Split is an old city, but it needs some fresh ideas. One of them is City Acupuncture lead by Society of Split Architects, which gathers young architects from Croatia and neighbouring countries to re-think cities like Split.
Their first assignment was to bring new ideas to revitalize Varos, the oldest part of Split outside of Diocletian's Palace, which lies on eastern slopes of Marjan hill. They were working for a week before they presented some really interesting ideas for this old neighbourhood.
The main goal of City Acupuncture project is to bring small intervention in public spaces which could bring significant improvement of local people's lives. The first such workshops were held in Zagreb, and then in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, now it's the turn of Split. The jury consisted of representatives of the City Council, University and architects picked five works that might become reality.
1. In memory of Miljenko Smoje, one of the greatest journalists and writers in 20th century Dalmatia, in a small street that bears his name there might be built Smoje's Theatre. The alley would be marked with quotations from his widely popular works, and steps on a small square could be turned into an amphitheatre for drama, film and music performances.
2. Diss the piss is addressing the problem of public urinating, especially in dark, narrow alleys in Varos. In particularly "popular" corners sensors would react on people standing against the walls and simulate camera flashing. Until now, people in Varoš tried to affect on other's conscious by setting signs that ban urinating in areas around small Varos churches.
3. Another intervention is planned in one of the last remaining parks in Varos, the one in Kamenita street. Recently, this place was returned to previous owners, 50 years after being confiscated by Yugoslav communist government. In these 50 years, it became one of the most important public spaces in Varos, but now it can't be used as such. Intervention predicts redesigning the surrounding area, to encourage children play and other social activities.
4. Varos is full of water fountains, remained there since time when Split and Varos didn't have house-to-house water system. In the old times those fountains were the only source of water for surrounding households. Intervention would try to revive the most popular one in Kovacica street, by setting benches and encouraging citizens to use small square around it, and to persuade city to pay for water flowing out of it.
5. A 'balloon of ideas' would be an event for local inhabitants. They would be given helium-filled baloons, and then they would place it in spots in their neighborhood they consider specially problematic. Also, they would suggest a solution for problem.
There were also some other projects, but they will wait for some other similar occasion.
October 23, 2013