Human Cities / website_Opening of the second BDW creative playground for the children of Serbia in Kalemegdan fortress (Belgrade)

Between October 2014 and May 2015, BDW implemented the STATE OF ART phase of the HUMAN CITIES / project, with the goal of building the capacity of BDW to encompass the capability to manage, as an independent citizens’ initiative, the project of public-private partnership on a satisfactory high level, and within an optimal time- and budget- framework connect citizen and users with project donors, creatives and executors, using the methodology of Jan Gehl and the IDEO HCD TOOLKIT for successful participation of citizens in the process of urban regeneration.

This exercise was successful! BDW will open its most ambitious initiative to this point in a park in Belgrade – the creative playground in Kalemegdan on 24th May 2015, at 12:00h, timely on the “European Day of Parks”.

As a participant of the “Together for the Community” project, Belgrade Design Week, in collaboration with the City of Belgrade and the NIS corporation as main donors, the Embassy of Finland in Serbia and the Finnish company “Lappset” as partners, based on the project of young architect, Nina Radosavljevic, and built by the City Greenery of Belgrade, has provided a new, inspiring and safe place for children to play.The new playground was designed according to highest European standards within the HUMAN CITIES/ project.

The project is located across Kalemegdan’s famous Cvijeta Zuzoric art pavilion, and represents the second of 100 planned creative BDW playgrounds.To make this project happen, Belgrade Design Week has connected two key donors, the NIS corporation and the City of Belgrade. Their participation in the “100 creative BDW playgrounds for children of Serbia” project has now enabled one of the most important central city playgrounds in Belgrade to shine with a new, innovative concept, quality and appearance – a place that leading European cities would be proud of. The design of the playground was entrusted to a young architect from Belgrade, Nina Radosavljevic. As part of the promotion of Scandinavian design in Serbia, in cooperation with the Embassy of Finland, BDW has included the Finnish company Lappset. As one of the most awarded companies in the world for the equipment of children’s playgrounds, Lappset gave their valuable contribution to the project.

In 2013 Belgrade Design Week has started a completely new, non-profit action of the largest volume so far, which aims to gather the most responsible and most aware cities, municipalities, as well as foreign and domestic companies, institutions and embassies, who would, as sponsors and partners, with their donations joined the realization of “100 creative BDW playgrounds Serbia” throughout the country.

The plan is that one hundred not only new, but above all innovative playgrounds shall be designed and constructed in Serbia, following the standards that can now be seen everywhere in the advanced world. This project advocates a strong involvement of the local creative community, combined with top global achievements in creative industries for the development of Serbia, which in a nutshell is Belgrade Design Week’s trade mark, since ten years.

The second playground now built in Kalemegdan, as part of the “100 creative BDW playgrounds for children of Serbia” project, will hopefully serve as inspiration for a successful development of this unique private / public partnership, based on a strictly non-profit principles. We hope that this will motivate a large number of local governments and business donors, as well as institutions in Serbia and abroad, to join this nonpareil action, which we find absolutely necessary for communities in Belgrade, Serbia and the region today.

We wish that, by working with the best in the field of innovation and design, by building playgrounds that will last, are in accordance with highest environmental and sustainability standards, we will keep up with the time we live in. That means providing security, comfort and a creative, active and diverse place to play and develop for the most vulnerable and unprotected population of Serbia today – our children, said Jovan Jelovac, founder of the Belgrade Design Week.

What is the difference between these playgrounds and almost all other humanitarian activities intended for the youngest in Serbia?

In the two key elements that indicate the trademark of Belgrade Design Week’s ten years of activities:
– First: “Design Thinking”, as a creative philosophy that guarantees superior quality of the project

and
– Second: “Pro-Bono cooperation of all the partners”, which guarantees the realization of the project within reasonable budgets and shared responsibilities.

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I discovered the most lively platform in the design world, from products to architecture, from strategies to visual experimentation. Design Week was a rich surprise that is beyond boundaries of disciplines and limitations of media. It was a place to meet old friends again and find new ones for future collaborations and exchange. And it was a great party time! - it´s all inclusive!

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