Browsing this web site you accept techinical and statistical cookies. close [ more info ]

The settlements development in Ljubljana Region in the Corridors of the Railway transportation - Abstract

(Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia)

by Mojca Šašek Divjak

The principal issue of this article is the connection between the urban development and the improved railway system, as it is planned for Ljubljana region. In the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia we have completed the research project, in which we have prepared the concept of the settlements development in the corridors of the integrated city and regional railway transportation for the City of Ljubljana (Sasek Divjak et al. 2002).
As Slovenian largest city, Ljubljana is a political, cultural and economic centre. The city experienced an extremely rapid growth in the period between 1950's and 1980's, mostly by the construction of large housing estates (block complexes), built at the edges of the city. In opposition to these extensive areas of scattered single-family detached houses have appeared in the wider city region. Recently the biggest attention is given to the reconstruction and renovation of degraded inner-city complexes and areas along the city access roads (such as former military complexes).
Some of the most important problems the city will have to face in the next years are:
- How to improve the traffic network, especially the public transport;
- How to accommodate the increase in the demand for new housing units;
- How to restrict the uncontrolled suburban spread of low-density construction (mainly detached one-family houses).
A star-like shape is typical of the regional development of Ljubljana: almost densely built-up city area stretches up to the round (circumferential) by-pass. From the by-pass outwards, the city has been expanding in the shape of five branches. Along those directions, dispersed housing of one-family houses prevails, frequently as dormitories that need the concentration of functions and upgrading in the sense of creating new job opportunities.
In our research project the problems emerging in the functional urban region of Ljubljana are analysed, in the first place those that are concerned with suburbanisation in the corridors of the railway transportation. The corridors correspond to a shank-like way of settling in the shape of larger or smaller settlements with dispersed single-family housing in between. Such dormitory neighbourhoods demand concentration and enhancing of services and workplaces. Dispersed settling results in uneconomical use of space and in an excessive commuting by private cars that cause environmental pollution and traffic congestion.Several studies were made to find a "best suited network for public transport" for the long term and to identify a first priority investment. The analyses were combined with the results of workshops with traffic planners, urban planners and politicians of the Ljubljana region. Better prospects of the implementation of railway improvement exist in the branch lines leading to the north (to Kamnik) and to the south (to Grosuplje).
At the end we can say that the implementation of our proposed model for the north part of Ljubljana region could contribute to the following improvements in the urban environment:
· condensation of settling and better use of land;
· better urban standard, upgrading of functions (central, manufacturing, housing, recreational);
· new job opportunities;
· better communal and other infrastructures;
· promotion of sustainable modes of transportation (higher concentration of population - public transport).
Three main principles prevail in the concept: the regional structures of urban development must be linked with the development of the public transport, zoning should be replaced by the mixed use of land, and the policy of the urban design should be oriented towards man, public open areas, and human dimensions.