EU Project Living Streets To Turn Streets of Poreč into Living Rooms

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Source: CityMaking! Wien
EU project 'Living Streets' will turn streets of Poreč into 'Living Rooms'
EU project 'Living Streets' will turn streets of Poreč into 'Living Rooms'

September 22, 2020 – Following the example of a similar project that Vienna is implementing with its citizens, a new EU project – Living Streets – will come to life in Poreč this September. It is a project of revitalizing the streets of European cities, turning them into “living rooms”. Poreč, along with the Croatian city of Križevci, was granted 20,000 euro for its implementation.

The City of Poreč applied for this project in cooperation with the city company Parentium d.o.o. and the Zone Association (Udruga Zona) for improving the quality of life, as part of the EU project EUKI (European Climate Initiative) Living Streets.

The competition was conducted in Croatia by the Terra Hub association, and Poreč won with a maximum of 73 points for its city “living room” project.



“The project aims, in cooperation with citizens, with systematically and long-term micro-transformations of city streets and spaces that are often congested with traffic and cars, especially during the summer months, to point out the importance of public space in urban areas,” says Gordana Lalić, the director of the city company Parentioum d.o.o.


‘Living rooms’ of cities

One of the project infrastructure solutions will be the installation of the so-called parquets (“parklets”), pavement extensions that provide the tenants of nearby buildings with more space and possibilities for rest and socializing.

“We are witnessing that city street and squares are much more than transit areas. They are primarily spaces that can and must enrich the community – socially, and economically. To achieve this, it is necessary to ‘activate’ the streets, facilitate access for pedestrians and cyclists, and implement programs that encourage the participatory action of our citizens,” explains Ajna Temimović from the City of Poreč.



A detail of trifora windows on the Ghotic Palace in Poreč / The City of Poreč


“By creating space for people, inviting them to socialize, that is, presenting a public space accessible to everyone, urban city spaces are enriched, and their original purpose, which is to serve the citizens, is returned to them,” adds Temimović.

The parquet concept will be built on the model of the Austrian capital Vienna, where, according to the same principle, about thirty locations have already been turned into pleasant meeting places and good neighborly relations.

This year, thanks to many projects, Vienna took the title of the best city in the world in terms of quality of life for the ninth time in a row. Their project CityMaking! Wien, among other projects, encourages citizens to arrange their small oases to relax and socialize in front of the buildings in which they live.



Freedom Square (Trg slobode), the main square in Poreč / The City of Poreč


The importance of climate change mitigation

Poreč therefore successfully follows the Viennese example of revitalizing urban spaces, while the Croatian capital attempts by citizens to bring a breath of life to the streets during these difficult times are banned and even punished for absurd laws, as we witnessed when two Zagreb citizens planted a small garden in front your building during the lockdown.

“Cities have a key role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation processes, and all new projects involving urban development must be guided by this,” Lalić points out, adding that the planned duration of the Living Streets project is 12 months and it will be implemented from September 2020 to September 2021.

In the Poreč area, the transport sector is responsible for more than half of the total CO2 emissions, or 58.87 percent.


Poreč from above / The City of Poreč


“Sustainable mobility thus becomes one of the key topics of sustainable policies, i.e., one of the preconditions for further sustainable development of the city, and ensuring the highest possible level of quality of life for the citizens of Poreč,” says Temimović.

In addition to parquets, a series of workshops, actions, and public events are planned, all to „encourage the reduction of the use of personal vehicles, which will consequently reduce negative impacts on human health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the quality of life in the town,“ says Lalić.


A great interest of other Croatian cities for the project

However, Poreč is not the only city that can boast the Living Street project. Namely, as many as 21 Croatian cities have applied for projects to transform their streets into a pleasant and safe space for socializing and connecting citizens.

Poreč and Križevci are the winners of the competition with the highest number of points, and the cities that took third to sixth place – Labin, Pazin, Sisak, and Velika Gorica – were placed in the status of “potential cities” for which the Terra Hub Association, in agreement and cooperation with cities, will try to provide additional funding for implementation.



Other green projects in Poreč

As Temimović explains, Poreč has been working intensively on the implementation of “green” projects for a long time.

So far, the city has participated in the national action “Plant a tree – do not be a stump” (“Zasadi drvo – ne budi panj”) in which citizens planted more than 500 tree seedlings. They also have as many as seven charging stations for electric cars, and their utility and traffic police use electric vehicles.

According to Temimović, they obtained co-financing for them from the Environmental Protection Fund, and through another EU project, they are in the process of procuring an electric-powered minibus to develop a pilot project for public transport.

The purpose is, of course, that over time, Poreč streets become greener and, above all, more accessible for citizens to socialize.


The old town Poreč / The City of Poreč


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