Akcije Stari Plac – Zagreb

CiTyBee has started to collaborate with Marko Sancanin from Platforma 9.81 in Zagreb on a process where  a team of sociologists, anthroplogist and landscape designers are working with architects  to involve the Dubrava neighbourhood around an old marketplace in the eastern part of the city in creating a new urban space.

The Marketplace is deserted and looks a bit sad, yet it is surrounded by a soup kitchen, a professional boxing club, a local theatre and off course a café. See photos from the Neighbourhood here

The neighbourhood is a classic Zagreb  half wild development with mainly selfbuild houses. It fits the porosity of Neaples that Benjamin and Asja Lacis wrote about in 1925:

In such corners, one can scarcely discern where building is still in progress
and where dilapidation has already set in. For nothing is concluded. Porosity
results not only from the indolence of the southern artisan, but also, above
all, from the passion for improvisation, which demands that space and
opportunity be preserved at any price.


Porosity refers to the existing physical or organisational structures that are open (unfinished) for new improvisations or initiatives. It also refers to the notion of “Spatialising the dialogue about space” or “making space more open for for dialogue” (and new improvisations or initiatives that we also call Offshoots)

One important inspiration for our work with Porosity is the essay of Walter Benjamin and Asja Lacis on Naples that they wrote together in 1925.

One example on how we worked with Porosity was the Open garden where kids could start building spatial experiments as a way of taking part in the dialogue on the future of that part of the city.