Slavonski Brod, commonly shortened to simply Brod, is a city in eastern Croatia, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Being one of the principal cities in the historical regions of Slavonia and Posavina, Slavonski Brod is the 7th largest city in the country, with a population of 59,141 according to the 2011 census. It is the centre of Brod-Posavina County and a major river port on the Sava river.
The historical urban complex of the Brod Fortress represents the most significant cultural property in the City of Slavonski Brod and one of the most significant examples of fortification heritage in the context of urban and architectural heritage of the Republic of Croatia.
The Fortress represents a former military used area with a central position within the city structure.The setting is composed of the built structure and associated environment. It represents a great city resource as it is completely owned by the City of Slavonski Brod. Consequently, this applies to the southeast cavalier as the Pilot project area.
Within the Fortress, the southeast cavalier was selected as the Pilot project area because it represents the most preserved building within the cavalier complex.
The cavalier is often described as the most attractive Fortress area. It consists of three wings: north, west and east. These wings are further divided into smaller spatial components i.e., the southeast building. In the Fortresses military days, the Pilot project southeast part was intended, as the whole east wing was, for accommodation of infantry and a military kitchen.The building was reconstructed by the army during the 20thcentury to fit their needs more adequately and was lastly used as barracks of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia. Due to these changes, the building today has a specific look considering the rest of the cavalier complex. The building is brick-built, with a wooden ceiling structure and a double-sided rooftop.Today it in deteriorated state due to wars, negligence, inadequate protection, exposure to weather conditions etc. especially during the period before the property was donated to the City of Slavonski Brod.
Join us and take a walk through the Fortress from the perspective of the local AGORA team and other experts!
The area of the Fortress is part of the cultural-historical complex of the city of Slavonski Brod and archaeological zones within the city of Slavonski Brod, while the Fortress itself is recognised as an individually protected immovable cultural asset registered in the Register of Cultural Assets of the Republic of Croatia.
The project envisions a common space for citizens that improves their quality of life through creating various content (educational, cultural, technology, etc.) and connecting all interested local actors. The emphasisis put on civil, and to some extent the private sector, as the carriers of change. The proposed concept represents a step forward in opening the Fortress towards the citizens and brings new content that is has multiple benefits with emphasis on socialbenefits.The cultural benefits can be seen asfurther investments in the Fortress as the most important cultural heritage site of the city. The mission is to bring the Fortress area closer to the citizens and help bring new life to it.
The Objectives of the Pilot Action are:
1.Test the regeneration model
2.Create new content within the Fortress
3.Raise awareness among the citizens
To achieve these goals, it is important to keep all relevant stakeholders involved and interconnected (civil, public and private). It is of great importance to find local actors that can carry this change and further develop the concept of common space.
The proposed concept represents a centre for community development. The focus is put on three important aspects: creating a centre for the development of creative industries, development of the civil sector and its services, and citizen participation with emphasis on younger population.
The Pilot project area is envisioned as a space that serves various needs of the citizens with multi-functional spaces for new content, activities, events and manifestations. Nevertheless, the content will be available to tourists and all other interested parties.
The challenges facing the project were ensuring funding, management of the building, reconciliation of private and public interest and activating citizens.
Overcoming these challenges are possible by creating new content for citizens, finding various funding sources (NRRP, ITI, etc.) and promoting Public-private partnerships.
Marina Martić Puača, Deputy Mayor of Slavonski Brod, discusses the experience and knowledge obtained from the pilot project.
Since the Pilot project represents a community centre that puts focus on educational, cultural, manifestations and other content created for citizens, here it is important to point out general indicators of future city development. The 2021. population census recorded a decline of the city population of 15.7% in comparison to the 2011. census but still there is a significant youth population present.
It is important to further develop content that will be available to all citizens with emphasis on youth.
The current economic state and inflation represents a challenge that needs to be tackled in order to regenerate the Pilot project area.
The main success of the project is that it is developing a participatory approach and including various actors and stakeholders. The impact points of the project can be listed as follows:
Danijela Blekić from Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) outlines the impact of the project.
The Development agency and the City of Slavonski Brod represent the public bodies that oversee the project development. The NGOs represent important actors in the designing of future content and activities while the private actors complement these activities with adequate commercial content.