Skurinje, a typical neighborhood in Rijeka built during socialism, went through a series of transformations over the years, but one thing remained the same: a serious lack of any public, cultural or artistic spaces, services and content.
Ironically called the “dormitory” by its residents, Skurinje has no libraries, galleries, community centers, or even newspaper stands.
While Team Rijeka looked for spaces that could fill this gap, a prominent feature of the neighborhood’s urban landscape caught their attention: balconies.
Private balconies – small, often underused spaces on the edge between private and public life – have great potential as “micro-hubs” to activate citizens and create cultural encounters in the Skurinje neighborhood.
Team Rijeka wants to help local residents bring these spaces to life through urban gardening activities, cultural and artistic programs and creative workshops.
The project started by inspiring and activating the community through its history: Team Rijeka asked citizens to send their private photos and memories of the period when they arrived in the neighborhood, and exhibited them on an ordinary wall turned into an open-air gallery, helping residents reflect on the history and the future of the neighborhood.
With the balcony theme as a starting point, the team is organizing gardening, carpenter and painting workshops. They also plan to host artistic events and a small balcony festival with concerts, book readings and performances in 2019.
Ultimately, Team Rijeka hopes their project can be the starting point for the launch of a micro cultural center: “Culture with a view”. They will develop models for managing the cultural center, exploring new formats such as a tool library and a seed bank for the neighborhood.