Former Optujska military complex as a new urban model (city sub centre) to balance the urban quality and life in all the sectors of Varaždin.
The city challenges / City of Varaždin has strategic mission to provide quality life for citizens by using social, economic and environmental resources according to the principles of sustainable development. Better conditions of life will lead to more satisfied residents and keeping population in Varaždin.
Balancing the development of the city and ensuring appropriate living conditions for citizens throughout the city is one of the essential components of sustainable city management. With the development of all parts of the city we want to create better conditions for quality of life in all parts of Varaždin.
City of Varaždin has a traditional main central square (“Korzo”) in a historic core. It is a city melting pot, public area of gathering and events, surrounded with secondary public spaces within the historical core. All the public established events mostly happen in the city centre and during years, the need for a different kind of public space – multifunctional, quality and contemporary, which will be counterweight to a traditional historical public space in the city core, was recognised.
Meanwhile there was huge abandoned and closed former military complex “Optujska” in north-western part of Varaždin (33 hectares) – the same size as the historical centre. This big unused surface in the built city tissue was creating actual urban development barrier and was found undesirable. City of Varaždin was not the owner of the military site, but was obliged to maintain the area and take all actions to prevent further devastation and decay and this was great financial burden for the city.
City’s development; social, tourist, urban and cultural was oriented on the city centre and balance of all the city parts was not achieved. City, not being the owner of this large part of area, had no instruments to manage and direct development of this area.
Consequently, city needs to aim its efforts to achieve following:
- Gain ownership of the area in order to manage further development of the area.
- Create open public space, highly functional and attractive, new sub centre for western part of the city.
- Improve social diversity and social inclusion in the neighbourhood by providing opportunities for new public facilities, commercial areas and creating safety and accessibility in the area.
From the challenges to the re-use / The usual urban planning practice in Varaždin often was not in line with the wishes and needs of users, i.e. citizens and new approach is needed; taking into account social, economic and ecological aspects, but also social and cultural contexts.
Project area is located in the middle of a dense urban tissue surrounded by family housing except on the west side where the military is located. It is 2km away from the main city square. This part of the city doesn’t have a centre of gathering apart from the nearby shopping centre which collects a large number of people from the whole city but does not have any public space quality.
Our main goal to revitalize the former 4 hectares of military area in to new city sub centre – will be achieved by strong connection and communication between the city, potential users and experts.
The re-use of the former military area will help to achieve this strategic objectives:
- To secure the city ownership of the site under conditions that allows the full development of the site into modern highly functional public space.
- To enhance the availability of freely accessible outdoor public space for the residents of the neighbourhood and all the citizens
- To ensure a high occupancy level of buildings by providing conditions for inhabitation that meet for the expectations of future tenants.
IAP Varazdin exhibition posters / Download the PDF version (medium quality)
IAP Varazdin exhibition posters / Download the PDF version (high quality)
IAP Varazdin PowerPoint presentation / Download the PPT version
IAP Varazdin – Military complex “Optujska” / Download the PDF version