The City that [never] sleeps

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We were called by Crative and Active Team to participate in a workshop to rethink the city of Struga, a small city but one of the most tourist ones of Macedonia with the big challenge of a major urban development planning that threatens the identity of the place and generates unresolved debates about how to formulate Struga’s future.

Together with the Municipality of Struga, small local initiatives and neighbors, we discussed the main issues the city is facing, concluding two main topics to work on: the mobility of the city, collapsed during weekends by the buyers coming from the villages around and during summer due the massive influx of tourists arriving to the city; and the forgotten main and only square of Struga, now converted into a parking area.

We worked to develop a guideline of actions to introduce an alternative mobility network based on the use of bicycle, today a reduced way of moving injured by the stigma caused to the association of a working class way of transportation and the dreadful physical conditions of the roads.The strategies focused on both the social and the physical environment; defining several awareness actions and the adaptation in time of the city infrastructure regarding the growth in phases of cycle lanes and gates that offer the possibility to park the car and take a bike to ride the inner city.

The first phase of the project as a short term plan, intends to enclose the city centre inside a ring along the main streets with educational, sport and social facilities connected by additional extensions. The river banks will be completely closed to cars access, where only pedestrians and bikes can go through, easily linking this area with the Korzo, the main square (Marshal Tito street and square respectively) and the Men’s beach.

Traffic calming measures had been designed to slow down the cars in the most dangerous areas, and some reconfigurations of the traffic were considered to improve the coexistence of the different ways of moving through the city. Furthermore, other measures were proposed as public services for guiding kids to the school by a monitor and a public Bicycle-Sharing System with a great impact for both the local citizens and the tourists.

As citizens progressively accept the bike culture, new phases would develop. In the midterm plan, the cycling network will be extended to a second ring, where the previous transversal extensions can connect it with the first ring and also to a recreational lane that will be developed along the lake.

The third phase of the project aims to develop the network on a radial growth creating interconnections with the Ohrid Airport, surrounding villages and creating cultural itineraries through points of interest outside the city.

CLIENT:
Crative and Active Team and the Municipality of Struga