Human Cities Event / Ljubljana, 23–27 May 2017


Shared values in diversified urban communities as a foundation for participatory provision of local public spaces


Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (UIRS) and partners host a 5-day in international event addressing participatory planning of local urban public space in socially, economically and ethnically increasingly diverse communities. Special emphasis will be given to the means of revealing shared values that local inhabitants and other users of local environments have in common, and are an important base for collaborative improvements of local environments.


The international event is organized by UIRS within the framework of the European project Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale (Creative Europe 2014–2018) with cooperation of Human Cities partners as well as other partners and supporters (abc):

  • AESOP / Association of European Schools of Planning, Thematic Group for Public Spaces and Urban Cultures

Programme (detail programme is here)

Tuesday 23 May

  • 17.00 / Lecture "Possible trajectories to navigate neo-liberal urbanism in UK. Hybrid organisations to implement activist planning" by Stefania Ragozino (IRISS CNR) at UIRS, Trnovski pristan 2, Ljubljana

Wednesday 24 May

  • 14.00–19.00 / Human Cities & AESOP joined seminar PUBLIC SPACES FOR LOCAL LIFE at Faculty of Architecture, Zoisova ulica 12, Ljubljana (Book of Contributions)

Thursday 25 May

  • 10.00–14.00 / Workshops at Ruski car neighbourhood, Bratovševa ploščad 30, Ljubljana
  • 15.00–16.00 / Human Cities exhibition opening at Ruski car neighbourhood, Bratovševa ploščad 30, Ljubljana (catalogue)
  • 19.00 / BIO Ljubljana 2017 opening at Museum for Architecture and Design (MAO), Pot na Fužine 2, Ljubljana

Friday 26 May

  • 10.00–14.00 / Human Cities Technical meeting at UIRS, Trnovski pristan 2, Ljubljana / only for Human Cities partners
  • 16.00 / Field trip by boat: Ljubljanica Embankments & Public Space Improvements

Saturday 27 May



The registration and activities will be held in english and free of charge with the exception of some additional events organized by the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) in the context of the biennial of design BIO 25 / Faraway, so close.

Please register by using the appropriate online form here below and mark the activities that you would like to attend. Please mind that you will have to register the activities organised by MAO once more within MAO's registration website.


For more information about the event, please write to e-mail address:

Human Cities / Ljubljana organisers





Invitation: Call for abstracts!

Call for abstracts - Deadline extended to 13 March 2017!

Shared values in diversified urban communities as a foundation for participatory provision of local public spaces

A joint event of EU Human Cities partnership and AESOP Thematic Group Public Spaces and Urban Cultures hosted by Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (UIRS) and University of Ljubljana, Faculty of architecture (UL-FA): Ljubljana, May 24th – 26th 2017. A three-day Ljubljana event in May 2017 is structured in three interrelated activities: a seminar, a workshop and a field-trip. The main purpose is to address the questions of revealing the values and expressions of more and more diversified urban communities as an important step-stone to a more inclusive provision of local public spaces.

Several questions are in focus:

  • How to (re)design and (re)organise local environments with socially, economically and ethnically more diverse communities in order to improve their capacity to act as a medium of social cohesion?
  • What kind of urban design solutions are robust enough to stand the changing nature of value systems over time?
  • ow shall established methodologies (interviewing, perceptual mapping, cognitive mapping etc.) be upgraded/combined with new technologies and social networking media? What is the general usefulness and real value of the new ICT and crowd-sourcing in revealing people’s attitudes towards their living environments?
  • How can partnerships of local initiatives, residents, local and city authorities, urban planners and other players be maintained in a long term and transformed into a long-lasting cooperation forms for improving local public spaces?
  • What could be research practices in public space that offer an investigation into different perceptions/attitudes of social groups?

Ljubljana meeting is interdisciplinary and targets to include actors with different perspectives. The main objective is to provide various insights and perspectives on public spaces therefore submissions from academics, practicing professionals and any interested person from any background are warmly invited.

Important dates:

Deadline for abstract submission is Monday 13 March 2017. Please submit an abstract of 200-250 words along with a max 100 words biography (Word Document format) to, the abstract outlining (1) issue/research problems, (2) its relevance for the conference theme, (3) background, (4) methodology and (5) expected results.

Authors will receive notification regarding their abstracts and a format for submitting the full papers by Thursday 16 March 2017.
Deadline for full paper submission is Tuesday 2 May 2017.

Participation in the event is free of charge. More information: UIRS web page.

Related links:

  • Association of European Schools of Planning, Thematic Group for Public Spaces and Urban Cultures  AESOP

The contest results announcement 

The contest Photostory of our neighbourhood has successfully come to an end. You have contributed more than 170 photos that show living environments through the photo camera's objective, as seen by their inhabitants and users. We thank you for submitting the photos which along with the subtitles open new perspectives of urban spaces in Slovenian and other cities as well as life unfolding there! All submitted photos with subtitles will soon be presented in the online gallery.

The international jury has completed its work. Selected pictures with subtitles can be viewed here. On Sunday, 20 November 2016, after a guided tour of the exhibition Neighbourhood and the Street in the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana (MAO, Pot na Fužine 2) the winners of the contest were announced:


  • Lidija Deu
  • Špela Gliha
  • Samo Jančar
  • Nenad Pataky
  • Urška Podgrajšek


  • Tisa Neža Herlec
  • Ana Lasič
  • Lea Piškur
  • Domen Pukl Kopinč


  • Samo Jančar
  • Ana Klofutar-Hergeršič
  • Nenad Pataky
  • Maruša Račič
  • Matej Vinko


  • Vid Bogovič
  • Ana Dujmović
  • Tisa Neža Herlec
  • Sinja Hudnik
  • Nenad Pataky


  • Špela Gliha
  • Tisa Neža Herlec
  • Mia Mihelič
  • Matej Vinko

Contest invitation 

5 September – 4 November 2016 (closed)

Contest theme

We are creating a photo album of large housing estates. The album is a thematic collection of photos of today's state of art of neighborhoods in Slovenia and elsewhere. The album is created in a participatory way with the participation of residents and visitors of the neighborhoods. Its aim is to reveal the neighbourhoods and their life through the eyes of all of us who live or occasionally spend time there.

Organizers of the contest

The contest is organized by the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (UIRS) within the framework of the international project Human Cities: Challenging the city scale (Creative Europe 2014–2020) with the cooperation of the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) and local initiative Skupaj na ploščad! / Together on the platform!.

Photo-story of our neighborhood contest is accompaying activity to the exhibition Neighborhoods and streets, which is on opened from 17 May to 20 November 2016 in the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO).

Who and how can participate?

  • Next step is to take up to ten photos of your neighbourhood.
  • The recommended image size is at least 11 x 17 cm, resolution 250 dpi.
  • Place each photo into one of the below-defined categories (A – E).
  • Add a subtitle to each photo in Slovenian or English language.
  • Provide the name and address of the neighbourhood and the city in which it is located.

When can you participate?

  • The contest is opened from 5 September to 31 October 2016 (extended to 4 November 2016).

Other rules

  • Each of the photos can be placed only in one of the five possible categories.
  • The jury reserves the right to move any photo to another category.
  • Participants agree that submitted material with their names can be used on the websites of the co-organizers, in printed materials and press releases.
  • Participants permits the use of the submitted materials for the research work of identifying cognitive maps of neighbourhoods and values that are shared by users of the neighbourhoods.



  • The international jury is presented here.
  • The photo and its subtitle will be evaluated according to the following criteria: compliance with the contest theme, originality, visual impact, narration and contribution to the overall photo-story of the individual neighbourhoods or thematic category.


  • Three photos will be selected from each category and published as postcards with the presentation of the author's view of the neighbourhood.
  • Winners of the competition will be solemnly presented on 20.11.2016 t the closure of the exhibition Neighbourhoods and the streets in the Museum of Architecure and Design (MAO).

Select the category in which you will place the photo


We usually spend a major part of our time in our neighbourhood, therefore its arrangements importantly influence the quality of our life. Which are the spaces in the neighbourhood that I like, I find interesting and like to spend time in? What makes them pleasant? Activities and people that spend time there, street furniture, presence of natural elements, maybe the light and colours or details on surrounding buildings? Try to show the places of your neighbourhood that you find pleasant, and explain what makes them attractive, through the photo and its subtitle.


Good neighbourhoods are not merely sleeping spaces, but places where different activities and programs take place which cater the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and the city. The baker at the end of the street, the shop-seller in a local shop, the driver of a bus stopping in the neighbourhood, the local greens care-taker ... are only few more visible professions which importantly contribute to the quality of life in a neighbourhood. At the same time there are many other professions which are more hidden to our eyes – people with different skills, abilities and knowledge. Present their activities through a photo and its subtitle.



Fast rhythm of life and new ways of communication supported by new communication technologies are changing and often weaken the contacts between people living in the same space. With the help of a photography and its subtitle catch moments showing that social beings inhabit neighbourhoods that desipite changed ways of life still gather, support and help each other. Street play, chatting on a bench in a local park or ringing neighbour's door when running out of flour when baking biscuits are examples of activities that join people in a neighbourhood. Photos with subtitles in this category shall show that in vivid neighbourhoods reside people, who make neighbours and not complete strangers to each other.


Until where reaches my neighbourhood? What is its border and what defines it? Is it physically, functionally or symbolically defined? Borders may sometimes be clear and exact, sometimes blurred and fluid. Getting to know the borders is welcome for someone to be able to overreach them. Or strengthen the distinctive identity of space within. Present the borders of your neighbourhood with a help of photography and its subtitle.




Which are the shared values among inhabitants of my neighbourhood? Which ideals unite us as a community? How are they reflected in space? And can they be a basis for common action of inhabitants in the endeavours to improve the living conditions in a neighbourhood? The values are an immaterial category, nevertheless often reflected in the physical, real environment. In this category we are collecting the photos which will show the state of the art of the neighbourhoods reflecting the values of their inhabitants.



The international jury is composed of project partners Human City: Challenging the City Scale and external professionals:

  • Laura Galluzzo, research fellow and adjunct professor, Polytechnic University of Milan (IT),
  • Nina Goršič, researcher and architect, Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (SLO),
  • Blaž Jamšek, photographer and architect, civil initiative Together on platform! (SLO),
  • Natalija Lapajne, curator, Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana (SLO),
  • Anke Strittmatter, exhibition design professor, FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Science, Graz (AT),
  • Biba Tominc, researcher, geographer and pedagogue, Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (SLO),
  • Damjana Zaviršek Hudnik, architect, civil initiative Together on platform! (SLO),

More about the projects Human Cities

By the initiative of Pro Materia from Brussels in 2007 a two-day international conference was organized entitled Sustainable Environmental Design, where the concept of Human Cities was introducedfor the first time. The conference was devoted to issues of public spaces and their social and cultural dimensions. The success of this meeting has been a stimulus for a formation of a broader international group where Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia plays an important role in the research of urban public space. Various activities are carried out within several projects under the European programs Culture 2007–2013 and Creative Europe 2014–2020. 

  • The first project entitled Human Cities: Sustainable urban design (2008–2010) focused on the users of public open spaces in cities and examined how public places are experienced, interpreted and used. The publication Human Cities: Celebrating public space was published by Stichting Kunstboek (BE) in collaboration with the Urban Planning Institute of Slovenia (SLO) and Pro Materia (BE).
  • The second project entitled Human cities: Reclaiming the public space (2010–2012) highlighted the values of public spaces in European cities and an understanding of different approaches that contribute to innovative and effective provision of public space in cities. Special attention was given to local initiatives, especially their role in the promotion of activities in public spaces. Public spaces were not tackled as a physical form only, but also as a social network to be established between users.  The online publication entitled Human Cities / Civil Society Reclaims Public Space. Cross Perspectives Based on Research was published by Urbani izziv (SL). 
  • The third project called Human Cities: Challenging the city scale (2014–2018) analyzes the advantages of the integration of local initiatives in revitalizing urban public spaces of contemporary cities. The main purpose of the project is to demonstrate and explore innovative management practices of urban public spaces according to the bottom-up approach in order to understand the power of local initiatives. You are invited to follow our activities on the project facebook page.

This website is part of the Generativne Participatory Web Platform, which is dedicated to the exploration of public participation in the processes of spatial planning. © UIRS, 2016