collaboractive – valjevo

Initiated in 2021 by the chief urbanist of the City of Valjevo, this annual project was designed as a permanent endeavour of PaPs to support the local administration and community of the city of Valjevo.

The project builds upon our prior experience with the Municipality of Negotin, leveraging the visible results achieved in: The Art of Wine (2012), Dossier Negotin (2015), knoWine: Alghero-Negotin (2015), Learning economies: Modeling community-led local development for the sustainable economic trajectories of the Negotin and Zlatibor regions (2016-2018), and Wine Cellars of Negotin: Participatory Urban Design (2019). This experience has demonstrated that maintaining long-term engagement with the same local community yields better results, as trust, participation and collaboration levels increase over time. Over time, citizens become increasingly encouraged by the permanent presence of experts, leading to greater openness in their demands and engagement with the project.

This project aims to explore strategic options for the development of the broader city centre, with a specific focus on assessing the potential for creating new public urban spaces and improving existing ones. This exploration involves employing good urban design principles infused with cultural and public art contents to enhance the overall urban environment. The project proposals are grounded in principles of sustainability and adaptation to climate change, as well as economically viable and socially responsible solutions. The overarching objective of certain project proposals was urban health. 

Some of our results have been published in two books, Flow of Valjevo (2021) and On the wings of Valjevo (2022). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the works presented in the first book were primarily produced while working online, and field visits were conducted under restricted conditions, adhering to social distancing measures.

The book “Flow of Valjevo” emerged from the collaborative efforts of students over a four-month period as part of a Participatory Urban Design project, in partnership with stakeholders from Valjevo. Master’s students undertook a comprehensive exploration of the entire Valjevo area. Following research and site visits, it became evident that the focal point of the city’s structure is the riverside area, encompassing the Gradac and Kolubara rivers. The design process unfolded through mutual cooperation, characterized by information exchange and joint site visits. The municipality of Valjevo generously hosted students from the Faculty of Architecture, offering insightful tours of the city. This collaboration extended to presentations organized by students to showcase their progress and initial concepts. The contents of this book serve as a response to the task at hand, reflecting the collective efforts and insights gained from this collaborative endeavour.

“On the Wings of Valjevo” is a book that began taking shape from the inception of our work on Participatory Urban Design. Its purpose is to comprehensively document and present the process of creating projects related to our intervention in the Valjevo area. Within its pages, readers will find analyses, impressions from site visits, and reflections from students. The flow and path towards the culmination of this journey – the final projects of the students – is meticulously organized and presented. For the students, the opportunity to visit Valjevo was pivotal, as it sparked their initial ideas and provided the foundation for their projects. Through the synthesis of their experiences and immersion in Valjevo, their concepts took shape. Additionally, the workshop, where stakeholders and their influence were analysed, held equal significance. This book serves as our current response to the given task, capturing the essence of our collaborative journey.

Some ideas stemming from the PaPs project prompted local governments and citizens to reconsider their strategies regarding urban open spaces, both public and private. From the current perspective, after two years of constant presence in Valjevo, it seems that our ideas will affect the future urban development of the city.

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