The greening of the city centre, redevelopment of urban gardens, nurseries and a sensory garden with a composting plant or the beautification of the green roundabout are just some of the projects that were approved in the first round of the public call for submissions as part of the Green Wave project, which was presented to the citizens at the Info Day of the European Capital of Culture’s Participate! campaign. A new round of submissions of projects that will be considered for funding is open until 19 June.
You may propose any green redevelopment project that does not require a construction licence and is supposed to be undertaken in a communal public space. You may also propose environmental and educational campaigns that can be conducted in a public space and would draw attention to the importance of preserving the area in which we live.
The call for submissions for the Civil Initiative projects is open until 19 June, while 6 June is the deadline for applying to participation in the Citizens’ Council, which evaluates and recommends submitted projects for funding.
The new Participate! campaign once again clearly shows the intention of Rijeka 2020 to actively engage its citizens in the implementation of the European Capital of Culture project and demonstrates how a successful project, which would improve the cultural landscape and quality of life in Rijeka, can be implemented only by close cooperation between all involved partners and the citizens themselves.
Eleven projects were earmarked for funding in the first round of the Participate! campaign, which was implemented last autumn.
Green Sušak – A Homage to Josip Kulfanek I & II – Citizens’ Group Sušak Action
Green Sušak – A Homage to Josip Kulfanek I & II is a part of the larger project Towards the 100th Anniversary of Sušak, which was initiated by the School of Applied Art and Design in Rijeka. Since Sušak is celebrating its 100th anniversary in October, a series of campaigns have been launched in order to spruce it up and give it a revamped look for its centennial birthday. This is why a group of interested citizens gathered at the exhibition at Trsat Reading Hall that touched on several topics pertaining to Sušak, with the one about Josip Kulfanek, a Sušak and Rijeka landscaping legend, who was also discussed as part of the Green Wave project at the Trsat Branch of the Rijeka City Library, drawing particular interest. Sušak Action plans to set up a small nursery at the former Kulfanek nursery, which is the least the local community can do for the man that made most of Sušak green.
Primorje Park in the Heart of the City – informal initiative Urbani Separe
The goal of the Primorje Park in the Heart of the City project is to replant, restore and open to the public one of the few green areas in the Old Town, behind the Korzo Shopping Centre and near Primorska Konoba. The project is still being coordinated with the city authorities.
Ginko Theme Park – informal initiative Kvart za 5
The Ginko project aims to place benches and birdhouses in trees in the area next to the Žrtava Fašizma Street in order to create a theme park that would attract visitors. Expert-guided children’s workshops are also scheduled to take place, at which the birdhouses would be painted and then installed in the park. Cooperation is planned with pupils from the lower grades of Nikola Tesla Primary School as well as neighbourhood children. Neighbourhood residents will volunteer to clean the green areas and place bins. The park was named after a protected lush tree that grows there.
Hazelnut Pocket Park – informal initiative Kvart za 5
This project deals with the green city area in the historic centre that has been neglected for years. The area is currently used as a temporary depository of a portion of the medieval city walls and a bulky and fine waste wild landfill. It is completely inaccessible because most of it is enclosed with metal panels. The project was initiated due to the great enthusiasm shown by the neighbourhood residents to transform the area into a small urban park. The neighbourhood residents are willing to tidy up, replant, preserve and use the area. In addition to the aforementioned voluntary involvement, other activities include the procurement and installation of wooden benches and bins, purchase of seedlings and the hiring of a landscaping company.
Rijeka – Edible City – Rijeka Transitional initiative
Inspired by the so-called “edible city” movement that encourages citizens around the world to use public areas for growing edible plants that would be available to everyone, an untended plot on Giuseppe Duello Street in Rijeka will be enriched with old-time variety fruit trees and edible seedlings. Besides creating an “edible forest” of sorts, a wooden awning with a table and small benches will be constructed. This would provide an area for younger and older residents on the street to gather and socialise. Such a location, sheltered from the rain and traffic, would stimulate people to spend more time outdoors, share information and lead an active life. Since there is a nursery school nearby, the neighbourhood children would have fruit available at arm’s length.
Edible City – plateau in front of the former Gornja Vežica shopping centre – Solidarity Exchange Group Rijeka-East
The project comprises of landscaping the plateau at Gornja Vežica with the aim of creating a gathering place for the local community, jointly tending the plateau and the planted vegetables, fruit trees, flower beds and decorative plants. For the last couple of years, the plateau has been the venue of the monthly Eco-Farmer’s Market, organised by the Solidarity Exchange Group Rijeka-East, where high-quality homemade family farm products with environmental certification are available for purchase. Members of the Solidarity Exchange Group Rijeka-East will be involved in the drafting of the conceptual design for the redevelopment of the plateau and the organisation of all activities in cooperation with the Gornja Vežica Neighbourhood Council and Gornja Vežica Primary School, which has a permaculture school garden in its courtyard.
Green City Islands – Society of Waldorf Education Supporters
The Green City Islands project is aimed at creating green islands on balconies and concrete courtyards for growing vegetables and aromatic herbs. Project activities include educating pupils, parents and the public interested in urban gardening and creating gardens on the balconies or in the courtyard, self-watering garden beds, a vertical garden; composting on the balcony or in a small garden, using the seeds of old resistant vegetable varieties; learning the secrets of biological and biological-dynamic gardening, publishing picture books about good and bad plant neighbours and the construction of a demonstrational outdoor and indoor “garden island”. Collaborating on the project are two primary schools from Rijeka, the Sveti Nikola and Turnić neighbourhood councils and the Solidarity Exchange Group Pod Učkun – West.
Sensory micro-composting plan – Initiative by the residents of Škurinje
An experimental garden consisting of a so-called keyhole garden, a tall garden bed and a children’s sensory trail will be set up in Škurinje, between the buildings at 30 and 28 Škurinjskih Žrtava Street and Sava Jugo Bujkov Street. It is a concept that unifies the concepts of composting, urban gardening and sensory therapy in a single space by transforming it into a place for educating and raising awareness of sustainable development issues and a small socialising zone.
Greening the neighbourhood with a symbol of the city – citizens’ initiative (Kristian Starčić and Goran Jovanić)
The project seeks to replant and further enrich the public green area between the buildings at 7 and 9 Aleksandra Mamića Street in Kozala. The area is located below a children’s park with play equipment and a ping pong table. Cherry plum trees used to be planted in this area, but since their deterioration and felling, the area has yet to undergo replanting. The aim of the project is to replant a dilapidated public space and create a cosy outdoor spot for people of all ages. The benches in the shade of the cherry trees will serve as a meeting place for neighbours.
Green Roundabout – Parents of Drenova
Despite being one of the largest neighbourhoods in Rijeka, with a constantly increasing number of residents, Drenova lacks well-maintained green areas. This is why the Parents of Drenova proposed to restore and replant the roundabout, which is 20 m in diameter and is located in front of the entrance to Fran Franković Primary School. The roundabout is run down, with magnolias and a rose hip shrub as the only plants growing there.