številka / volume 197-198
november / november 2013
letnik / anno XLIII

Ljubljana, promet in Slovenska cesta
Ljubljana, traffic, and Slovenska Road
vsebina številke
table of contents
Miha Dešman Uvodnik: Če hočemo najti pot naprej, moramo vedeti, od kod prihajamo!
Introduction: If we are to find a way forward, we have to know where we come from
Tadej Žaucer Javni prostor in prometno vozlišče
ProstoRož Slovenska cesta skozi čas
Boštjan Vuga, Tina Gregorič Nova Slovenska cesta
Katušić Kocbek arhitekti, dekleva gregorič arhitekti, Sadar +Vuga, Scapelab & Arhitekti Dobrin Delavnica DAL - 4 predlogi za novo Slovensko cesto
Katušić Kocbek arhitekti, dekleva gregorič arhitekti, Sadar +Vuga , Scapelab & Arhitekti Dobrin Nova Slovenska cesta - sintezna rešitev
Grega Košak Ali je konceptno Slovenska cesta res na svoji zgodovinski prelomnici?
Ilka Čerpes Z javnim prevozom uravnan razvoj mest
Transport Oriented Development (TOD)
Kristina Dešman Urejanje mesta je subtilen proces; Pogovor z dr. Ivom Lavračem
Rok Žgalin Kobe, Lučka Ažman Momirski Mesto kulture Galicije
Darko Šarac Arhitekt Slavčo Vrencovski, specializant pri prof. Edvardu Ravnikarju
Nataša Koselj Vladimir Braco Mušič (1930-2014)
uvodnik

Če hočemo najti pot naprej, moramo vedeti, od kod prihajamo!

I.

Letos praznujemo 2.000 let mesta Ljubljane. Ni preveč važno, ali je Ptuj nastal par let prej ali pozneje (2.000-letnico dokumentirane omembe imena bo praznoval leta 2019). Pomembna je simbolna identifikacija, nekakšno ponotranjenje zgodovine in tradicije, ki je temelj pripadnosti, tudi domoljubja in pa vizije prihodnosti. Če hočemo najti pot naprej, moramo vedeti, od kod prihajamo!

Mitični nastanek Ljubljane je vezan na argonavte, ki so tod potovali leta 1222 pred Kristusom. Če seštejemo, dobimo več kot 3000 let, natančneje 3236. Za primerjavo, najstarejše kolo, najdeno na Barju, je staro 5.200 let in najstarejše glasbilo – piščalka, najdena blizu Cerknega, ima že kar 45.000 let. Morda je glasba starejša od mobilnosti, umetnost od ekonomije in iskanje lepega ter smisla od pehanja za dobrinami.

Mesta so velikokrat nastajala ob rekah in ob poteh. Tudi Ljubljana je mesto ob poti in ne le to. Za Ljubljano je pomembna njena simbolična geografija, ki predstavlja vrata. Ljubljana ima strateško lego v ožini Ljubljanskih vrat. Topografska situacija vrat med dvema gričema – vzhodnim Grajskim, ki se nadaljuje z Golovcem, in zahodnim Tivolskim z Rožnikom in nadaljevanjem v polhograjskih Dolomitih – je osnova mestne strukture. Iz ožine vodi zvezdasto pet glavnih smeri, cest, ki so poimenovane po mestih, proti katerim vodijo: od severa so v nasprotni smeri urinega kazalca to Dunajska, Celovška, Tržaška, Dolenjska (Zagrebška?) in Litijska.

Ljubljanska vrata so vrata med severom in jugom, med germansko in latinsko kulturo in hkrati točka, kjer seže slovanski svet najdlje proti jugu in zahodu. In kjer so vrata, je tudi potovanje. Kot pravi pregovor, vse poti vodijo v Rim, v središče, in iz središča spet nazaj kamorkoli na zemljevidu znanega sveta. To je bil koncept Rimskega imperija, ki je ustanovil Emono pred 2.000 leti, kot del geografije rimske poselitve, ki je temeljila na cestah, prometu in infrastrukturi.

Ljubljana ima dve merili, oscilira med majhnim in večjim. Agora (tržnica) ima dimenzije peš mesta, prav tako srednjeveški sistem trgov pod gradom na otoku, ki ga tvorita Ljubljanica in Gruberjev prekop. Rimski forum, ki je preko Ljubljanice, na odprtem, pa je del mreže, ki se širi v neskončnost. Ta napetost med grškim (in srednjeveškim) značajem mesta na otoku ter med hipodamovo mrežo preko antične Emone je izhodišče Plečnikovih ureditev in tudi matrika sodobnega mesta. Slovenska cesta je v razponu časa od ustanovitve mesta do danes igrala vlogo simetrale, kar premice, ki povezuje sever in jug, Alpe in Mediteran.

Nekateri elementi mesta se relativno hitro menjajo in spreminjajo. Novi lokali nadomestijo stare, nove stavbe nadomestijo predhodne, ljudje pridejo in gredo. Nekateri elementi pa so trajnejši, pogosto so izraz kulture, načrtovalske sposobnosti, tehnologije, stilskih in oblikovalskih paradigem časa, ko so nastali. Na ta način ti elementi prenašajo fragmente urbane zgodovine iz obdobja v obdobje. Slovenska cesta je tak fragment, ki pa je v par desetletjih (pre)intenzivne prometne rabe in napačnih urbanističnih potez izgubljal svoj pomen v mentalni sliki mestnega prostora. Nekdaj namenjena kočijam, nato avtomobilom, je z ukinitvijo tramvaja in večpasovno prometno ureditvijo postala tranzitni prometni koridor. V urbanem pomenu je pričela stagnirati.

Na eni strani je utrip ceste dodatno izčrpalo staro mestno jedro z nabrežji Ljubljanice, ki je s prenovo in ureditvijo območja za pešce zaživelo v vsem sijaju (turističnem in gostinskem), na drugi strani pa programska izvotlitev s selitvijo trgovskega utripa v BTC. Slovenska je postala programsko izpraznjena, zgolj prometu namenjena cesta, ob kateri so trgovine propadale spričo premajhnega toka ljudi. Nastopil je čas za spremembo, za ponovno širjenje urbane energije v prostor Slovenske in preko nje proti Tivoliju.

Izkušnje preteklih obdobij načrtovanja mest so lahko osnova, kako se izogniti napakam, ki jih povzroča neusklajenost med različnimi načrtovalskimi, družbenimi in ekonomskimi vplivi na prostor. Prometna infrastruktura ima velik vpliv na prostorske strukture in arhitekturo. Oblikovanje javnega prostora se je v zadnjih letih v Ljubljani spremenilo. Če je prej veljalo, da je podedovana ozka struktura tradicionalnega mesta ovira sodobnemu življenju, je postalo strnjeno mesto v merilu pešca spet cenjeno.

Pri projektu Prenove Slovenske ceste gre v osnovi za vrnitev ceste pešcem, za kreiranje prostora v merilu pešca, za nadaljevanje Plečnikovih ureditev. In za urejanje prostora v odnosu do spremenjene paradigme prometa, ki jo zamenjuje koncept mobilnost (1) in renesansa javnega prostora. Zato je sicer razumljiva skepsa meščanov do česarkoli novega v mestu tokrat neupravičena.

Zdi se mi, da potrebujemo meščani po eni strani več znanja in uvida, po drugi pa tudi več potrpežljivosti, ko gre za vprašanja urejanja mesta. Mesto se spreminja postopoma, sprva so spremembe moteče in boleče, potem pa čas doseže, da se novo, če je dobro, prime in postane samoumevno. Tako, kot pri novem parku, ki spočetka deluje prazno in nedokončano, če počakamo, pa drevesa zrastejo in park zacveti. Podobno bo s Slovensko – ko bo nova ureditev zaživela, drevesa zrasla in lokali odprli vrata, bo Ljubljana bogatejša za promenado, ki bo imela značaj bulvarja, oz. kot je zapisal že Ravnikar: dobila bo svoj Cours Mirabeau (2).

Ljubljana bo z ureditvijo tlakov in zasaditve končno dobila tak korzo, ki živi v mislih arhitektov že vsaj od Plečnika. Podobno nalogo v manjšem merilu je virtuozno rešil z ureditvijo paralelne Vegove in njenih iztekov. In na ta način bo med Gradom in Tivolijem potegnjena magistrala prostorsko povezala forum (Trg republike s Parlamentom, Cankarjevim domom in stolpnicama, ki simbolno upodabljata Ljubljanska vrata) ter glavo (prometno vozlišče z železniško in avtobusno postajo ob Masarykovi), ki je simbol mesta XIX. stoletja.

Ne gre le za stavbe in tlake, gre predvsem za ideje in vizije, kakšna bi bila lahko Ljubljana, kako čudovita ter inteligentno in logično urejena. Za tak pristop je potrebno sovpadanje in dopolnjevanje politične filozofije in prakse z arhitekturno in načrtovalsko filozofijo, zanemariti pa ne smemo niti tretjega dejavnika – ekonomije. Če trgovska, gostinska in storitvena ponudba v lokalih ob Slovenski vsaj srednjeročno ne bo preživela in se okrepila, potem je celotna operacija pod vprašajem.

II.

Ko gre vse kot po maslu, postanejo vrednote samoumevne in načela zvenijo kot izpraznjene politične floskule. Ljudje potrebujemo dovolj čiste vode in zraka: samoumevno. Potrebujemo dovolj hrane: jasno. Hočemo biti zdravi in zahtevamo skrb za naše zdravje: najbrž. Ne moremo preživeti brez energije: logično. Potrebujemo prostor za življenje in delo: piše v ustavi. In tako dalje, šolstvo, skrb za stare in tiste s posebnimi potrebami, revne in nemočne, pa tudi medčloveško solidarnost.

Danes so vse te vrednote ogrožene. Ne živimo več v dobi blagostanja. Eni katastrofi sledi druga: samooskrba na lokalni, mestni in nacionalni ravni je sesuta. Javno zdravstvo se sesuva. Viri so blizu izčrpanosti, proizvodnja energije se sesuva. Prostor je usodno in nepovratno načet; prav tako zrak, vode, zemlja. Kvaliteta bivanja pada. Čas, ko ima življenje smisel, je vse redkejši in krajši, na dnevni, tedenski, letni in vseživljenjski ravni.

Smart City (pametno mesto) (3) je koncept, ki je danes zvezda urbanističnih in političnih projektov ter razprav, ko gre za načrtovanje in urejanje mest. Ideja, ki nekako pooseblja trajnostno mesto, trajnostno mobilnost in sploh sodobno urejanje mest, naj bi ljudem vrnila kakovost bivanja.

Kaj pa je pametno mesto? Kakšne prednosti prinaša? Definicija, ki jo je podal Boyd Cohen iz Fast Company (4) pravi: »Pametno mesto uporablja informacijske in komunikacijske tehnologije (ICT), da bi bolj inteligentno in učinkovito uporabljalo vire, prihranilo pri stroških, izboljšalo storitve in kakovost bivanja ter zmanjšala okoljski odtis – vse v smeri spodbujanja inovacij in nizkoogljične ekonomije.«

Pojem trajnostna mobilnost se je uveljavil, tudi v politiki. Pomeni, naj kolesarimo in uporabljamo javni promet. Pa razumno načrtujemo, žal to ne moremo trditi za urbanizem, ki je še širši, usodnejši in kompleksnejši pojem in problem. Sešteti 3+3 je bistveno težje, tudi na deklarativni ravni. Pot do trajnostnega urbanizma (ki je povezan tako s trajnostnimi načrtovanjem, arhitekturo kot mobilnostjo) je še dolga, polna pasti in mistifikacij.

Ljubljana se je aktivno vključila v mednarodni projekt Pametno mesto (5), kar je seveda pozitivno. Preko te in drugih iniciativ se loteva načrtovanja okoljske učinkovitosti in trajnostnega razvoja. Tudi projekt prenove Slovenske ceste je del celostne vizije in strategije, namenjene boljši kakovosti življenja in boljšim urbanim storitvam z uporabo naprednih tehnologij in okoljsko sprejemljivih ukrepov.

Pametna mesta naj bi bila ekonomsko učinkovita, predvsem pa prijazna za ljudi in kraj, kjer lahko prebivalci v največji možni meri razvijejo svoje potenciale. Vendar ima tudi ta iniciativa, kot pač vse, ki nastajajo iz politike in ekonomije, svoje pasti in meje, na katere lucidno opozarja Richard Senett v članku: No one likes a city that's too smart (Nihče ne mara preveč pametnega mesta) (6):

"Najnovejša čarovniška high-tech ideja so pametna mesta. Kot nadgradnja kompjuterizacije prometa bo programiranje Smart City določalo, kdaj in kje bodo uradi in trgovine najučinkoviteje odprti, kje bodo ljudje spali, kako bodo urejeni vsi deli urbanega življenja. Znanstvena fantastika? Pametna mesta gradijo na Bližnjem vzhodu in v Koreji; postala so model za developerje na Kitajskem in za prenove mest v Evropi. Zahvaljujoč digitalni revoluciji, je mogoče življenje v mestih spraviti pod nadzor. Toda, ali je to res dobra stvar?

Ni treba biti romantičen, da dvomiš v to. Leta 1930 je ameriški urbanist Lewis Mumford predvidel katastrofo, ki jo je povzročilo "znanstveno" načrtovanje prometa, ki je dušilo mesto s superučinkovitimi avtocestami. Švicarskega arhitekturnega pisca Sigfrieda Giediona je skrbelo, da bo po drugi svetovni vojni funkcionalistična in tehnološka arhitektura proizvedla brezdušno pokrajino škatel iz stekla, jekla in betona. Smart city, včerajšnji hit, postaja današnja nočna mora.

Razprava o učinkih digitalizacije na prostor se je spremenila, ker je digitalna tehnologija premaknila tehnološki fokus obdelave informacij. Namesto statičnih računalnikov so v osišču smartfoni in padi, povezani s clouds (oblaki), ki so preko apsov povezani s centri za vodenje in kontrolo. Vse informacije so vedno in zlahka dostopne. Nevarnost zdaj je, da ta informacijsko bogata mesta ne storijo ničesar, da bi ljudje mislili s svojo glavo ali pa komunicirali drug z drugim. Pametno mesto je pre-določeno in pre-conirano do te mere, da negira možnost slučaja, produktivnega kršenja pravil in kreativnega spodrsljaja. Ampak mesto ni stroj, kot je veljalo v urbanističnih utopijah preteklosti. Taka totalitarna različica informacijskega mesta pasivizira ljudi, ki živijo v povsem predvidljivem okolju. Želimo mesta, ki delujejo dovolj dobro, a so hkrati odprta za spremembe, negotovost in improvizacijo, ki šele omogočajo resnično življenje".

Temeljna ugotovitev je, da gre pri mestih za nujnost povezovanja urbane zgodovine in načrtovanja prihodnosti, pa tudi, da so ob ljudeh arhitekti tisti, v katerih rokah so odgovori na vprašanja o uspehu teh iniciativ. Tega se, vsaj na deklarativni ravni, zaveda tudi ljubljanska oblast. S pametnim vključevanjem in uporabo znanja arhitektov in urbanistov, s pomočjo natečajev, ali pa, kot v tem primeru, delavnic, je potencialno mogoča daleč bolj učinkovita sinteza navdušenja nad novimi tehnologijami, vlaganji, realnimi potrebami ljudi ter kristaliziranju in nadaljevanju gradnje simbolne identitete.

III.

Osrednji del te številke je predstavitev delavnice VIZIJE so 7 v organizaciji DAL za preureditev Slovenske ceste iz glavne mestne ceste v osrednji mestni prostor. Gre za preučitev priložnosti, ki jih ob posodobitvi javnega mestnega prometa ponudi zaprtje dela Slovenske ceste za osebni motorni promet. To pomeni priložnost za »zgoščevanje« mestnega središča. V smeri trajnostnega razvoja mest je namreč nujno potrebno iskati načine za revitalizacijo mestnih površin in dodatno umeščanje programa znotraj obstoječih površin (zgoščevanje programa) ob hkratnem dvigu kakovosti bivanja in občutenja prostora. S preveritvami, razstavo in debato so bile pridobljene smernice nadaljnjega sodobnega urejanja Slovenske ceste in posledično širitve programa mestnega središča navznoter in ne navzven, kot je to danes vse prepogosto primer. Predstavljena je tudi sintezna rešitev sodelujočih arhitekturnih skupin.

Ob tem prinaša številka tudi širši teoretski in praktični uvid v problematiko urejanja prometa v mestih in trajnostne mobilnosti.

Miha Dešman

Opombe

  1. Glej npr. Ilka Čerpes, Z javnim prevozom uravnan razvoj mest, v nadaljevanju te številke.
  2. Cours Mirabeau je 440 metrov dolg in 42 metrov širok korzo na robu starega dela mesta Aix-en-Provence. Nastal je na željo Marije de Medici okoli leta 1650, »pour se promener en carosse aux heures les plus fraiches de l'apres dinner« (da bi se sprehajali v kočiji ob najbolj svežih uricah po večerji). Ravnikar je v mladosti obiskal Aix-en-Provence in Cours je ostal eden od njegovih stalnih vzorov, zlasti pri zasnovi Magistrale v Novi Gorici.
  3. Stott, Rory. Without Architects, Smart Cities Just Aren’t Smart. 2. 4. 2013. ArchDaily. http://www.archdaily.com/?p=353281
  4. http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679127/the-top-10-smart-cities-on-the-planet. »Smart cities use information and communication technologies (ICT) to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint – all supporting innovation and the low-carbon economy.«
  5. http://www.ljubljanapametnomesto.si/o_projektu
  6. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/04/smart-city-rio-songdo-masdar

editorial

If we are to find a way forward, we have to know where we come from

I.

This year is the 2000th anniversary of the city of Ljubljana. It is beside the point whether Ptuj was founded some years earlier or later (it will celebrate its 2000th anniversary of the first recorded mention in 2019). What matters is the symbolic identification, a sort of internalisation of history and tradition which is the foundation of belonging - as it is of patriotism - and of the vision for the future. If we are to find a way forward, we have to know where we come from!

The mythical beginning of Ljubljana is connected with the Argonauts who travelled round these parts in 1222 B.C. Added up, this amounts to more than 3000 years, 3236 to be exact. For the purpose comparison, the oldest wheel, found at the Ljubljana Marshes, is 5200 years old, and the oldest instrument - a fiddle found close to the town of Cerkno, a respectable 45,000 years. Perhaps music is older than mobility, art older than economy, and the quest for beauty and meaning older than chasing material wealth. Cities have often grown along rivers and roads. Ljubljana is one of such roadside towns, and more than just that. For Ljubljana, the significance lies in its symbolic geography, which represents a gate. Ljubljana has a strategic position in the ravine of the “Ljubljana Gate”. The topographical situation of the gate between two hills - the Castle Hill in the east, which continues into Golovec, and the Tivolski Hill in the west extending into Rožnik and further into the Polhograjski Dolomiti mountain chain - is the foundation of the city’s structure. There are five roads radiating from the ravine in the shape of a star; they are named after the cities which they lead to: counter-clockwise from the north, these are Dunajska Road (leading to Vienna), Celovška (to Klagenfurt), Tržaška Road (to Trieste), Dolenjkska (to Lower Carniola ... or should that be Zagrebška, after Zagreb?), and Litijska (to Litija). The Ljubljana Gate is a gate between the north and the south, between the Germanic and the Latin culture and also the spot where the Slavonic world reaches furthest towards the south and the west. And where there’s a gate, there’s also a journey. Like the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome, the centre, and from the centre back again, anywhere on the map of the known world. That was the concept of the Roman Empire, which founded Emona 2000 years ago as part of the geography of Roman settlement, which was based on roads, traffic, and infrastructure.

Ljubljana operates on two scales, it oscillates between the small and the sizeable. The agora (marketplace) has the dimensions of a walkable city, just like the Mediaeval system of squares under the castle on the island formed by the river Ljubljanica and Gruberjev Canal. The Roman forum, which is located across the Ljubljanica, in an open space, is part of a network extending ad infinitum. This tension between the Greek (and Mediaeval) character of the city on the island, and the “ Hippodamian” grid over the antique Emona, is the starting point of Jože Plečnik’s layouts, as well as of the matrix of the contemporary city. Between the time of the foundation of the city and the present time, Slovenska Road has played the role of a line of symmetry extending from one side of the horizon to the other, connecting the north and the south, the Alps and the Mediterranean. Some elements of a city are replaced or transformed rather quickly. New establishments take place of the old, new buildings replace the previous ones, people come and go. But some elements last longer, and often, these elements are a reflection of the culture, planning skill, technology, and stylistic and design paradigms of the time in which they were created. This way, these elements carry fragments of the urban history from one period into the next. Slovenska Road is one of such fragments; however, in a couple of decades of (overly) intensive traffic use and misguided urban-planning decisions, it lost its meaning in the mental picture of the urban space. Once intended for carriages, and after that for cars, the shutting down of the tramway made it into a transit traffic corridor. In the urban sense, it began to stagnate. The road’s lively vibe was on the one hand inhibited by the old town core with its Ljubljanica riverfronts, whose renovation and new pedestrian-only layout restored the area to its former glory (in terms of tourism and hospitality services), and by the hollowing out of the programme on the other, caused by the migration of the majority of commercial activity to the BTC mall in the city’s outskirts. Slovenska became a road devoid of programme, intended only for traffic, with the shops that lined it going out of business due to the dwindling flow of people. A time for change had come, a time to once again spread the urban energy into the space of Slovenska and then further across it, in the direction of Tivoli Park. The experience gained during previous periods of urban planning can serve as a basis for avoiding mistakes which are caused by the lack of coordination between the various planning, social, and economic impacts on the space. Traffic infrastructure plays a major role on spatial structures and architecture. The way the public space is designed has changed in Ljubljana in recent years. If the inherited narrow structure of the traditional town was previously considered to be a hindrance to the life of today, the condensed city in the pedestrian scale has now once again gained in appreciation. The Slovenska Road Renovation Project intends to give the road back to pedestrians, to create the space on the pedestrian scale, to carry on with Plečnik’s layouts. It is about regulating the space in relation to the changed traffic paradigm, replacing it with the concept of mobility (1), and the renaissance of the public space. This is why this time, the otherwise understandable scepticism of the citizens in regard to anything new in the city is uncalled for.

It is my opinion that on the one hand, the residents of Ljubljana need more knowledge and insight, but also more patience when it comes to the issues of regulating the city. The way in which a city changes is gradual; at first, the changes are irksome, even painful, yet the passage of time causes the new - if it's good – to »catch on« and be eventually taken for granted. Like a new park, which at first feels empty and unfinished, but if we wait, the trees grow and the park bursts into full bloom. A similar thing will happen with Slovenska: when the new layout takes off, the trees grow, and the establishments open for business, Ljubljana will be enriched by a promenade with the character of a boulevard - or, in the words of Edvard Ravnikar, it will gain its own Cours Mirabeau (2).

When the paving and the greenery have been finished, Ljubljana will finally get the promenade that has been on the architects' minds at least since Plečnik; a similar task on a smaller scale was executed by him on the parallel Vegova Road and its two endpoints. And in this way, the main road extending between the Castle and Tivoli will spatially connect the Forum (Trg republike Square with the Parliament building, Cankarjev dom, and the two towers symbolically representing the Ljubljana Gate) and the head (the transportation hub with the railway and bus stations along Masarykova Road), which is the symbol of the 19th-century city. This is not just about buildings and pavings, it's chiefly about ideas and visions what Ljubljana could be like, how wonderful it could be, and how logically laid out. Such an approach requires the conflating and complementing of political philosophy and practice with architectural and planning philosophy, and a third factor which must not be overlooked, namely economics. If the commercial, hospitality, and service business in the retail spaces along Slovenska Road do not survive and grow at least in the mid term, the entire operation may be at risk.

II.

When it's all plane sailing, values start being taken for granted and principles sound like washed out political platitudes. People need sufficient amounts of clean water and air: self-understood. We need enough food: obviously. We want to be healthy and we demand our well-being to be taken care of: yeah, sure. We can't survive without energy: goes without saying. We need space for living and working: it's in the constitution. The list goes on, education, care for the elderly and the disabled, the poor and the defenceless, and the striving for solidarity among people.

Nowadays, all of these values are under threat. The golden age has ended. One catastrophe is immediately followed by another: self-sufficiency on the local, city- and national levels has gone bust. Public health care is going bust. Resources are close to being depleted, energy production is going bust. The space has been permanently and irreversibly affected, and so has the air, and the water, and the soil. The quality of habitation is falling. The time when life has meaning is getting sparser and shorter not just on the daily, weekly, and yearly basis, but on the level of one's entire life.

The »smart city« (3) is a star-concept of today's urbanistic and political projects and discussions when it comes to urban planning and regulation. The idea which in a way embodies the sustainable city, sustainable mobility, and contemporary city regulation in general is supposed to help people regain the quality of habitation. What exactly is a »smart city«? What are its advantages? The definition given by Boyd Cohen from Fast Company (4) reads: "Smart cities use information and communication technologies (ICT) to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint--all supporting innovation and the low-carbon economy."

The notion of sustainable mobility has gained ground, including in politics. It means that people should use bicycles and public transport. And to plan sensibly. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of urban planning, which is an even more all-encompassing, far-reaching, and complex notion and problem. Putting 3 and 3 together is much more difficult, even declaratively. There is still a long way to travel on the path to sustainable urban design (which is connected with sustainable planning, architecture, and mobility), a path that is treacherous and full of mystification.

Ljubljana has become actively involved in the international project of Smart Cities (5), which is obviously a positive thing. Through this initiative and others, it is engaging with the planning of environmental efficiency and sustainable development. The Slovenska Road Renovation Project is part of a holistic vision and strategy intended to result in a greater quality of life and better urban services achieved though advanced technologies and environmentally acceptable measures. Smart cities are supposed to be economically efficient, but above all, they should be people-friendly and act as a place where the inhabitants may develop their potentials to the greatest degree. Yet this initiative, like any other emerging out of politics and economy, has its pitfalls and limitations, as astutely observed by Richard Sennett in his article »No one likes a city that's too smart« (6):

"[T]he latest whizz idea in high tech [is] the ‘smart city’. Doing more than programming traffic, the smart city’s computers will calculate where offices and shops can be laid out most efficiently, where people should sleep, and how all the parts of urban life should be fitted together. Science fiction? Smart cities are being built in the Middle East and in Korea; they have become a model for developers in China, and for redevelopment in Europe. Thanks to the digital revolution, at last life in cities can be brought under control. But is this a good thing? You don’t have to be a romantic to doubt it. In the 1930s the American urbanist Lewis Mumford foresaw the disaster entailed by ‘scientific planning’ of transport, embodied in the super-efficient highway, choking the city. The Swiss architecture critic Sigfried Giedion worried that after the second world war efficient building technologies would produce a soulless landscape of glass, steel, and concrete boxes. Yesterday’s smart city, today’s nightmare. The debate about good engineering has changed now because digital technology has shifted the technological focus to information processing; this can occur in handheld computers linked to “clouds”, or in command-and-control centres. The danger now is that this information-rich city may do nothing to help people think for themselves or communicate well with one another.".

Sennett goes on to point out that the smart city is pre-determined and pre-zoned to the extent that it negates the possibility of chance, of breaking the rules in a productive way, and of taking a creative misstep. But the city is not a machine the way it was regarded by the urbanistic utopias of the past. Such a totalitarian version of the information city passivises the people, and they find themselves living in a completely predictable environment. Sennett suggests that our goal should be cities which work well enough, but are at the same time open for change, uncertainty, and improvisation, all of which are prerequisites for real living. Fundamentally, cities are about the necessity to connect urban history and planning for the future. Beside the people, architects are those who hold in their hands the answers to the questions regarding the success of these initiatives. On a declarative level at least, the Ljubljana city authorities are aware of this. An informed integration and employment of the architects’ and urban designers’ expertise, as well as competitive tenders or - like in this case - workshops, open up the potential for a far more efficient synthesis of the enthusiasm over new technologies, investments, realistic needs of the people, and the crystallisation and continuation of the construction of a symbolic identity.

III.

The central part of this issue is the presentation of the workshop VIZIJE SO 7 (“There Are Visions 7”), organised by the Architects’ Society of Ljubljana, and centred round the transformation of Slovenska Road from a city arterial road into a central urban space. It is a look at the opportunities posed by Slovenska Road having been closed for personal automobile traffic, and the revamping of the public city transport. This has presented an opportunity for “condensing” the city centre. As regards sustainable urban development, it is vital to seek ways of revitalising city surfaces and placing additional programmes within the existing surfaces (condensing the programme) while at the same time raising the quality of habitation and the sensation of space. The bouncing-off of ideas, the exhibition, and the debate all produced guidelines for further contemporary regulation of Slovenska Road, which is to enable the programme of the city centre to extend “inwards”, and not outwards like it is all too often the case nowadays. Also presented is a solution representing a synthesis of all the involved architectural groups.

In addition, the issue also lends a wider theoretical and practical insight into the problems of traffic regulation in cities and sustainable mobility.

Miha Dešman

Notes

  1. see e.g. Ilka Čerpes, Transport-oriented Development later on in the issue.
  2. Cours Mirabeau is a 440-metre long and 42-metre wide promenade on the edge of the old part of Aix-en-Provence. It was created at the request of Marie de’ Medici around 1650, “pour se promener en carrosse aux heures les plus fraîches de l’après-dîner” (to stroll in a carriage during the coolest hours of the afternoon). Ravnikar visited Aix-en-Provence in his youth and Cours remained one of his permanent inspirations, particularly in designing the Magistrala main road in Nova Gorica.
  3. Stott, Rory. Without Architects, Smart Cities Just Aren’t Smart. 2. 4. 2013. ArchDaily. http://www.archdaily.com/?p=353281
  4. http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679127/the-top-10-smart-cities-on-the-planet. »Smart cities use information and communication technologies (ICT) to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint – all supporting innovation and the low-carbon economy.«
  5. http://www.ljubljanapametnomesto.si/o_projektu
  6. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/04/smart-city-rio-songdo-masdar