THE GRAND CREATIVE PARK OF THE CITY OF KRAGUJEVAC
The “GRAND CREATIVE PARK OF THE CITY OF KRAGUJEVAC” is a initiative of the First Lady of Serbia, Mrs. Dragica Nikolić, inspired by her own experiences of growing up and living in her hometown of Kragujevac, as well as with BDW’s non-profit campaign to build “100 creative playgrounds for the children of Serbia”, in cooperation with the City of Kragujevac.
The Foundation “Dragica Nikolić” has donated the funding for the first phase of the project. Mrs. Nikolić, as a fellow citizen of Kragujevac, through the establishment of the Foundation provides an example to citizens of Serbia and spreads the idea of mutual help and support. Through realization of non-profit projects Ms. Nikolić successfully pursues the goals of the Foundation.
The aim of the Foundation is to enable citizens of Kragujevac, by means of participatory urbanism and cooperation with Serbian and world best practices in the field of innovation and design, to further develop their beloved park, starting with playgrounds that will have a lasting life, and provide children with an inspiring and safe environment through an innovative, creative, active and versatile space to play, providing education and recreation.
A further objective of the Foundation is to review, in a wider context, the existing urban, green and historical premises of Kragujevac, stretching from the Grand Park to Šumarice, and to try to integrate them into one uninterrupted entity, designed as a unique model of relaxation and contemplation. At the same time creating a new cultural and historical destination for high quality tourism in Serbia’s heartland based on existing treasuers of Kragujevac’s heritage, which already include works of some of the global greatest minds of creative thinking such as Vojin Bakić and Ivan Antić.
Kragujevac is symbolically entering the EU before any other city in Serbia, by becoming part of the pan-European HUMAN CITIES/ project. With the new concept for Kragujevac’s most important park opens the doors for the development of the Park for at least the next ten years.
The Grand Park was traditionally a favorite walking place for all generations in Kragujevac, a dense canopy of century-old trees, walkways and benches that represent the right place for relaxation. Unfortunately, in the past few decades the park has inevitably shared the fate of the deterioration of the city. Grand Park for the City of Kragujevac means the beginning of the future revitalization of other valuable parts of the urban tissue.
Based on the findings, the Mayor of Kragujevac has now formed a dedicated task force for the implementation of the project, which includes all key city institutions from the Urban Planning Institute to public utilities companies.
In that sense, the Foundation “Dragica Nikolić”, the City of Kragujevac and BDW invite all interested citizens, companies, institutions and professionals of good will from Serbia and abroad, to join this new non-profit campaign and help place a new, green, creative and cultural Kragujevac on the map of Serbia and Europe.
Belgrade Design Week (BDW) was founded in 2005 as a non-profit citizen’s association with the vision to improve quality of life in Serbia using “Design thinking” as tool; to help the development of business and academia by fostering professional education and international networking; to improve the built environment and facilitate the citizen’s participation in dialogue with the public sector. BDW has so far organized 9 cutting – edge international festivals in Belgrade with conferences, workshops, exhibitions and accompanying city – wide programs, educating and connecting generations of creative leaders and professionals from Serbia, the region and the world.
In pursuit of “design thinking” and “participatory urbanism” in Serbia, BDW made the deliberate decision that the weakest and most vulnerable citizens of Serbia, our children, should be the first to experience the rise in quality of life through design. In 2013 BDW started a strictly non-profit, nation-wide campaign aiming to involve citizens, responsible and active municipalities, as well as leading foreign and domestic companies, institutions and embassies, which would, in capacity of initiators, sponsors and partners, join their goodwill, energy and donations for the implementation of the “100 Creative Playgrounds for Children in Serbia” programme.
As a result, BDW has researched, planned and built its first two creative playgrounds adhering to EU standards at Kalemegdan in Belgrade – implementing first ever private/public partnerships in Serbia – in 2014 with the support of the Lamda Development Corporation, and in 2015 with the support of the NIS corporation, in both cases in collaboration with the City of Belgrade, the Embassy of Finland and Lappset, Finland. 2016 is the year of Kragujevac in the “100 Creative Playgrounds of Serbia” and the HUMAN CITIES / projects.
This project is implemented under the creative guidance of architect/professor Aleksandru Vuja and his architectural studio DVA, in cooperation with the team of experts from Belgrade Design Week and Brand New World from Zurich, Switzerland, as consultants, with the support of the partnering HUMAN CITIES /project, co-funded by the European Union “Creative Europe” programme, which besides the Belgrade Design Week also includes the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Cite du design St. Etienne, France, Aalto University / School of Design, Art and Architecture, Finland, FH Iohanneum Graz / University of Applied Sciences, Austria, Project Castle Cieszyn, Poland, the Estonian Association of Designers, Estonia, Institute for Urban Planning of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia, Project Clear Village London, United Kingdom, Bilbao-Bizkaia Design & Creativity Council, Spain, Pro Materia Brussels, Belgium, and the Culture Lab, Belgium.
The aim of the project is to further develop the citizen’s beloved park by means of participatory urbanism and cooperation with some of Serbian and world’s best practices in the field of innovation and design. The project is implemented under the creative guidance of professor Aleksandru Vuja from architectural studio DVA.
The first design and building phase of the project will be realised thanks to a donation of the Foundation “Dragica Nikolić” to the City of Kragujevac, based on research and development work co-financed by the Human Cities/ project and BDW, as part of the EU “Creative Europe” programme
The “Grand Creative Park of the City of Kragujevac initiative is BDW’s contribution to HUMAN CITIES/ project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, as part of the “100 Creative Playgrounds for the Children of Serbia” campaign
The first creative playground built according to EU standards thanks to Lamda Development and the City of Belgrade as main donors, the Embassy of Finland in Serbia and the Finnish company “Lappset” as partners
BDW 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, has provided a new, inspiring and safe place for children to play
The Grand Creative Park of the City of Kragujevac, is BDW’s contribution to HUMAN CITIES/ project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the EU, with the support of the City of Kragujevac and Foundation “Dragica Nikolic”
Forth creative playground is planned to be built at the Ušće plateau in front of the UŠĆE Shopping Center, who recognized the importance of improving childen’s play and became our partner