the end, partnerships between planners and users is very important, but so is the exchange of experiences and ideas among ourselves.
Paola Modrić and Stefano Tagliatti Correspondence
Our work started by hearing each other via email, exchanging the necessary pdf documents for reading and agreeing on which ones to read first. We first read Design as democracy chapter 2. Then we read Community matters and finally Introduction at the Boundaries. We exchanged a couple of emails about each document readings and discussed them. We later attached screenshots of mails and brief descriptions of documents to the mural.
Lucija Korić and Zuzana's Correspondence
My pen pal was Zuzana, student from Slovakia and we are the same age, so we compared ours situation on university and in general in our countries. We agreed that we have the same problems and that is with doing only „fictional“ projects and not something that will be realized, and because of that we don't take that projects as seriously as we would if it would be actually realized and that means that we don't learn so much about community in practice. We also discussed some quotes and what we found valuable for our future projects.
Phase C: Collaborative Visioning and Goal Setting
The Scene in Your Story of Visioning
Given that the cycleway passes through half of the city and the fact that it is connected to the whole range of content, purpose, landscapes and communities the big diversity is inevitable. By analyzing the set goals and potential vision, we came to a number of challenges, the most important of which were the following:
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN COMMUNITIES
- How to reconcile conflicts between disturbed community relations?
- How to approach the town planning board and present them different needs from a variety of users?
- How to achieve good communication between the users of the space and the planners/designers?
- How to get insight into the wants and needs of potential users of the future cycleway and the communities adjacent to it, considering its length?
- How to persuade the state leadership to take the necessary measures to change people's attitude towards traffic and replace the car with a bicycle ?
- How to deal with property issues? /since the route of the planned cycleway would have to take up parts of land belonging to private owners and Croatian Railways.
- How to provide space for everybody and for each community to consider cycling 'their own‘?
- How to connect remote parts of different communities that are linked to cycleway?
- How to encourage the community to think and create the VISION of the space they want to realize?
The Actors in Your Story of Visioning
THE MAYOR - With recent trends encouraging using sustainable means of commuting in order to help battle negative effects of CO2 pollution, the mayor and the city administration would endorse building a better inter-city cycling infrastructure, as well as the cycleway project. He would discourage traveling by car through setting up stricter restrictions in the city center, thus making it a safer place for cyclists.
EXPERTS - Professionals such as urban planners, landscape architects, architects, sociologists, etc. should firstly listen to the wishes, goals, needs and visions of communities and then focus their expertise on trying to produce the best design possible to accommodate to what the community has expressed.
STUDENTS - They want a free means of transportation since the majority can't afford to own a car but they still want to commute quickly and without the risk of running late. They also want a place that encourages social interaction.
CYCLISTS - They want to recreate and enjoy sunny days by driving through the city. Also, to be able to get to their workplaces, preferably fast and at the same time do what they love most – cycling. Unfortunately, due to the lacking infrastructure, they are unable to do so, without getting themselves into potentially dangerous situations, cruising between cars at stops and trying not to get run over.
FAMILIES - For families it is important to have safe spaces where they can take their children to, such as promenades, playgrounds and sport fields with various accompanying facilities, such as public restrooms, sources of drinking water, picnic tables, outdoor grills, snack bars or similar content that encourages social interaction.
ELDERLY PERSONS - Older people also want a safe recreational spaces as well as places that encourages social interaction.
FARMERS - Given that between 2 cities there are large agricultural areas owned by private persons/farmers engaged in the cultivation of that land, and since some of them certainly do not want anything to change because it then means that they have to give up part of their land and sell it/rent it for a cycleway development. It is necessary to inform them about the importance and benefits of cycleway and the development of the city, as well as direct benefits for them as development of cycleway will ultimately result in an increased value of their remaining land.
MEMBERS OF THE ROMA COMMUNITY - Roma people are often discriminated against but this issue is continually pushed under the rug. They want the same things as everybody: fast and safe travel from point a to b, a place for social interaction and most of all, to be accepted members of the community and to actively participate in the process of planning.
The Story of Visioning
Step by step process:
- Currently Zagreb is facing great changes, after 20+ years new mayor is elected and now is a great time to present our ideas for the cycleway project
- In collaboration with the City Office for Strategic Planning and Development of the Zagreb City there will be organized conferences, consultation, discussions and workshops to set some project goals, problems, parameters and next steps
- Assembling committees of experts (urban planners, landscape architects, architects, designers, sociologists, etc.) to discuss and brainstorm about issues regarding the future project in order to come up with new ideas and concepts → with results that are going to determine further action
- The next step is giving a presentation about all collected information to the public, local boards, civil association etc.
- Creating an online platform on which people could give their insight through a questionnaire - the platform would be available to anyone to view and/or contribute to, and the place where the whole visioning process is going to be recorded.
- Going on sensory walks/ community led walks in community with the community and listening to their stories and thoughts about their neighborhood and how will project itself change things for them
- Organizing interdisciplinary workshops with the community to find out first hand the wishes, needs, goals and visions of the community which will later on be integrated into the project
- At the end of that first period, all findings will be evaluated and gathered into a synthesis, which is going to be used to create the final report → given to the mayor and made available to the public
- Requesting implementation of the project into existing development plans
- Changing existing urban plans and regulations
- Dealing with property issues and various permits
- Preparations for the tendering process
- Dealing with financial issues – seeking funding from the European Union
- Execution of the project
- Evaluating the whole process
Reflect on Your Story of Visioning
We believe that the process in reality would actually take much longer and that the process wouldn't be linear as described. We would need to go back to some things more times (eg. workshops, surveys, etc.) until we are satisfied with the obtained sample of users. Picture is showing the essential things we took into account in general when thinking about the formation of our idea and the characteristics of good vision, and while thinking about our story of visioning. Every step needs to be clear and easy to understand, inclusive and accessible to all just as sustainable and focused on the future.
Phase D: Collaborative Design, Transformation and Planning
Considering that cycleway is 22km long, we were trying to find a way to bring all the participants together along the cycleway. We thought about various solutions, from workshops to visual media, internet apps, sports activities and discussion groups. We wanted to hear the opinions of all social groups, hear their needs and include them in design in a way that is accessible, interesting and understandable to everyone. An important step is to, initially, make people aware of the actions that are happening in their space and to attract them in a way that they give their opinion without our influence (in no way do we push them in a certain direction).
Your Prototyping Action
During the online mural workshop we came up with a few prototypes that we would like to test. Given that our planned route is 22 km long, we would divide the route into smaller sections in order to make the idea more realistically achievable and to cover the best and most diverse sample of users and space. We came up with 3 ideas that we would like to implement:
1. Organizing a bike tour - Along the route (route would be a few neighborhoods long, since the whole cycleway is 22km long: and that would be too much and tiring) we would inform them about the project, talk to them to discover advantages and disadvantages as well as to give people opportunity to express their opinions, wishes and ideas in situ. During the route they would be asked to take pictures of parts they like the most and least. To encourage as many people as possible at the end of the tour we would share prizes for participating and finishing the route.
2. Organizing a workshop - Conducting various games and quizzes to encourage socializing, examining their opinions by giving them various creative ways to express their visions for their own neighborhoods (eg. through drawing, sketching, writing song or whatever they like).
3. Conducting interviews/online polls - Listening their personal stories about their neighborhoods, collecting data through arranged surveys.
In the end we decided together that in order to get the best possible feedback, it would be best to perform a cycleway tour with embedded elements of other ideas.
Phase 1: Invite people on a bike tour, using social media.
Phase 2: Do a bike tour with the participants, stop at the points and ask them questions related to the trail. Encourage them to take pictures of places they like the most and least. Set up an interactive map where they could draw points on the map, to point to some of the problems.
Phase 3: At the end of the tour make an interactive workshop where participants could rest and refresh themselves and then discuss with us what they think of the tour, the project and everything in general. At the end of this phase share prizes for participation.
Phase 4: Gather all the answers, analyze them and incorporate into the project.
The Evolution of Your Prototyping Action
Since we didn’t have the opportunity to implement our prototype so quickly into action until the deadline for presenting phase D, we had to adapt and design a new way of testing the public. We tried to devise a way of testing the public as similar as possible to the one we wanted to perform in reality, so we designed a role play online workshop. The idea was to implement this for one section of the cycleway because if we take a larger piece of space it will not be graphically visible on Mural so we had to settle for this size.
The Plan Behind Your Prototyping Action
First Mural window was serving as a part to getting to know our project.
First we started with what want is our point and what we want to find out from this prototype, then we introduced the participants to the context of our project and context of selected section of cycleway explaning why we chose that particular part of the cycleway. After we introduced the participants where the selected part is, then we introduced them with who are the representatives of the communities and what are their wishes, and lastly what we will do in the next step. The point was for everyone to choose a representative of one social group with whom they would identify and participate on their behalf.
Second Mural window was for Interactive Mapping.
We introduced the participants to the selected section of cycleway through photographs and a brief presentation of the most obvious problems in the space, and then we instructed them on how to fulfill their role. We wanted to examine certain questions so we put a separate icon as the answers to each particular question and then encouraged them to put the icons in the places they thought belonged. We then introduced them to examples of activities that could be carried out in the area and encouraged them to add more if they think some are missing. As a last part we asked them to add any questions if they have any or suggestions to improve the selected section.
The Realization of Your Prototyping Action
After the participants filled out the interactive map, we reviewed the entered data and concluded that our expectations about the results were more or less met and that the participants' views coincided with our views on space, spatial problems and needs. We had no major surprises around the entered data.
Reflect on Your Prototyping Action
Although everything went great and as we imagined, it is clear to us that there are a lot of shortcomings around our online prototype, considering that the audience that filled our map is not even close enough acquainted with our city, our space and spatial problems or advantages. It is difficult to acquaint people with a space in detail and with quality over a period of 10 minutes exclusively through a floor plan and a dozen of photographs. Still, we really liked this phase of prototyping and figuring out ways to access the public. We are sorry that we did not have enough time to perform the bike tour in the allotted time. Anyway, we will definitely do it when we find time because we are very interested in the results of real public testing.
Phase E: Collaborative Evaluation and Future Agendas
Collaborative Evaluation, Landscape Democracy and Living Lab Process Reflection
We started the process with the formation of the main spatial problems and challenges, which were:
- Main spatial problems: discontinuity of the cycleway, the current inadequate width, the railway that acts as an obstacle in space and divides the city of Zagreb into two parts.
- Main challenges: providing space for all users, creating a safe space without conflicts, reconciling jazz between all social groups, providing a sense of welcome for everybody and integrating the cycleway with the whole city and it's open public spaces especially with brownfields that represent a huge spatial potential for future revitalization.
After the set spatial problems that were technical in nature and challenges that were partly technical, partly planning and partly social in nature, we further elaborated a vision of space and then re-set the challenges that arose in the implementation of that vision. The most important challenges were: communication between different social groups which is regarding the social level of problem solving and integration of cycleway with the rest of the city, in other words creating a complete and continuous network of bike paths, which then refers to planning and technical level of problem solving. So we can see that through all the steps, 3 essential views of approaching the problem are constantly intertwined: social, planning and technical. We decided to examine the planning side of the project so we devised 10 questions we would like to ask the city authorities to get a clearer picture of what those who actually make decisions and who hold power within the city think about this project.
1. Are you aware and what are your comments on the issue of bicycle paths in the City of Zagreb?
2. When is the realization of the Greenway project planned?
3. Based on your experience with the Greenway project, what key issues would you single out from the project planning and execution process?
4. Do you have a strategy for solving the problem of cycleway in Zagreb and how do you intend to provide long-term financial support for the revitalization and maintenance of cycleway?
5. How do you intend to inform and involve the general public with the plan for the revitalization of the cycleway in Zagreb?
6. Are you ready to compromise with local communities and how do you see solving the problems of conflict groups? (integration of the Roma minority into society?)
7. How do you intend to resolve the issue of private property in the area of the planned cycleway?
8. Are you preparing a legislative framework for changes in the transport hierarchy?
9. How do you plan to encourage citizens to use bicycles more? (Our idea: subsidies for the purchase of bicycles, providing rent a bike using mobile applications, raising parking prices in the city center)
10. Do you think that the existing laws are adequately structured and sufficiently detailed? Do you think that the existing laws need to be reformed? Will you actively participate and propose amendments to the law on the drafting of the BS and penalties for violating traffic rules?
Since we didn't do real public testing, only role play, we decided to question our challenges and project goals through an analysis of previously conducted research and surveys. We studied Perceptions toward cycling in Zagreb area: differences concerning age, gender and membership in the association “Trade Union of Cyclists”, Sindik, Halgota, Kirac, Šarić, Gregović 2013. and Arrangement of the part of the intermodal node intended for bicycle traffic and integration of traffic-functional and social content in Sesvete, Spajić 2014.
Perceptions towards cycling in Zagreb area: differences concerning age, gender and membership in the association “Trade Union of Cyclists” Sindik, Halgota, Kirac, Šarić, Gregović 2013.
- First were questioned the differences in bicycle use between males and females in Croatia, and it was concluded that women use bicycles less due to an increased sense of insecurity and risk aversion unlike men; gender differences in cycling can be considered a good indicator of the safety of cycling infrastructure, or in the case of Zagreb - an indicator that safety is lacking
- Gender differences indicate that women are more likely to perceive unconnected or non-existent bike lanes, as well as a greater sense of insecurity due to motor vehicles while cycling around the city
- They questioned the elements of the existing cycling infrastructure that were rated as unsatisfactory and the participants suggested measures to improve the cycling path
- They emphasized the importance of encouraging the city government through a series of activities to promote cycling in the city, such as subsidies for the purchase of bicycles to students and education of all road users
- Recognized the need for bicycle traffic (along with pedestrian and public transport) to become the dominant traffic in the city, given that it is a fast, environmentally friendly and healthy mode of transport
- Advocated for the expansion of cycling infrastructure and improvement of existing trails in an effort to eliminate black spots for cyclists
- They found that reducing the number of parking spaces would help cyclists, that bike lanes should be built by taking up space by motor vehicles (not pedestrians), that bike lanes are poorly maintained, and that the city does not spend enough money on cyclists
Arrangement of the part of the intermodal node intended for bicycle traffic and integration of traffic-functional and social content in Sesvete Spajić 2014.
- The aim of this paper was to examine the need to create an intermodal hub, which would include various forms of public transport and which would be connected to the bicycle network
Spajić points out that the application of the rules on the construction of bicycle paths has been neglected:
- The performance is poor, and it comes down to converting the existing pedestrian infrastructure into cycling
- There is no physical separation of the two different forms of traffic, which endangers both groups of users (pedestrians and cyclists)
- The construction of the trails is reduced to the spontaneous extraction of lanes, while completely neglecting the adaptation to the needs and comfort of cycling, and in some places even completely takes up space for pedestrians, which is not the point of establishing a network
- No signaling adapted to the users of the cycle path (except for the parking) was noticed, eg traffic lights with prominent bicycle signs
In the conducted survey, in addition to the classic questions about the reasons and the amount of bicycle use, the previously pointed out theses from the previous research are repeated:
- When asked what would encourage them to use bicycles more often, the results of a technical nature can be most emphasized - a larger number of bicycle paths, paths separate from car traffic, a larger number of safe parking lots for bicycles and a higher level of traffic culture in general
Conclusion: Given the highlights, it can be concluded that the challenges that were imposed 7-8 years ago have continued to this day and that not much has changed in the city for the better in terms of cycling. Today we certainly have more bike paths than 7-8 years ago, but the problems are still the same, bike paths are non-existent in some parts of the city, while the existing ones are discontinuous and poorly maintained, technically defective, low quality and unsatisfactory. After 8 years, the importance of educating all traffic participants, the need for bicycle traffic (along with public and pedestrian) to become dominant, as well as the importance of encouraging the city government to a number of activities to promote cycling are still to this day being emphasized. All of the above reflects the still insufficient development of the cycling infrastructure in the city of Zagreb. Based on the comparison of our views on problems and solutions and the views of the community, we conclude that our views definitely coincide and that we did not omit any important items for understanding and further solving the problem and continuing the project. In addition to the obvious technical and planning nature, we additionally focused on the social nature, so in addition to educating traffic participants and the importance of encouraging the city government to a number of activities to encourage cycling, we placed great emphasis on active public involvement in the project process, the importance of mutual social interaction and cooperation between different social groups as well as the importance of creating a strong and happy community. In addition, an important focus was the integration of the bike path within a neighborhood level as well as the city level, where we want to see that one day the cities will be networked and connected with the bike paths which will be interconnected with green public and open spaces.
The Actors in your Collaborative Evaluation
There are several groups of actors in our process and each of these groups has been essential to the performance and quality of our process.
Community – the backbone of this whole project, their input is the most important and the reason why this whole process was done at all; so we can adapt and improve our design based on their needs, thoughts, desires and visions and ultimately get a changed, new view on the project thru the lens of Landscape democracy.
We, students – by performing this project we went through this whole process together with the community and changed our perspective of looking at things.
Lela team, our professors and other experts - Lela team mentored and guided us in all different stages and helped us improve our knowledge and design by revealed new parts of our brain to ourselves which resulted in forming a new view of our profession. Our faculty professors who also mentored and guided us through the whole project helping us with their knowledge, experience, encouragement and praise and connecting us with other experts outside the faculty who gave us important input. By other experts we mean psychologists, sociologists, planners and similar who participated in the project and passed on their knowledge, information and instructions; such as how surveys and questionnaires are made, and then how to analyze and interpreted them which was one of the key point for implementation of this project.
Local government - although they were not directly involved in our process, they are a very important part of this puzzle because they have the power to make decisions and implement our projects. In order for the project to go further, they would certainly get involved and evaluate our project.
Reflection on the Online Seminar
At the online seminar we gained new knowledge, information, instructions and techniques, which then shaped and changed the way we think and look at our professional world. Through various lectures, presentations, discussions and workshops, we received inputs in an interesting way, which we then had the opportunity to research, analyze and apply. We made some new acquaintances and got a clearer idea of how to listen to the needs of the community, how to understand them and how to involve them in the planning process through an interesting way for them and useful way for us.
Your Living Lab Code of Conduct
After the completion of the whole project and with everything we have learned so far, we have come to the conclusion what is in our opinion the cornerstone in this whole process - LISTENING. To listening to the community and their wishes, needs, visions, problems will lead to the point where project will start to unravel itself. It is very important to learn to listen to other people's wishes and needs in contrary what we as experts think is important and to know how to find a balance between the opinions and needs of such a large number of people. The whole community is built with that starting point of listening, where we give someone a chance to tell their story, express their opinions and let them be and feel heard. When someone invests themselves in the project and starts to consider that project as their own then we get what we want: people to take care about that space. A community is strong and happy if they connect, and the best way to achieve this is through social interaction.
This whole process was a great experience that definitely changed our perspective of looking at things and gave us some new filters through which to study the world around us. It was a lot of fun and useful for us and we are happy that we had the opportunity to be a part of it.