Urban Interventions

95 Ideas to Make Bratislava a Better Place

The question we get asked most often in Urban Interventions is: How many interventions became real, implemented?

Naturally, most people are interested in this result; they wonder if the Interventions give them a more beautiful street to walk, if there are more trees in the city, if they can find a bench where there were no benches earlier, or if there is a new bike path they can ride on. They also wonder if it is possible to move our city forward, and if it is possible to do that from the bottom up. I think that they want to make sure that the effort is not vain and that we are trying to change something and are not giving up – not only for our own sake but for theirs as well.
This year, almost 100 teams and individuals in Bratislava believed in that. That is the number of responses that we received to our call for ideas which returned the Interventions to Bratislava after eight years. Since 2008, the project has been implemented in 13 cities in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, resulting in more than 800 projects.

And the response to the question from the beginning of this text? Of course it is important to transfer ideas from tables and paper to reality, and we will always try to help implementing some of them and move things forward. We have succeeded several times – projects were implemented, got to the city budget, brought a fruitful discussion. However, this step exists to provide those managing and taking care of our cities with ideas and knowledge of our concerns. It’s their turn now.
For us, the importance of the implementation is overshadowed by the fact that we got to know great people. People open to new ideas and impulses, those who never gave up caring about what was happening around them, and people who actively participate in the Interventions and present their solutions.
Hope is more important than experience.

For the My sme mesto association Matúš Vallo

What is Urban Interventions?

The main idea of <strong>the Urban Interventions</strong> project was to identify certain spots, locations, and situations in the city that we believe do not work as they should, or fail to provide the inhabitants with what they should provide.

The main idea of the Urban Interventions project was to identify certain spots, locations, and situations in the city that we believe do not work as they should, or fail to provide the inhabitants with what they should provide. Often these are spaces that everyone seems to give up and nobody sees as possibly profitable. Urban interventions are projects that nobody ordered. They all result from internal and/or professional need of their authors. The need to show what does not work despite the fact that there are solutions that could make it work. Reveal the potential of locations that we pass every day and often fail even to notice. However, we do not want to stay at identifying; we want to propose real solutions. We believe that in an urban context, even small changes can generate large effects sometimes.

Our project is a place where numerous interests can meet: city officials but also inhabitants, architects, artists, likeable clever people and top experts. The project should not generate profits and/or bombastic promises; it should try to change something. Also, it is a way of showing city officials what the next steps when forming public space could be. We are trying to reverse the classical way of distribution of city orders and help our city and environment, simply, with no fees claimed, not waiting for being asked to do so.

The idea of Urban Interventions was born in 2008 in the Bratislava-based Vallo Sadovsky Architects studio of Matúš Vallo and Oliver Sadovský and for the first time, it took place in Bratislava. The originally local action changed into a project adopted in and transferred to 15 other towns in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Urban Interventions already took place in: Bratislava, Praha, Brno, Košice, Prešov, Ostrava, Kladno, Zlín, Trenčín, Nitra, Jablonec nad Nisou, Liptovský Mikuláš, Prievidza

Towns where Urban Interventions are being prepared include: Žďár nad Sázavou