Info center is located in the center of the neighborhood of Sesvete, today mainly characterized as a marginalized post-industrial area. The area used to be a meat processing factory that was abandoned 20 years ago and today some of the former factory buildings are used as warehoses and for small scale production.
However, implementation of the NBS, and other small scale projects that indirectly evolved from proGIreg, have greatly affected this image and have drawn the citizens back into the area. Thus the Info center has definitely become a focal developing point of this area.
The objective of the Info center, implemented within the proGIreg project, was to create a new community center for Sesvete, the largest neighborhood in the City of Zagreb, where the inghabitants of Sesvete would be able to openly discuss topics that trouble them on a daily basis, but also providing a venue for sharing and acquiring knowledge. NGO ZIPS (Green and Blue Sesvete) is one of the local partners in the proGIreg project with strong ties to the local community, and it has been eager to help develop a habit of involvement and participation among the citizens of Sesvete through numerous organized activities, and introduce them to the necessity of activism and argumentative discussion. Most notable objective was to create a hotspot for the dissemination activities of the ProGIreg project and to represent the benefits of sustainable development, nature based solutions and green infrastructure.
Throughout the implementation of the project, one of the local partners in proGIreg project – ZIPS, who manage the activities in the Info centre have succeeded in propelling many different activities within and outside the Info center, such as exhibitions, chess tournaments, workshops, public panels, international and academic cooperation, tree-planting and clean-up actions, thus revitalizing and improving the quality of living standards.
Part of the up-cycling was in the development of the info center, which has seen a great number of various events and has served as a trigger other (EU) projects. Unfortunately, pandemics have greatly influenced the possibilities of interactions, hence there was a sudden stop to all of our activities. Lately, things have gotten a more positive manner and we have created more outdoor activities.
In the meantime, the Info center has hosted many different groups from the civil society (alpinists, beekeepers…) and university (landscape architects, geographers…).
The Info center has given a venue to the citizens of Sesvete for discussion and learning, as the local proGIreg partner ZIPS have organized multiple lectures, gatherings and activities related to the proGIreg project and beyond, but always linked to the topics of the project. Through various strong communication actions, ZIPS has managed to achieve a more positive image of the area and citizens do see an optimistic vision of the area development.
This kind of venue designated for communication with the public can be planned in other areas, wherever there is a recognized need for a gathering place for the public.
Marijo Spajić, M.Sc., landscape architect
Secretary of Green and Blue Sesvete NGO