CITY BEHIND WALLS - identity versus image
International conference of historical towns
English version
Slovensk verzia
SLAVONSKI BROD, Croatia
74.000inhabitants
 
A large number of people settled in during and after the last war in the nineties – after the Patriotic war 1991 – 1995, nevertheless the greater influx of inhabitants occurred after 1878 already, as well as after the 2nd World War - owing to the developing industry of the Đuro Đaković factory
 
 
Brief general information on SLAVONSKI BROD :
 
3 key points that provide the city with its characteristic atmosphere :
 
In the last decade Slavonski Brod has been looking after its new identity and image.
Apart of destruction of war (last two wars), during the period of socialism (between the two wars) – the city development was production oriented and was known by the metal-working industry. As a consequence of the also existing military industry, the once important transit aspect of the city which was also an important traffic junction – was rather eradicated. The cultural identity was deliberatly pushed back for political reasons. After the once powerful industry had failed, and because of lack of awareness of the cultural heritage, the urban identity has faded out in spite of numerous potentials of the city.
 
History:
-          The bordering town on the Sava River
-          ( theHapsburg gate to Bosnia)
-          traffic junction (transitcity)
metal industry (waggons, locomotive engines, bridge constructions, military industry)
 
   Now:
- weakened industry (due to privatization)
- high potential of the cultural heritage and possibility to create new identity
 
 
Icon of the city:
(most important eye-catching or famous aspect of the city) :
 
The Đuro Đaković factory
The Sava River
-          generally speaking, Slavonski Brod, the continental city in Croatia, is not well known
-          basic association: the Đuro Đaković factory
 
The Sava River :
In the period 1715 - 1918 it is the spacious Fortress
The Fortress could become the icon – upon completion of our project, i.e. the integral reconstruction project
 
 
3-5 advantages of the city: the soft cultural potentials or values
e.g. rituals, people’s habits, art, sports, importance in historical politics (capital or not? Regional function?) etc.
 
The best known and most important heritage is that of the authoress
(literature for children), Ivana Brlić Mažuranić – the Croatian H.C.Andersen (her living-place, her books and the characters of her books are deep-rooted into the collective cultural memory , and usable for a number of both cultural and tourist purposes)
- native town of the living centenarian poet - Dragutin Tadijanović
- legacy of Brano Ružić – the contemporary Croatian sculptor artist
- the military history of the city and its specific features caused by this  
 fact in all segments of the city construction
 
Slavonski Brod was once a vigorous and an open town, with a considerable fluctuation of people owing to its position – the traffic junction 
- internationality was its emblem
- more strongly expressed urban features
 
 
3-5 advantages of the city : the hard cultural potentials or values
e.g. cultural heritage, fortress elements that are left (see ‘Fortress as a Corset’), important old buildings,
 
- An interesting urban scheme back in 1500 – as a consequence of concentration of the town and its functions as protective measures against the Turkish danger
- existence of the Fortress (demolished after the 2nd World War and presently partially reconstructed ) - makes easier to rebuild and organize a new city nucleus, since the old one was destroyed, and it would be hard to give it back its original picturesqueness
- Franciscan monastery from times the town was bordering with the Turkish Empire and specific features of its construction due to military aspect and its bordering position
- the Sava River
- fish- ponds (the biggest surface in Europe)
 
 
3-5   disadvantages of the city, when talking about soft potentials or values
(people and their habits)
 
- the problem of heritage identification and the problem of relating to cultural heritage (as a result of erased cultural heritage awareness and accentuation of the industrial and military aspect in the period of socialism, changes of power and political changes – political propaganda)
- loss of urban identity
- non existent attitude towards cultural values in general (immigration from underdeveloped and rural regions, redirection to agriculture after the industry - having employed a large number of inhabitants - had failed, material destruction and endangered existence – the value and position of cultural heritage under such circumstances).
- insufficient election turnout (some30%) and therefore lean possibility of changes and influence onto any sphere of civil life
- poor political experience and discouragement
- mainly the professional technical staff
- overflow of projects and political influence in realization, neglecting the profession and benefits of the city    
 
Through history the Croatian population came to already established ancient towns, but it lacks initiative to create new municipality and urban structures
 
Missing coordination between various groups, individuals and the city structures in order to create projects and to use soft values for projects – existing overflow of projects in general.
-arbitrariness in choice of projects in implementing results and irrational waste of funds
-political influence onto choices as well as support to projects
-neglect of the city benefit
-undervaluation of professionals
 
 
3-5 disadvantages of the city, when talking about the hard potentials or values :
(buildings, urban tissue, artworks, traffic, etc.)
 
- inherited mono-functionality of the city 
- the compact historic nucleus and its picturesqueness is destroyed
- the impression of the city is that of a suburb
- because of the former military industry the traffic network was intentionally detoured
- the site of the ex Fortress is an empty surface in the very heart of the city
 
Destructions caused by two wars: the 2nd World War and the last one – the Patriotic War in the early nineties of the past century
 
 
 
City strategies regarding identity / image of the city:
 
Which are the strategies of the local government to increase the city’s identity :
(building a positive relationship of the citizens to their city, making people aware of the advantages and disadvantages
)
The current burning issue is a very thin link between the local government and the professional associations, that is, the very lean connections between the local power and the civil society.
 
 
Has your local government ever developed strategies to increase Europe’s identity ?
(building a positive relationship of the citizens to Europe, making people aware of the advantages and disadvantages) :
 
There is still no appropriate promotion to make citizens aware of the European values on the local level in Croatia. Croatia, presently in the pre access period, to bring the awareness of the European values to citizens closer - is currently a process taking place only on the central Government level.
 
 
Has your local government ever developed strategies to increase the city’s image ?
 letting other citizens of Europe know your advantages and disadvantages (marketing activities of the city, common projects focused on making the name of your city known, creating a new visual style of tourist materials).
 
The local tourist community does not work sufficiently tightly together with professional associations, nor does it prove to be active in making meaningful visual identity of the city and is subject to political influence.
Proof: the internet site of Slavonski Brod – making part of the official pages of the Conference - does not show a single trace of the renewed Fortress, nor is there any picture, even though the project has proved to be one of the rather significant and successful project of heritage preservation in the modern history of Slavonski Brod and in the entire region.
The project was pressed back by politics currently in power.
.
 
 
 
EXAMPLE STUDY
 
GENERAL DESIGN TO INCORPORATE THE FORTRESS INTO THE CITY OF SLAVONSKI BROD,
WITH THE PROPOSAL HOW TO ORGANIZE THE ASSIGNMENT OF SPACE
1995.
THE PROJECT NOT COMPLETED
Reconstruction interrupted in 1998.
(some lesser reconstruction work in 2001-2005)
 
Slavonski Brod, Croatia
 
Description of the project :
 
The space of the devastated Fortress was an empty surface of some 350 000 m2, covered with ¸vegetation zones which
masked the decline of the valuable cultural heritage object hiding in itself the story of the city and its once urban,
bordering and defence identity. By reconstruction of bulwark and trenches, of contact zones and objects within the Fortress, we wished to inspire the economy development of the City and give the new image by creating the new nucleus of the City reinstating its former urban seal by incorporation into contemporary needs of the City. The novelty in our vision and multi-disciplinary project is the effort to remove the financial burden of the cultural heritage preservation from the State, and to find new ways of profitability (by parcelling the space and finding owners/sponsors of particular sections).The project was only partially brought to realization: only parts of what we imagined were reconstructed. The reconstructed buildings within the Fortress accommodate diverse needs of Municipal administration, of the cultural as well as educational needs (the City Council, Lyceum, the Gallery…). The substantial significance in carrying out the project is the openness to public and keep up the atmosphere of transparency.
 
Place/ location of the project :
The Fortress:
Slavonski Brod – the city in the continental, eastern part of Croatia – the Slavonia region
Located on the Sava River
- earlier a significant traffic junction and river port
- the Hapsburg gate to Bosnia
The lowland, bulwark fortress built in the 18th century on the part of the earlier already fortified town in 1500 established by the croatian nobility- the Berislavić family.
( The town was populated in times of Roman Empire already)
The Fortress was destroyed in heavy bombardments, devastated and neglected. The remained objects and parts of objects were the property of the Army (Ministry of Defence) till 1993; thereupon it became the property of the City of Slavonski Brod.
It covers the surface of some 33 ha of the City.
As of 1959 the Fortress entered the Register of cultural monuments and ranked the highest category.
 
 
 
Field of the project / hard cultural values : (physical surroundings) :
 
      Urban planning: making a plan / structure plan / vision for a (part of the) city
      Urban renewal
      Urban design: making a design for a (part of the) city
      Architectural design,
      Conservation,
      Restoration
 
Field of the project / soft cultural values : (people and activities) :
 
      History
      Cultural heritage
      Tourism 
      Economics 
 
Scale of the project :
 
      regional
      local
      whole city
 
 
Type of project:
 
         innovation
         decision making, strategy, planning, vision
         study, analysis
         research
         preservation, conservation
         reconstruction, renewal
         PR, recreation, and attraction
 
Main objective(s) / goals of the project :
By reconstruction of the Fortress (covering the central part of the City ) as an urban value and its integration into
the City proposing the organization of the site and its purposes – we intend to give back to the City its urban value and enable economic growth by connecting various purposes: administrative, educational, cultural, sports, artistic – that is: to reinstate the urban identity, creating the new image and enabling economic prosperity.
 
Preservation of cultural heritage and making its profitability meaningful by integration into contemporary life style.
 
The project was a part of a vision intended to revive the cultural identity of the City
 
Milestones or/and (expected) results, design, or/and decision of the project :
In 1993 the Ministry of Defence assigned the Fortress to the City of Slavonski Brod
In 1995 the integral concept of the Fortress reconstruction was adopted – 23 000m2 of preserved objects and 50 000m2 of possible closed premises to be obtained by renewal.
It took one year to perform a thorough analysis to complete the vision: to find possible ways of collaboration and to define the project tasks
1996-1998 planning of all historic parts of the Fortress, of the contact zones and some historic parts of the City were completed, as well as ways of implementation.
 
Special attention was given to rebuilding of trenches and bulwark carried out between 1996 and 1998, then again 2004 and 2005
However, the continuous work was interrupted in 1998.
Unplanned and accidentally some solutions of the Project were carried out in 2001 (the Municipal Gallery) and in 2005.
Due to antagonism of some municipal administration individuals the Project is slowly falling into oblivion and details of some Project solutions are hidden from the new members of the Municipal administration.
 
 
Individual activities / partial steps undertaken for obtaining the goals of the project :
There was the intent and desire to organize multi-disciplinary research (economic, sociological and others), nevertheless it was not fully accomplished due to insufficient funds.
 
-          the book on the historic development of the Fortress was published in 1997
-          posters, calendars, post-cards and stamps showing the complete reconstructed Fortress were printed
-          numerous exhibitions with images of the reconstruction and its phases were arranged, as well as
-          adequate lectures on the subject matter
 
With its manifold aspects the Project inspired ideas and smaller projects of other associations and groups feasible within the Fortress and its, regretfully, in general still not renewed objects. One of the designs which wasn’t brought to realization is a non-profit organization “Centre for scientific approach to sports and recreation” with an elaborated idea of the Project: to arrange a sports and recreation facilities for the activities within the Fortress (horse breeding and therapy horseback riding, among the other) – which was not recognized a priority program by the Municipal administration.
 Different people and parties involved in the project and their roles : 
 
Artists   - Presentations of the Project, giving marketing a meaningful quality, purpose of individual premises
Investors   - Local administration, Croatian Water Works Company
Local government - Cooperation, financing and implementation
Elderly
Advisors / experts - Participation in various aspects of renewal and task solutions
Designers - Reconstruction and shaping
Architects - Reconstruction and shaping
Urban designers 
Historians - Scientific support of reconstruction (history of the City, of the region and the Fortress)
Writers - Book on historic development of the Fortress, promotion material
 
 
Level of the institutional / multidiscipline collaboration on this project :
This project was at periods an example of successful collaboration of individuals, groups of citizens and local – municipal administration.
Entirely harmonizing visions of two groups have mutually recognized each other and brought to realization collaboration to the benefit of the City. As first, the group of municipal institutions (The Museum of the City and the Municipal administration) with a leading person capable of spreading enthusiasm to other employees including the Major himself, the second group being myself and associates, architects by profession, and in fact under the influence of the Department of Art History in Zagreb.
We have established “The Expert Team for the Fortress” and employed on part-time basis more than 30 experts of relevant professions having been deployed to particular projects. We have also established the function of an “official city reviewer” of the project, the very distinguished Croatian art historian, professor Radovan Ivančević, Ph.D - also the author of most significant books on the cultural heritage of Croatia.
This project and the success it enjoyed at the time, is also the result of readiness to resolve problems quite often in an informal manner, which suggests the flexibility and understanding of the Municipal administration of that period, i.e. the necessity to create the new identity of the City  with joint efforts.
 
 
Evaluation in general :
We have been advised by foreign experts that the project should be planned and supported by the State for the period of 25 years due to its complexity. Keeping in mind the circumstances the project was performed in, I deem this a successful Project.
In the period this Project came to existence Croatia was a young state, and the region of Slavonski Brod had suffered severe material destruction. Participating individuals had no experience nor any model to follow implementation of such projects. We had been guided by enthusiasm and our expert knowledge, with insufficient funds. None the less the Project was internationally recognized and evaluated, as well as introduced at a number of presentations and exhibitions.
 
 
The touris promotion of the continental regions in Croatia is still insufficient.
 
Slavonski Brod in general – the same applying to the majority of the continental cities of Croatia – is still insufficiently known to the citizens of Croatia.
 
The objectives of the project are worthy and the project should be continued and completed.
 
SUMMARY
 
By restitution of the Croatian state and reconstruction of cities having suffered sever destruction during the last war – this specially applying to the continental region of Croatia – Slavonia - reshaping of cities’ identities – inspired by newly gained national awareness - have been initiated as well. On the other hand, many cities had suffered not only material destruction but spiritual devastation too. The cultural heritage has not raised consciousness, nor does it dispose of funds for renewal. We have tried our best to reconstruct the completely devastated, yet valuable urban entity – the spacious lowland, bulwark Fortress in Slavonski Brod – which was in historic times an essential identification part of the borderland city, the Hapsburg gate to Bosnia. Our intent was to apply new ways of reconstruction, that is, to insert into its premises modern functional facilities, and to find out ways to make them profitable.
Out of the basic idea to reconstruct its parts, fortifications and objects –many other ideas on fitting objects into diverse assignments came to life.
Out of the possible 70 000m2 of closed premises some 7000 m2 have been reconstructed. Also, our intention was to create a new harmonious city centre, as the city has none at present. This would also mean to giving the City its urban mark back, as well as proof of its permanence. Presently, the City bears resemblance to a spacious suburb.
The project was carried out on local level and represents an example of excellent collaboration between the profession, the individuals and the local Municipal administration of that period. The project was initiated in 1995 and interrupted in 1998 with some continuation of works in 2001 - 2005.
In that (for the local level of performance) rather short period of time much has been done. It remains incomplete as a consequence of new political nominees, their failure to recognize the vision of the Project, resulting with lack of economic basis to support the project – i.e. lack of ways to provide influx of additional resources.
 
 
 
Contact :
Mr. LONCARIC Stjepan
Indipendent architect
Radnički Dol 27
100 00 Zagreb
Croatia
Te. ++385 1 4823 798
 
© 2006 Tren?n City