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Beyond a Construction Site

: The Beyond a Construction Site project consists of a small neighbourhood campaign where, in August 2010, members of two non-profit cultural organizations, Bunker and KUD Obrat, collaborated to transform a derelict building site into 25 vegetable plots with the help of local residents. (INHERIT, 2017). Noting the relevance of urban, community green spaces in promoting solidarity, diminishing health inequalities, and encouraging adherence to adequate nutrition and sustainability, the two organizations planned to change an abandoned construction site into a shared community space. After establishing the ownership of the plot (in this case, the Municipality of Ljubljana), the NGOs forwarded printed and verbal invitations to all interested parties, and especially to the residents of the Tabor neighborhood, to participate in the planning, design, and usage of the site. Rules for managing the site were developed in association with all the initial participants, in which, after signing a membership agreement, the community members concerned agreed to assume responsibility for their own allotment. Members were handed keys to the garden. Apart from the urban farming initiative, the site began to host a number of workshops and community activities focussing on sustainable urban agriculture and ecologically sound means of consumption. In 2012, circa 80 community members were looking after forty land plots on the erstwhile construction site. (IUCN, 2019). Beyond a Construction Site focuses on reinforcing community cohesion without regard for economic or social status; it upgrades food security, teaches community members about sustainable urban farming methods, and possesses the potential to decrease air contamination through the provision of green spaces. Allowing for individual autonomy over the farming plots empowers community members to muster enough self-efficacy to manage their wellbeing and that of their neighbourhoods. (INHERIT, 2017).
: Slovenia
: Ljubljana
: 274.99 km²
:  292,988 (SURS, 2019)
: 2010
: No Data
: Ongoing
: Yes
: Two NGOs: Bunker and KUD Obrat
: 46.0569
: 14.5121
Increased provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Food, water, etc)
Improved air quality
Green spaces can contibute towards limiting the fuel expenditure of transporting vegetables to the point of sale if they are grown locally. (INHERIT, 2017).
Reduced drought risk, cooling effect, urban heat island mitigation
Green spaces can help reduce CO2 emissions (INHERIT, 2017) and plants absorb and reflect sunlight (Sempergreen, 2019); so this helps to create a cooler and more pleasant climate.
Ecosystem restoration and/or improved ecological connectivity
Yes, NbS concepts based on ecological restoration, ecosystem-based management and area-based conservation have been put into practice (IUCN, 2019).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
In collaboration with neighbourhood residents and other interested people, two NGOs (Bunker and KUD Obrat) and the residents of the Tabor neighborhood aimed to transform a long-fenced-off plot of land near Resljeva Street in Ljubljana into a community space intended for urban gardens, socializing, ecological projects, education, and culture. Ultimately, the goal of this intervention was to examine and show the potential of degraded urban areas and the possibility of their receiving new value through temporary use and community-based interventions. (INERIT, 2017).
Sustainable urbanisation
The setting up of an urban community garden in the core of Ljubljana on public land also serves as a critique of  and a very necessary alternative to the city’s new policy of managing and leasing small garden plots, which was adopted by law in 2009 and was put into effect in 2010 with the first  model gardens. (IUCN, 2019).
Improved aesthetic value
Yes, this project is a unique example of converting a degraded urban area (an old building site) into a shared community green space. (IUCN, 2019).
Increased access to green infrastructure
Yes, community green spaces have been created.
Increased communities' sense of ownership
Giving the community members the autonomy to develop, maintain, and engage in their own governance of green space, allows for the individual to acquire a sense of self-efficacy and responsibility over the implementation of green practices in their neighborhoods. (INHERIT, 2017).
Increased social interaction and inclusion
The sense of solidarity inculcated through a shared development of this common green space can help bring about more inclusivity for community members at the fringes of society. (INHERIT, 2017).
Increased willingness, participation, investment in NBS
Community members collectively transformed an abandoned building site into 25 vegetable allotments with the help of local residents. In 2012 over 80 participants took care of 40 gardens. They also took part in various public and community events. (INHERIT, 2017).
Provision of health benefits
The creation of a green space can encourage individuals to be active and go outside, increases solidarity with the members of their own communities, and potentially increases the consumption of locally-sourced vegetables from the community gardening plots. (INHERIT, 2017).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, through promoting adequate nutrition and sustainability, achieved through the transformation of an old construction site into shared community gardens. The site became host to several workshops and community events centered on sustainable urban agriculture and ecological means of consumption. (INHERIT, 2017). Main activities: A communication campaign encouraging residents to take part in the restoration of a construction pit, including informal oral communication and community flyers. • Definition of three fundamental rules for the shared use and management of the site: each person would prepare their own vegetable bed or, if they weren’t able to do this alone, would help in preparing their bed; use of any chemicals in gardening was prohibited; and in addition to tending to their own patch, each participant also had to undertake part of the care for the common area. • Workshops on ecological gardening. (INHERIT, 2017)
Drought and heat risk
The Mediterranean Region is considered as a "hot-spot" of climate change, having been identified in global climate scenarios as one of the most responsive regions to climate change (Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). There is a consensus in scientific literature that average temperatures will rise across most of the Mediterranean Region, and that precipitation will decrease (Ulbrich et al. 2013; Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). Observed annual mean temperatures in the Mediterranean Region are now 1.4 °C higher than the average late-nineteenth-century levels particularly during the summer months (Cramer et al., 2018).
Low aesthetic value
This project has collectively transformed a derelict building site into community green spaces. (INHERIT, 2017).
Food security (SDG2) Zero Hunger
Good health and well-being (SDG3)
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG11)
Climate action, resilience, mitigation and adaptation (SDG13)
Terrestrial biodiversity (SDG15)
: Cramer, W., Guiot, J., Fader, M., Garrabou, J., Gattuso, J.-P., Iglesias, A., Lange, M.A., Lionello , P., Llasat , M.C., Paz, S., Peñuelas, J., Snoussi, M., Toreti , A., Tsimplis, M.N., Xoplaki, E. 2018. Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nature Climate Change.

INHERIT. 2017. Beyond a Construction Site. Information obtained: 2019-08-26. Available at:

IUCN. 2019. Nature based Solutions in Mediterranean cities. Rapid assessment report and compilation of urban interventions (2017‐2018). Malaga, Spain: IUCN. 117pp. Lionello, P., Scarascia, L. 2018. The relation between climate change in the Mediterranean region and global warming. In Regional Environmental Change, 2018, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1481–1493. Sempergreen. 2019. Benefits of a green roof. Information obtained: 2019-11-03. Available at:

SURS. 2019. Statistics Slovenia. Information obtained: 2020-09-16. Available at:

Ulbrich U, Xoplaki E, Dobricic S, García-Herrera R, Lionello P, Adani M, Baldi M, Barriopedro D, Coccimiglio P, Dalu G, Efthymiadis D, Gaetani M, Galati MB, Gimeno L, Goodess CM, Jones PD, Kuglitsch FG, Leckebusch GC, Luterbacher J, Marcos-Moreno M, Mariotti A, Nieto R, Nissen KM, Pettenuzzo D, Pinardi N, Pino C, Shaw AGP, Sousa P, Toreti A, Trigo RM, Tsimplis M. 2013. Past and current climate changes in the Mediterranean region. In: Navarra A, Tubiana L (eds) Regional Assessment of Climate Change in the Mediterranean. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 9–52.