The Learning Alliance “LivadaLab” is bringing together 30 individual young experts, students and unemployed young people (18-30 years) to develop, test and demonstrate an alternative citizen involvement approach to govern urban green areas in Ljubljana (Slovenia).
In a two year participatory planning process, using a project-based learning approach, the participants managed to substantially increase the range of ecosystems services at the 6,000m2 test area. The site has transformed from a partially afforested and unused marshland into a thriving community space offering a place for leisure, sports, culture, local food production and experience of rare biotic diversity in urban nature.
Currently, the “LivadaLab” site has five raised beds, which cover a total area of 30 m2. In the period May-September 2016 the users produced over 15 kg of vegetables. In total over 100 people had at least one meal benefit from vegetables and herbs grown at the “LivadaLab”. In the August-October 2016 period participants were provided with the opportunity to experience marketed crop cultivation in a large 100 m2 garden. This enabled participants to further advance their horticultural skills and gain a small income through sustainable production.
Great emphasis has been put on promoting “LivadaLab” in media. As a result, the project has been featured in several printed media (city journal and daily newspaper with over 250.000 printed copies issued), on national TV (Utrinek, series of educational videos promoting sustainable development through citizen initiatives), at scientific international events (EU GREEN WEEK and European Forum of Urban Forestry 2016), the Urban October 2016 event, the World Habitat Day and the World Cities Day. To find out what is grown in the “LivadaLab” visit their bilingual English-Slovenian Facebook page: