Challenging The City Scale. Belgrade
Bastin, By Côme
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For the inhabitants of Kragujevac, the fourth largest city in Serbia, the Grand City Park has always been a favourite place for a stroll. With its paths, benches, sports grounds and canopy of century-old trees, the Grand City Park has been a haven of relaxation in the city since it was built in 1898. “Unfortunately, the park shared the inevitable fate of the city and deteriorated,” says Jovan Jelovac, the founder of Belgrade Design Week. Serbia has endured many trials and tribulations in the last few decades–the Balkan Wars, the break-up of Yugoslavia, the global financial crisis–and Kragujevac hasn’t been spared. Throughout this time, the Grand City Park suffered from a lack of attention and investment. But in 2017, the park recovered some of its former lustre. For a period of several months, designers, urbanists, architects and construction companies joined forces to restore a neglected area between the public swimming pool and the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. Renamed the “Creative Grand Park of Kragujevac”, this 10,000 square metre section of the park now hosts a state-of- the-art designed children’s playground, a modern exercise unit for young people, and motoric training equipment for older people. All these components are connected through biomorphic gravel paths and green areas. New park furniture and a fountain have also been built.
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