THE SECOND CREATIVE PLAYGROUND IN BELGRADE’S KALEMEGDAN PARK OPENED, AS PART OF BDW’S “100 CREATIVE PLAYGROUNDS FOR CHILDREN OF SERBIA” PROJECT

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 the 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 BDW playground was opened on Sunday by Belgrade’s Mayor Mr. Sinisa Mali, the Ambassador of Finland H.E. Mr Pekka Orpana, the Deputy General Manager of the NIS corporation Mr. Evgeniy Kudinov, the Director of corporate communications of the NIS corporation Ms. Sanja Lubardic, the Belgrade City Architect Mr. Milutin Folic, the Secretary of Belgrade’s Communal affairs Ms. Nina Jandric, the General Director of Belgrade’s City Greenery Mr. Slobodan Stanojevic, and the founders of Belgrade Design Week Vesna and Jovan Jelovac.

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– Today we hand over to our youngest citizens a beautiful, modern, creative playground  in our busiest and biggest park in Belgrade. Today is also the European Day of Parks, and a great opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of green spaces and parks in our city. The City of Belgrade currently boasts 58 parks, the biggest of which is the one we are in today, the park of the Kalemegdan fortress, and it is my wish that we celebrate the next European Day of Parks with even more parks in our capital. I think it’s very important to pay attention to green spaces, to parks development and design. Over the past year we have organized many parks, but what is important is that in addition to parks, we also design children’s playgrounds. Parks, as green areas should be places where our fellow citizens spend their free time and use them for recreational activities, but those parks must have playgrounds like this one, so that our youngest citizens, our children, can spend their time being active.

I want to thank NIS because, as a friend of the City of Belgrade, it donated part of the funds to build this playground and make it look like the way it does today. I want to thank the Finnish Ambassador, since the equipment for this playground is provided from Finland with his assistance, and I would also like to thank our friends from Belgrade Design Week who came to the City of Belgrade with this lovely idea, connected all of us, and finally, successfully completed the whole project!
The City of Belgrade has now become richer for another key “design-playground” – I think we all agree it is really beautiful, and I invite Belgraders to join us today, on weekends and days ahead, to spend time here with us, said Siniša Mali, the Mayor of Belgrade.

– As a future-oriented company, NIS gladly supports ideas and innovations that contribute to the welfare of the community, and “BDW’s Creative Parks” project is exactly that. Through our social responsibility programs we support a number of projects for the development of the community in which we operate, and particularly for the young. It was our great pleasure to support this wonderful idea and thus contribute to the opening of yet another inspirational playground for the children of Belgrade, said Sanja Lubardić, NIS Director of Public Relations and Communication.

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– In front of Lappset Oy Group and our enthusiastic team, I am extremely honored that we contributed with our high-quality external equipment for “100 BDW creative playground for the children of Serbia.” This project is a perfect example of strong cooperation in combination with a common desire to improve play, learning and training in children’s environment and sets an excellent standard for future projects, said Johanna Ikäheimo, Chairman of the Board of Lappset.

-I have spent many happy days with my children on playgrounds in Helsinki 20 years ago. When few days ago I visited one of them, I saw that many children (and adults) were playing and climbing on the same Lapsset devices as well as my kids have done so many years ago. Of course, there are now some new devices, but old ones are left as witnesses of durability and functionality, and especially safety of Lappset equipment. I am very happy that children in Belgrade can now share the thrill of inspiring playing and learning in an environment that Lappset present. I hope that soon other children throughout Serbia will be able to do the same. Lappset is an excellent example of a functional Finnish design and quality, which is why I’m really proud as Finn. Children’s playgrounds are an important part of the creative education, which is absolutely the most important prerequisite for any development and competitiveness. Children of Serbia deserve that investment. I’m really grateful to everyone who made the start of the project “100 creative BDW playgrounds Serbia” at Kalemegdan, consider Pekka Orpana, Ambassador of Finland to Serbia.

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– 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 realisation of “100 creative BDW playgrounds Serbia” throughout the country.

The plan is that within two years, hundred not only new, but above all innovative, playgrounds 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.

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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 from institutions in Serbia and abroad, to join as soon as possible this unique action, which we find absolutely necessary for the 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.

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Belgrade Design Week is overwhelmed by the significant media interest for the “100 creative BDW playgrounds for the children of Serbia” project. Leading national media outlets such us Tanjug, Blic, B92 have disseminated key messages from the opening, while a dozen TV stations broadcasted video reportages in key daily news shows, from the Serbian Broadcasting Corportaion to Studio B.

BDW wishes to extend our deepest gratitude for such an support by the media, as this clearly presents the best way for those important messages of the pan-European HUMAN CITIES project to reach our citizens, our community and the future partners and supporters of our project.

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