Welcome To
Reactivate Sarajevo
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Why Sarajevo?

Project background

Sarajevo is a city of contrasts. Often known as “Europe’s Jerusalem” it has been for centuries a crossroads of different civilizations. The rich heritage it has gathered over time is materialized in the facades of its buildings and in its local culture. Influences range from introvert Ottoman compounds to Austrian Central-European styled blocks - an urban development that was abruptly interrupted by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914, which led to the out break of the Great War. The socialist period following World War II left to the city large-scale housing and traffic infrastructure, particularly during the booming 1980s where Sarajevo hosted the mega-event of the Winter Olympic Games.

Then during the Bosnian War (1992-95) Sarajevo underwent one of the most devastating «urbicides» in contemporary history. Infrastructure collapsed, thousands of building units were completely or partly destroyed and the city was left in a state of trauma.

The result was a post-urbicidal Central European city with the majority of its housing units destroyed, tens of thousands of war-refugees squatting around the city and suddenly, de-facto an inexistent urban planning regulation.

The young democracy that emerged struggled to apply its new economic system to the challenges of post-war reconstruction, which resulted in a rather anarchistic incremental development. Today Sarajevo is affected by overproduction of shopping and low-end residential units, boom of informal housing and environmental concerns giving the city the unattractive title: “most polluted capital of Europe”. It carries also a heavy legacy of outdated urban structures planned for a different socio-cultural and economical context. The cultural and social life of the city is still suffering from the political and economic stasis of the post-war and post-socialist period, notably an unemployment rate over 30%. In addition, the re-programmation of abandoned industrial facilities that could serve as creative hubs is hindered by restrictive urban planning regulations dating from the socialist period.

ETH Zurich Team

Project team and supporting partners



The Urban-Think Tank Chair of Architecture and Urban Design of Prof. Brillembourg and Prof. Klumpner at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich provides a unique platform of research and design experimentation. Their work investigates global urban challenges by opening a dialogue between society, culture and urbanism. Three major concerns of the Chair’s research and design agenda include (1) generating design solutions for marginalized populations – the urban masses, (2) framing a new mindset concerning program, typology, technology, land tenure, finance, and implementation, and (3) providing socially and ecologically sustainable design solutions.

In its previous projects, the Urban Think Tank has promoted innovation of urban structures while respecting local communities’ autonomy and priorities by creating flexible design and planning scenarios. The adaptive potential of cities like Sarajevo will be addressed in this project. The Chair critically assesses territories of informality, marginalization, and conflict in the contemporary city to construct a unique conceptual framework within which to propose new urban typologies and prototypes. This methodology aims to facilitate transition toward democratic and socially responsible urban models. We are committed to building consensus and achieving excellence through active and exemplary involvement in both critical research and the design of new urban prototypes for the real world. Various collaborators, including a number of academic institutions throughout the Balkans, members of the local cultural scene, entrepreneurs, consultants, and government entities, will complement the core Urban-Think Tank team.

The project received seed financial support from the SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) and includes professionals both from the CEE-region and abroad. The Forum will be a call for new ideas, new technologies and new energy in a form of a Toolbox.

How to reactivate Sarajevo?

Project aims

The complicated context of Sarajevo today faces us with numerous urgent urban challenges. Sarajevo, the cultural heart of the Balkans remains a fertile creative ground for design and planning projects and interventions that will be developed and proposed within the framework of the Reactivate Sarajevo project.

Throughout its dynamic history Sarajevo has been a fertile ground for cross-cultural development of ideas. We see Sarajevo as a laboratory for urban development visions where multidimensional research and practice can work in synergy.

The aim of Reactivate Sarajevo is to discover and engage with the latent problems and potentials of the city. The outcome will be to create alternative strategic visions consisting of process-based design tools - spatial, socio-economic, cultural and programmatic.

The vision to Reactivate Sarajevo will be launched through a Forum that will bring together for the first time all parties involved including academia, policy and practice. It will be a chance for all stakeholders to meet, exchange their views on the city and express their strategic vision for the project. The first event on May 28th - 31st 2015 will be made up of both formal and informal activities, including lectures, workshops, visits of key sites for intervention and meetings with various stakeholders including community leaders, academic partners, GOs and NGOs. The aim of the Forum is to build a momentum for the project by opening the floor for discussion, initiating a connection between potential collaborators, refining project aims and defining the course of action.

With the Forum we will upgrade our framework by producing a Toolbox of urban ideas that can be translated into concrete projects. Through presentations and workshop atmosphere during the event, we aim to create a sense of creative and entrepreneurial potential to reactivate Sarajevo’s cultural and civic life.

Pilot Initiative
Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

As Sarajevo expresses critical issues in contemporary Balkan urban development, we will use a historical symbolic location to bind and animate this event. Designed by prominent modernist architect Boris Magaš, the building of the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina was finished in 1963.

The museum’s collection is made up of approximately 400,000 artifacts, including documents, photographs, and artworks, providing invaluable material for understanding the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina across the epochs. As it is directly located on the sniper alley and the no man’s land between the front lines, the museum suffered severe damage during the war. In recent years cultural institutions’ operating budgets were heavily cut, and the artifacts are heavily threatened by the lack of heating and climate control systems.

The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most important buildings for citizens of Sarajevo, because of its location, unique architecture, and most importantly, its thematic displays. Another aim of the Kick-Off Forum is to activate the Museum’s structure, catalyze its revitalization, and include it directly into the research and place-making actions.

The Forum will also inaugurate the new 30m2 social community space within the Museum called “SPACE 00”. Formerly used as a coffee kitchen, the room is being reprogrammed as a multifunctional space that can host workshops, exhibitions and discusions. The design reflects the modernist tradition of the building but also explores new visions for the re-use of existing structures.

Moreover, the official opening of the partner event “Architecture Days” will be decorated by the facade illumination and video mapping symbolically indicating the revival of the Museum as an important cultural and social hub for the city.

Forum Program (28.5 - 31.5.2015)

Program Clusters and Speakers

Key local actors will present the activities they have undertaken in pursuit of tangible outcomes such as building restoration and reprogrammation, mobility improvement, policy advice, and the creation of other cultural and entrepreneurial initiatives. International guests will gain familiarity with the urban and social context and offer a fresh vision on the city’s challenges.

The forum aims to understand the challenge and potential of the project, to build a strong foundation for the development of ideas and action, and to open a dialogue about synergistic cooperation.

The forum is organized in colaboration with existing local initiatives: the “Architecture Days” organized by the organization “Lift-Spatial initiatives”. In addition, another partner event is the “Sarajevo Green Infrastructure” Summer School, organized by the University Nuertingen-Geislingen, Germany together with the IB University Sarajevo, the University of Sarajevo and the BiH National Association of Landscape Architects, which is a follow up activity of the LE:NOTRE Landscape Forum that took place in May 2014. This collaboration reveals a large collaborative local partner network. The main aim is to kick- off the reactivation of Sarajevo including design, policy, planning, and socio- economic programs. The results of this event will be compiled in a “Toolbox” publication that will serve as the basis for next steps for the Reactivate Sarajevo project. All presentations will be followed by an interactive discussion, which will be entirely documented.

 

DEVELOPING A TOOLBOX FOR REACTIVATING SARAJEVO





THURSDAY 28.5.2015

| Location: Historical Museum of BiH |

18:00

START OF THE PROGRAM

20:30

INAUGURATION OF “REACTIVATE SARAJEVO” & OPENING OF THE SARAJEVO ARCHITECTURE DAYS*

This is an evening ceremonial program and is located inside the symbolic location of the Historical Museum of BiH. The museum will be reanimated and reactivated through a cultural program, facade video mapping, arts exhibitions, live arts performances, music program and children’s workshop symbolically indicating the revival of the Museum as an important cultural and social hub for the city.

Moderation: | Boris Ler Actor |

 
The Forum will also inaugurate the new 30m2 social community space within the Museum called “SPACE 00-Centrala” and the Museum’s Atrium, symbolically reprogrammed as a multifunctional spaces that can host workshops, exhibitions and discusions. The design reflects the modernist tradition of the building but also explores new visions for the re- use of existing structures. The symbolic interventions have been executed in synergy and cooperation with the NGO “Lift-Spatial Initiatives” and ALA BiH (Bosnian-Herzegovinian Association of Landscape Architects)

FRIDAY 29.5.2015

| Location: Dom Mladih Skenderija | Free entrance |

Introduction

9:30

MEET AND GREET

10:00

WELCOMING NOTE
David Kramer
Deputy Director of Cooperation, Swiss Embassy in BiH
Gradimir Gojer
Deputy President of the City Council. City of Sarajevo

10:15

SARAJEVO: POTENTIALS AND CHALLENGES TODAY
Nedreta Komarica
Mayor’s office, Advisor for Urban Planning, City of Sarajevo

10:30

URBANISM AT THE GLOBAL CULTURAL FRONTLINE:
SHIFTING PLANNING STRATEGIES IN CANTON SARAJEVO
Gordana Memisevic
Institute for Spatial Planning and Development
of the Canton of Sarajevo

11:00

SOCIAL DESIGN FOR REACTIVATING CITIES
Prof. Alfredo Brillembourg
ETH Zurich, Urban-Think Tank Chair of
Architecture and Urban Design

COFFEE BREAK: 11:30 - 11:45

THEME: SOCIAL AND CULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE

11:45     KEYNOTE
INTELLIGENT CITIES AND URBAN HERITAGE
Prof. Dr. Amir Pasic
University of Sarajevo & IRCICA

RADICAL CITIES
Justin McGuirk
Writer & former critic for The Guardian London

FROM MEMORY TO COMMEMORATION
Harlind Libbrecht
School of Arts, University College Ghent, Belgium

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
| Justin Mc Guirk | Amir Pasic | Harlind Libbrecht | with
| Elma Hasimbegovic Director, Historical Museum of BiH | Nenad Velickovic Writer |
Moderation: | Mejrema Zatric ETH Zurich |

LUNCH BREAK: 13:00 - 13:30

THEME: GREEN PERSPECTIVES: DESIGNING THE SUSTAINABLE*

13:30     KEYNOTE
RETHINKING ARCHITECTURE AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN CITIES
Ass. Prof. Dr. Markus Schwai
Head of Department of Urban Design and Planning, NTNU Trondheim

ECOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Tim Clancy
Terra Dinarica

SARAJEVO’S FUTURE GREEN OLYMPIC INFRASTRUCTURE
Igor Golijanin (tbc)
European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) 2017 Sarajevo & East Sarajevo

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
| Markus Schwai | Tim Clancy | Igor Golijanin (tbc) | with
| Sanela Klaric IBU Sarajevo | Ellen Fetzer ECLAS Vice-President |
Moderation: | Haris Piplas ETH Zurich |

COFFEE BREAK: 14:45 - 15:00

THEME: CREATIVE ECONOMIES FOR A KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY

15:00     KEYNOTE
TRUE CITIES
Charlie Koolhaas
Delft University, The Netherlands

SARAJEVO’S CULTURAL FABRIC
Bojan Hadzihalilovic
Academy of Fine Arts Sarajevo & Fabrika

REACTIVATING SARAJEVO THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Narcis Gecevic
AVERROE Consulting&Investments

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
| Charlie Koolhaas | Narcis Gecevic | Bojan Hadzihalilovic |
| Garret Tankosic SEE Change Net | Nasiha Pozder University of Sarajevo |
Moderation: | Justin McGuirk Writer & former critic for The Guardian London |

16:15

NEW PRIMITIVISM AND ITS CRITIQUE ON
URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Zenit Djozic
Top Lista Nadrealista
Haris Piplas
ETH Zurich, Urban-Think Tank Chair of
Architecture and Urban Design

16:30

FINAL INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION&IDEA COLLECTION
- CREATING THE TOOLBOX

SATURDAY 30.5.2015

CITY TOUR: SARAJEVO AND ITS URBAN HERITAGE THROUGH HISTORIC LAYERS

EVENING PROGRAM “Sarajevo Architecture Days” *
| LOCATION: Kino Obala Meeting Point |

19:00

GLOBAL TOOLBOX LOCAL IMPACT
Prof. Alfredo Brillembourg
ETH Zurich, Urban-Think Tank Chair of Architecture and Urban Design

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
| Alfredo Brillembourg | with
Justin Mc Guirk | Charlie Koolhaas | Markus Schwai | Haris Piplas |

SUNDAY 31.5.2015

CITY TOUR: SARAJEVO’S INFORMALITY & OLYMPIC INFRASTRUCTURE

CITY TOUR: SARAJEVO’S TRANSFORMATIONS SINCE 1995
with Jim Marshall (tbc)
Urban photographer, Glasgow&Sarajevo

Press & Media

Selected Press Clippings

Media

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Credits

PROJECT PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
Prof. Alfredo Brillembourg & Prof. Hubert Klumpner
Urban-Think Tank Chair of Architecture and Urban design
D-ARCH, ETH Zurich

PROJECT COORDINATOR
Haris Piplas

PROJECT CONCEPT
Prof. Alfredo Brillembourg & Prof. Hubert Klumpner
Haris Piplas
Justin McGuirk

SPECIAL THANKS TO
David Kramer, Deputy Head of Swiss Cooperation in BiH, Swiss Embassy Sarajevo
City of Sarajevo, Mayor’s Office
Amir Pasic, University of Sarajevo & IRCICA
Sabina Biser, Mersiha Karic, Mersad Omanovic, Masa Aganovic - Association of BH Landscape Architects
Sanela Klaric, International Burch University Sarajevo & Green Council
Elma Hasimbegovic, Historical Museum of BiH
Nedim Mutevelic, Sarajevo Architecture Days & Lift Spatial Initiatives
Zenit Djozic, Top Lista Nadrealista
Mejrema Zatric, ETH Zurich
Justin McGuirk, London
Garret Tankosic Kelly, SEE Chance NET
Matica BiH Zurich
Markus Schwai, NTNU Trondheim
Adi Elezovic, Balkanexpress Zurich
Denis Piplas
Senad Alibegovic

ARTWORK BY
Dzejlana Karaman, Mak Hubjer, Damir Bakija



This project is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The Kick-Off Forum is supported by EDA through the Swiss Embassy in Sarajevo. The Forum is logistically supported by the Ministry of Planning and Environment of Canton Sarajevo, the Historical Museum of BiH and the University of Sarajevo.
The Kick-Off Forum is organized in synergy with the “Green Infrastructure Sarajevo” * Summer School and the Sarajevo “Architecture Days” (daniarhitekture.ba)*
The program details co-organized by the partners are marked in program with the mentioned colors **.