Project: Openland
Typology: Concorso di progettazione - Europan 13
Site: Zagabria (HR)
Year: 2015
Designer: La Macchina Studio, Mimì Coviello
Botanical consultant: Lucrezia Didio

The river, with the sunlight flashing from its dancing wavelets, gilding gold the grey-green beech trunks, glinting through the dark, cool wood paths, chasing shadows o’er the shallows, flinging diamonds from the mill wheels, throwing kisses to the lilies, wantoning with the weirs’ white waters, silvering moss grown walls and bridges, brightening every tiny townlet, making sweet each lane and meadow, lying tangled in the rushes, peeping, laughing, from each inlet, gleaming gay on many a far sail, making soft the air with glory, is a golden fairy stream.
(Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome)


Openland is a project able to create a system of green areas and characterized spaces, generating living parks along the Sava River. The project is highlighting the potentiality of the riverbanks and, considering them as connecting surfaces in between the different areas of the project, including them in the entire process.
Giving the base of the project to the City, the aim of the intervention is to activate a virtuous process that leaves the spaces and the citizens growing with a sense of freedom but responsibility, as well.
The starting point for every area will be what is planned to happen in each one of them: 

- an edible forest with many sport facilities that aims to The aim is to create an edible ecosystems with a mix of perennials and herbaceous species, using endemic ones.

- a cultural surface where introducing new cultural spaces using temporary structures and giving to the creative community in Zagreb a space where to act and propose new ways of living a public space.

- a playground area surrounded by an educational context and family gardens that wants to create a link with the activities in the neighbourhood and the citizens living the context in itself.

- a wetland surface using phytoremediation technique and hydroponic cultivations. The area is considered the head of a system that, using the two existing basins, is completed by artificial basins spread as a series of phytoremediation tanks. Considering the possibility of phytoremediate part of Sava River water, and including the riverbank in the process, there will be realized water channels that will introduce Sava River water in the systems of natural and artificial basins.

For each area, the city of Zagreb will built the first element, a structure made of scaffolding pipes. This temporary element will be a powerful landmark that gives the function and the meaning to the area: a bungee jumping tower (sporting area), a box of swings (playground area), a hydroponic tower (wetland surface), an open art gallery (leisure and culture area). 

All the landmarks after the first one for each area, will be proposed by the community: the shape, the function and the position in the space. At the same time, the riverbanks are included in the green system: on the north side as part of an urban farm, on the southern side as an ecological corridor using hexagonal shaped floating green islands.

The project considers the temporality as a tool, related to the possibility of changing spaces and needs as well as, for the riverbanks, the possibility of flooding. For this reason, the green areas have functions in movable structures and the riverbanks, on one side, an urban farm with cyclical crops that can eventually stand humid conditions (rice, lentils), on the other side a special green technology of floating green areas that can eventually be suspended in case of flooding, helpful to create the best conditions for preserving regional biodiversity. 

In order to get the citizenship involved, everyone will be a potential player in action (associations, common citizens, organizations, institutions) and every proposal will be commonly discussed on a virtual platform  able to share contents, ideas and needs as well as real platforms such assemblies, seminars and workshop through the city.

The platform is proposed as a radically liberated place where everyone have the right and the responsibility to define his own living space. celebrates individual desire: you can build whatever you want; in whatever shape you like; you decide how to use your space and how to behave.

The strength of the project is actually the idea of giving to the city of Zagreb n-spaces and n-possibilities, the responsibility of proposing the best places and spaces for the entire community of Zagreb that is in charge to decide. 

The project will finally be a collective park that collects the common desires.