Capital City

Slovenia is a rural nation in an urban world. Its population of 2 mio people lives in no less than 6.000 small towns and villages. Only two of those count more than 100’000 inhabitants. The entire functional urban region around Ljubljana, however, has about 1 mio inhabitants. The capital is Slovenia’s only “downtown”.

The relationship between Slovenia and its capital city has always been strained. Ljubljana emerged after the independence and deindustrialization with fewer problems than other, smaller towns. Still, it has to compete with them for investors or public funds. Often much smaller municipalities have better infrastructural amenities and transport links. But within the dispersed urban system of Slovenia, Ljubljana is the only place with enough critical mass and social dynamics to sustain urban development by its own means.

In the last ten years, the number of firms in Ljubljana doubled and the number of jobs grew from 145.000 to 255.000 without specific incentives. Today Ljubljana disposes one third of all jobs in Slovenia, while as much as 40% of this workforce commute into the capital from virtually all over Slovenia. Companies in the capital generate 37% of all revenue of the Slovenian economy. The question of how Ljubljana will develop is therefore one of the major issues of today and a key to the future of Slovenia.

The essay examines how Ljubljana can be developed considering the current economic, political and administrative context and describes the integrated planning process applied to the masterplan Smartinska Partnership, Slovenia’s first PPP, as one possible approach.

Schaefer, Markus and Celik, Matevz: “Capital City”. in: Oris-Magazine for Architecture and Culture, no 62, June 2010

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Projects

Architecture

Herrliberg-Feldmeilen station, 2020 –
Current state: framework plan

Haus Myrte, Wädenswil, 2022 –
Current phase: tender

House Renovation, Geneva, 2021 –
Current phase: ongoing

Airport Engadin, St. Moritz, 2020 –
Current phase: construction project

Cooperative Housing, Wetzikon, 2020 –
Current phase: tender

Fabrik.sg, 2020 –
Current phase: Project phases design to operation

ZHA, Boulevard, Hönggerberg Campus, 2020 –
Current state: ongoing (with Studio Vulkan)

Wilhelmsburg Rowing Club, 2020 –
Current phase: execution planning

Primary School Christoph Merian, Basel, 2019 –
Current phase: construction project

Station Square and Roof, Herisau 2015 –
Current phase: tender

MEWA-Areal, Wädenswil, 2018 –
Transformation Project from the former industrial estate to the mixed-use development with housing
Current phase: framework plan

Viererfeld, Bern, 2018 –
Housing
Current phase: on hold

Urban Design

Bahnhof Romanshorn, 2022 –
Current state: study (with Sudio Vulkan)

Kaserne Aarau, 2022 –
Current state: urban framework

Areale Wittenbach, 2022 –
Current state: urban design commission

Stiftungsareal Neumünster, 2022 –
Current state: study

Kieler Schloss, 2022 –
Current state: Public think tank on usage and architecture

Campus Heidelberg, 2021 –
Current state: Masterplan process, in-depth studies

Otterbach Süd, 2020 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Innovation Park Bergedorf, 2020 –
Current state: urban framework

Station Area Dietikon, 2019 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Campus Bochum, 2018 –
Current state: project support

Metalli, Zug, 2017 –
Current state: project support

Bahnstadt Nürtingen, 2017 –
Current state: project support

Areal Neugasse Zürich, 2016 –
Current state: completion of master plan, public consultation

Elbinselquartier Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, 2015 –
Current state: project support

Tech Cluster Zug, 2015 –
Current state: transformation plan

Station Herisau, 2013 –
Current state: areal development

KNZ Wil West, Thurgau / St. Gallen, 2011 –
Current state: project support

Urban System Research

Metaverse, 2022 –
Current state: ongoing

Entwicklungskonzept Würzenbach, 2022 –
Current state: ongoing

ESP Hochdorf, 2021 –
Current state: spatial-urban as well as use- and circular-based development concept

Deep Urbanism, 2021 –
Current state: ongoing

cividi gmbh – civic data intelligence, 2019 –
Digital tools for the analogue city
Current state: ongoing

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