2017 / Revitalisation of degraded areas along Ljubljana’s eastern railway / A -Ideas


Project presents the study of area along eastern Ljubljana’s railway. Area has a high developing potential due to its location. Once it has been mono-functional industrial area, currently some parts are under redevelopment unlike some are still waiting for complete urban regeneration.

This project presents analytical part of the study and conceptual revitalization plan. Plan propose fixed comprehensive structure and key connections, some rough placing of land use and program. Project aims to improve connectivity, permeability and establishment of more quality space.

For better understanding of current condition of the site, it is important to understand some crucial phases in urban development of the northeastern Ljubljana. Most important changes in urban development through history, were based on ever changing needs of society. Firstly, the area above the castel hill and along Ljubljanica river was occupied by historical centre and smaller agricultural villages such us Vodmat and Moste. Old agricultural paths were concentrically leading to villages on the outskirts and further into nearby regions. Axes of those paths are still the main arterial roads of the city layout. Later on urban development spread along arterias such as Zaloška and Šmartinska roads. Spreading of the city was interrupted by the railway which was constructed in 1848 and its still represent a strong physical and mental barrier in Ljubljana urban fabric. Few industrial complexes were situated near the railway followed by new neighborhoods of single family houses such as Zelena jama and spreading of Moste old Village. In 1960s needs for new residential buildings, Modernist ideas and new political system brought development of residential neighborhoods such is also Savsko naselje on the northern part of the area. Simultaneously more industry complexes were established and huge area on east was constructed as transport and logistic terminal.

In 1990 the changes in economic, political system and de-industrialization influence on spatial development. Eastern area was completely redeveloped form industrial terminal to extensive shopping malls area (BTC city) with mono-functional land use and domination by car traffic. Some other parts have than spontaneously transformed into business and service areas whereas some areas around Zelena Jama neighborhood remain degraded and introverted.

Knowing the crucial spatial changes in urban development it is clear that the development has never followed some wider urban plan and was mostly changing uncontrollably, following the current needs of society. No wider urban plan that would comprehensively solve spatial problems has been applied. Likewise the railway in urban space remain difficult problem to solve, mainly because of the heavy cargo traffic transport that still runs through city centre.

Recently in 2009 masterplan ‘’Šmartinska partneship’’ was proposed, covering 228ha between Šmartinska road and railway. New urban plan would cover 228ha between Šmartinska street and railway and would entirely change character and identity of the area. Unfortunately, the plan has been put down due to economic crisis.

The wider area remains huge potential for complete programmatic and structural transformation, especially due to its proximity to the city centre, quality green areas network, motorway ring etc.

The presented project analyses not only wider area but also focuses on smaller introverted brownfield sites along the railway. Nevertheless proposed concept consider the potential of wider revitalisation plans and already include urban plans that are presented in municipal spatial plan.

Analytical part identify some unoccupied and degraded areas where spatial use could be changed or site could be redeveloped. Furthermore idea is mainly focused on fenced, introverted areas that could after revitalisation improve connectivity of the wider area.

Analysis identify crucial existing green network qualities and identify new possible connections which would complete citiy’s green infrastructure.

Areas are surrounded by different diverse residential areas which have well developed centres of social activities and buildings of central activities. With new interventions some new connections between those centres could be established, but mainly the revitalisation would improve spatial conditions on the edges and contacts of different city parts and therefore integrate them to existing fabric.

Conceptual idea not only propose new connections that promote accessibility and ties the city together, but furthermore focus on more sustainable ways of transportation. Idea consider latest municipal plans for sustainable way of travel, which predict that till 2027 one third of the travels will be done by walking and cycling, one third by public transport and only one third by privat motor vehicles. Thus cycle paths are improved, urban network is extended and further idea of improved suburban train system is considered. Since wider region is densifying and more travels are made by people living outside of Ljubljana, the need for more frequent and quality train connections is supported. With redevelopment of Vodmat station and new station Moste, nodes of intermodal transport could be established. Nodes are supported by nearby mix-use program, public realm and efficient links to the wider context.

Revitalisation of study aeas would reconnect the previously separated parts of the city, improve mental picture of the site and changed citizen’s perception of this part of the city as fenced and introverted area. Creation of new attractive places with programmatic transformation could offer a robust framework which would improve living conditions in surrounded neighbourhoods and change the edge parts from desolated spaces to integrated places.

Author: Vid Bogovič

University of Ljubljana/ Biotechnical faculty / Landscape architecture department

mentor: doc. dr. Capuder Vidmar Tatjana

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