On Friday, 22 December 2017, the first meeting of representatives of public enterprises and administrations of the City and ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation on the topic of implementation of the New Places project was held in the Blue Hall of the City Assembly of Novi Sad. The meeting was initiated by the Foundation in order to define the criteria and procedures for the open call for citizens who would like to manage smaller urban spaces in our city.
The New Places project is part of the bid-book that brought the European Capital of Culture title to Novi Sad. The goal of the call within the New Places project is to award funds to citizens who want to creatively improve or restore neglected small public spaces in order to improve the quality of life. This is one of the opportunities for citizens of Novi Sad to decide how to change their immediate surroundings, and to realise their wishes and creative suggestions, which is made possible by the European Capital of Culture project.
The topic of the meeting were reasons for launching the calls discussed by Dr Darko Polić, chairperson of the Working Group for Capital and Infrastructure Projects. Christian Potiron presented examples of good practice of New Places in Košice. Milica Rašković and Dr Lazar Jovanov spoke on behalf of the Department for Participation and Education about the call and goals that are to be achieved.
The meeting was attended by representatives of: PUE ‘Gradsko Zelenilo’, PE ‘Institute for Urban Development and Residential Affairs’, PUE ‘Čistoća’, PUE ‘Informatika’, Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Novi Sad, City Administration for Urban Planning and Construction Works, City Administration for Public Services and Utilities, City Administration for Building Land and Investments, as well as representatives of the Zone 021 (Irig, Beočin and Sremski Karlovci). The attendees openly supported the initiative for New Places, pleasantly surprised with the approach to the city management. They also expressed their willingness to cooperate. Furthermore, they pointed out to the need to respect decisions and provisions for city management, which define the changes in public spaces. Following the constructive discussion, the initiative for establishing panel for support to the New Places project was launched. The goal of the panel is to facilitate and simplify procedures for exercising rights and granting permits to citizens for doing works in small urban spaces. It was suggested that the newly-formed panel should comprise representatives of public enterprises and administrations that were delegated to attend the meeting, and representatives of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation, which will send invitations to public enterprises and administrations of the City of Novi Sad to give their consents to form this working body for New Places. The promptness in forming the panel, as well as efficiency in creating condition and procedures for the call will determine the date of the open call for citizens, in spring of 2018.
Transparency and democracy are principles that the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation follows in implementation of the European Capital of Culture projects, with full citizen participation and decentralisation. Related to this are the initiatives and efforts that we put in creating conditions for their achievement – this time it is made concrete for the New Places project.