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Romih, Eva, 2012. New urban room within the city of Kranj. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Landscape Architecture (until 121231)

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Abstract

Already since the time when I decided to study landscape architecture, I knew that one of
my projects may deal with design proposals for my hometown Kranj in Slovenia. Kranj is
a picturesque historic town above the confluence of two alpine rivers – the Sava and the
Kokra. Due to its geographical position – on the junction of important routes, leading from
the Northern Europe to the Adriatic Sea and from the Western Europe towards the Eastern
Europe – Kranj is also a strong commercial as well as cultural and historical centre. It offers
a pleasant atmosphere of a small town. Kranj, being the fourth biggest city in Slovenia, is
the industrial, employment, traffic, educational, cultural and sports centre of Gorenjska.
But it is also one of those cities which lost its soul after the invasion of shopping centres
at the outskirts of the city. Small shops, bakeries, and museums are falling into oblivion.
City is lacking greenery. Public spaces are not designed in a way that attracts people. The
market, which once had an intention of being a meeting place, is nowadays empty and
dull and few local growers are still persevering in selling their products there. There is only
one playground in the city, which was renovated not long ago and seems very popular
among young inhabitants and their parents. Main squares in the city do not stand out -
some of them are even latent - and are lacking urban equipment and vegetation. Although
the streetscape of Kranj tends to link together "meeting places", few streetlights, shop
windows, dull grey pavement, and flowerpots cannot "convince" people to make a stay
in the city.

Inhabitants use streetscape as a pedestrian transition between places of employment
and dwellings nearby. When the city holds an event, there are a lot of people coming to
Kranj. At that time it turns out that Kranj has a potential to become a more attractive and
friendly city for its inhabitants, as well as for tourists visiting our city.

In my opinion people are those who provide the soul of every city. A city may hold adorably
designed public spaces, city parks and water fronts, but if people do not use all of these,
the city looks joyless. It is something about the creativity of people who live in or run
cities; as I see it their creative sense may determine the future success of their town.

Anyhow, it is important to get beyond the idea that creativity is the exclusive domain of
artists or that innovations are largely technological; people need to understand that there
is also social and political creativity and innovation. Every promising city should have
as an intention to keep creative people within the city, in that way they can cooperate
with each other and come out with innovative ideas to make the city more alive and
attractive.

Well designed public spaces within the city have a tendency to help creative ideas. People
there feel comfortably relaxed. More socially heterogeneous places simultaneously
stimulate and challenge their visitors. Public spaces as such may also function as
showcases for creative thinking and ideas.

Main title:New urban room within the city of Kranj
Authors:Romih, Eva
Supervisor:Folkesson, Anders
Examiner:Gustafsson, Pär and Kristensson, Eva
Series:Självständigt arbete vid LTJ-fakulteten, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2012
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:Other
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Landscape Architecture (until 121231)
Keywords:public space, interaction, urban design, square
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-1441
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-1441
Subjects:Landscape architecture
Language:English
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 09:35
Metadata Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 09:35

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