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My Piece of Savamala


School of Urban Practices


“My Piece of Savamala” is a participatory project which directly included Savamala citizens in decision making processes regarding public space. The initiative started as a reaction to the citizens being excluded from planning processes and represents an attempt of practically employing the principles of participatory urbanism as well as demonstrating them publicly.   Team of School of Urban Practices (City Guerilla), Association Mikser  and Kolektiv invited all neighbors from Savamala and interested citizens and experts in the field of shaping of public areas to think together and come up with a proposal of this joint piece of Savamala at the intersection of five Savamala’s streets: Karađorđeva, Svetozara Radica, Kraljevića Marka, Hercegovačka and Travnička street.. The triangular area between the public Geozavod, Karađorđeva Street and Mikser House for years was used as a location for a gas station, “a public toilet”, and only occasionally for various cultural events. Bearing in mind the context of the area, as well as the number and diversity of its customers, it is clear that there are many different needs that are not in line with the current state of neglect of this precious space.   In the period of 4 intensive months, team lead a series of participatory workshops and presentations.The results from common dialogue and questinaries served to shape mutual opinion of the citizens and opened the possibility for equal dialogue between all the interested parties concerning the use of this piece of the city. This opinion was formulated on two levels: as a project task defining planning principles and as a common design proposal, a result of all authors participating in the workshop. With this approach the team aimed to open a dialogue between citizens, experts, local government, and investors and to determine the needs and input from residents about possible Savamala purpose of this space, and by that making citizens and their attitude towards the city development relevant and included into process of decisions and design proposals from the very beginning.   The final solution was presented to the city leaders and to an investor as one of the possible solutions for the organization of this space. The citizens were direct participants with an invitation for the dialogue to continue until the very end, which would contribute to all the sides included via education and significant experience gained through this uncommon collaboration.This project has included more then 200 participants, citizents and experts.The project My Piece of Savamala won the prize of the Architecture Salon in Belgrade in the category Urbanism: for starting an open dialogue.