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Accepted Paper:

Negotiating visions of the urban future: Zagreb and Ljubljana comparatively  


Valentina Gulin Zrnic (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research)
Saša Poljak Istenič (ZRC SAZU)

Paper short abstract:

What are the rules for particular urban futures? Who are the actors that set them out? How are they negotiated? These questions will be discussed comparatively from the perspective of strategic plans and visions, using urban gardening in Zagreb and Ljubljana as case-study for argumentation.

Paper long abstract:

The paper focuses on two capitals on the margins of the European Union, Zagreb and Ljubljana, with common history: they were provincial centres in the Habsburg/Austro-Hungarian Empire, regional (republic) capitals in socialist Yugoslavia, and have become national capitals at the beginning of the 1990s. However, do they also share the same vision of the future? We will discuss it with regard to urban gardening, which has been a contested issue in both cities since the turn of the century. Originally stemming from grassroots initiatives, it has become implemented into official urban documents and actions but with various outcomes in terms of positioning such practices for urban futures. Ethnographic cases and discursive study will serve for comparative analysis of the dynamic and complex relationship between top-down and bottom-up ideas about particular urban future. Questioning the rules for cities’ future, actors that set them out, and negotiations taking place, we argue that the difference in cities’ visions come out not only from having (or not having) a long-term vision directing urban development but also from potential integration of interventions which break the rules of formal and strategic planning and embody their future-making into official vision.

Panel Urb05b
In the name of the future: rule-breaking in urban settings II