The webinar was organized on October 14 2020, under Urban Partnership Program (UPP) in collaboration with Superwien from Vienna and representatives from Novi Sad, led by Darko Polic, the City Coordinator for the European Capital of
Culture (ECoC) and former Chief coordinator for cultural infrastructure projects (2017-2020) at City of Novi Sad. This was the third workshop (first was in Nis in 2018, followed by Belgrade in 2019) on the topic of participatory
planning/placemaking organized under the UPP in Serbia. The workshop gathered 17 online participants from various institutions and organizations including City administration, Institute for urban planning of Novi Sad, Faculty of
Technical Sciences/Scene Architecture, Technique and Design, NGO Novo kulturno Naselje, and representatives of residence from Novo Naselje neighborhood.
The aim of the webinar was to support cultural capital activities in Novi Sad with tools and methods about Placemaking, place-led development and integrated urban development. Novo Naselje neighborhood was recognized as an important
location for this type of activity and place-led project development. Results of questionnaires conducted in Novo Naselje showed that residents of this community, as well as the city of Novi Sad, were very positive towards the change in
their locality and that they welcomed the idea of building the culture center, 73 % fully support the initiative, 24 % support it. During the webinar, the potentials of the development of the Novo Naselje neighborhood and the potential
development of a culture center and its public space around it were discussed.
Through the webinar the team provided input by applying the placemaking tools with digital co-creation and design activities, while representatives of Novi Sad shortly presented the history of the Novo Naselje neighborhood, together
with short movies on the current activities and programs happening as introduction to the future Cultural Centre. During the webinar, e-facilitators worked in parallel in break-out rooms and were using interactive technologies and
online tools like “Mural” for co-creation and presentation of the group findings.
Current activities, run by local NGO Novo kulturno naselje, were presented such as open-air cinema, art manifestations, bike historic tours, sewing workshops, planting trees, etc. At the moment, school and kindergarten are sharing their
space for culture events. A highlight of this year’s cultural program was a movie festival in Novo Naselje that respected social distancing rules due to COVID-19 measures. As those institutions start with school years, every
activity stops in October due to the lack of spacing thus having a dedicated space to culture should be priority. Making a multifunctional stage on three parking slots was recognized as a first short term step. Mid-term step would be
preparation of the actual cultural center slot for building and long-term goal was set to be having an actual solid culture center built. As the new date is 2022 for the year of the cultural capital city, it gives some time to prepare.
Webinar supported the ideas of a culture center and combines it with integrated urban planning and design solutions.
Concluding the webinar, the parallel development of short and long-term actions as part of the integrated planning process was highlighted during the webinar. Actual projects that are now on the agenda should become part of the whole
cultural offering of the ECoC such as the coordination with different stakeholders, both from private and public sector, residents, pop-up activities, integrating bike culture and regular biking meet-ups and walking tours around
neighborhood. Furthermore, it is important to plan strategically with the community as motivated stakeholder-group. Including the residents and NGOs in the planning is essential, e.g. in the development of the vacant areas as
commercial, non-commercial, recreational zones. However, a proper balance is needed as people want a quiet neighborhood and residents shouldn’t be overwhelmed with activities. It was also concluded that an important part of the
activities of the future cultural center should be kept as free public events, happening outdoors and involving families, but also all age structures. Programs should be created in accordance with the community needs; therefore, it is
important to have continued possibility to assess the community needs and to use surveys for creating integrated and participatory programs. Additionally, green spaces need to be maintained and new ones shall be developed, while the
future cultural center should be integrated in the scenery, while offering multifunctional spaces that can be transformed and easily adapted to various programs (cinema, theatre, workshopping, exhibitions, debates, residential
activities for artists etc.).
Another strategically important question that was discussed was who will be managing the culture center and what would be the organizational structure of it in future? It was underlined by one of the groups that the future Cultural
center should try to keep the neutral status and remain community-led association based on the PPP (public-private-partnership) model. Stakeholders could be representatives of the city authorities, the community, representatives of the
surrounding institutions (school, special school student dormitory and school, elderly home, residents, small scale entrepreneurs) and the NGO Novo kulturno naselje. It is important to apply managing mechanism in order to maintain the
sense of ownership of the neighborhood-led community.
The case study about the Novo Naselje neighborhood in Novi Sad shows well the challenges and potentials of integrating civic agents into complex urban regeneration and upgrading processes. In this case, it is essential to include
established and well-organized stakeholder groups into this participatory planning process in order to keep residents and cultural activists motivated and support them with public investment on short, mid- and long-term e.g. open public
space design, facilities for cultural events, temporary placemaking activities, road safety and potential pedestrian zones and multifunctional open public spaces among other ideas.
Place-led Development and Placemaking for Novi Sad
PHOTOS & VIDEOS:
Place-led Development and Placemaking Webinar / Video Recording