‘Nova Mesta’, the process for improvement of public spaces initiated in June this year, reached its first milestone. During the press conference held in the Congress Hall of the City Hall in Novi Sad, Darko Polić, jury chairman and member of the Working Group for Infrastructure and Capital Investments, and Slobodan Jović, president of the Association of Architects of Novi Sad addressed the audience and declared the awarded design-urbanistic proposals.
At the beginning, they stressed the fact that citizens, for the first time in Novi Sad, have a chance to decide on how to improve public spaces, and the process itself was marked with high level of transparency and democracy. This is one more step towards higher level of participation within the European Capital of Culture project, and it shows high results of methods that the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation chooses for implementation of planned activities.
The methodology used in the Nova Mesta project was proposed by Darko Polić. He stated that the procedures for survey, interviews through focus groups, public calls, submission of proposals, work of the jury and selection and assessment of proposed works have been implemented, and works on public spaces are to follow. In addition to this, Mr Polić mentioned that, from the point of view of the profession, this model is used for the first time in Novi Sad and Serbia, and he declared the winning proposals.
Slobodan Jović from the Association of Architects of Novi Sad spoke about the participation of the Association in the process of creating Nova Mesta, as well as in manner of implementation of the call. Mr Jović reminded the audience that the jury members are renowned architects and urbanists from Serbia and the region: Dr Darko Polić, architect; Docent Dr Pavle Stamenović, architect; Docent Dr Rene Lisac, architect; Vera Golubović, architect and sociologist; and Dejan Mitov, architect. Mr Jović was pleased with the impressive number of proposals from the country and region, which gave more importance to the entire process of selection. Mr Jović stated that the total number of proposals that were submitted from the country and the region is 57.
The proposal which won the first prize for the location Sremska Kamenica was designed by the group of authors: Docent Malina Čvoro, architect, Docent Saša Čvoro, architect, Slobodan Peulić, architect, Maja Medić, student, Neda Medić, student, Nebojša Jeremić, student. For the same location, the following two proposal received jury praise: by Đorđe Ilić, and by the group of authors: Dragan Marinčić, Aleksandra Marinčić, Ana Gojković. Architectural proposal that was recommended for implementation at the location Telep was sent by the Polygon Workshop, organisation from Bosnia and Herzegovina: Emina Alić, Jasmin Sirčo, Berina Šahinović-Sulejmanović and Adina Šahinović. First prize for the same location was awarded to Tijana Miljić, and praises were given to Fedor Jurić and Albert Topić, as well as to Jovana Laketić and Sanja Đurđević. The project that was selected for the location Kovilj was designed by the group of authors: Janja Franeta, Veljko Ćirić, Bojana Puzić and Natalija Ristanović, while the first prize was given to the project by Jelena Jelačić, Tijana Radovanović, Aleksa Bekića and Pavle Nikolić. Praise for the location Kovilj was given to the group of authors: Marijana Simić, Vesna Trbić, Ivan Simić, Olivera Petrović, Tihomir Dičić, and Kristina Verušeski, while the work by Igor Rajković was also praised. For the location Detelinara, the work by Đorđe Ilić was selected for purchase, the first prize was given to Fedor Juril and Albert Tošić, while the praise was given to the group of authors: Janja Franeta, Veljko Ćirić, Bojana Puzić, Natalija Ristanović. The audience award went to Miljana Janković and Nevena Kunčak for the location Detelinara.
Numerous improvements and reconstructions of public spaces, the so-called New Spaces where citizens can meet and organise cultural events, are part of the preparation for 2021, when Novi Sad will be European Capital of Culture.
We would like to remind that, in cooperation with representatives of local communities, the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation initiated the process for improving public spaces with the desire to create a long-lasting model in which citizens will be active participants in creating and improving public spaces, since the culture of life is one of the key elements of development of society as a whole. In addition to surveying citizens and having group discussion, meetings (focus groups) were also organised with all who can contribute to the improvement of public spaces and cultural content in their neighbourhoods: active organisations and individuals who work in cultural, artistic, and creative fields. Citizens were included during the decision-making process and in process of improving selected locations, together with the expert public: together with the Association of Architects of Novi Sad, they defined in more details the content, characteristics, and equipping of public spaces. Based on the set criteria, adjusted to specific needs and characteristics of local communities, the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation launched the urbanistic-design open call for improvement of small public spaces on 15 August. Individuals and expert associations, i.e. architects and urbanists, had a chance to submit their ideas and projects by 15 September. Citizens were invited to cast their votes via webpage of the Foundation for the architectural proposal they think is the best, and the project with the highest number of votes will receive the prize, while the expert jury will take these votes into consideration when deciding on the winning proposal.