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Learning together with Helsinki

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Places in the city that we share are called public spaces. Streets and squares, courtyards, parks, atriums, embankments, natural environment,... How a place looks and what makes it up determines whether we want to meet there, walk around, relax or organise, for example, a performance by an ensemble or a band. 

By shaping public space, we also change life in the city. Unused places suddenly come to life. Meeting people meet here who wouldn't meet otherwise. After all, we all experienced this in Trenčín. The reconstruction of Peace Square attracted people to the centre, children to the fountain, young people just to sit on the stage when there is no performance. Visitors to Trenčín also like our picturesque centre with its lively terraces of cafés and restaurants, it's a place where we are comfortable.  

group of people are looking at something that their city guide is showing them

City Reimagined

Various cities around the world are dedicated to transforming unused concrete spaces or unwelcoming streets into pleasant places for walking, culture, socialising or sport. Sometimes even minor interventions are enough to change the scale of the street, so to speak. Because on big busy streets we often feel uncomfortable, we are small in relation to them. Green spaces, hidden corners create a pleasant experience of walking along the street. In such cases, we then prefer to walk rather than use the car, and this also helps the streets to get rid of cars and traffic jams.   

Of course, the theme of public space is crucial for the European Capital of Culture project. We are addressing it in the project City Reimagined, in which we aim at a long-term change of the public space according to the current European standards. We want to have the same feeling from Trenčín as we have in European cities. Do you know the feeling when you're on holiday and you take pictures in the squares and streets, relax by the river and everything is suddenly more beautiful? Trenčín has potential, which we want to discover together with you. Unnoticed places that, if we develop a relationship with them and find a use for them, can be our pearls and refuges. 

Educating together with Helsinki

In order to create the most pleasant public spaces in Trenčín, suitable for all, our city has become part of the two-year educational programme Cities in Placemaking, where we are in the excellent company of ten other cities, such as Helsinki, Rotterdam or Wroclaw. Placemaking is when we turn an anonymous space into a place to which we have a relationship. 

In the programme we gain practical knowledge about placemaking, learning together and from each other. For example, we presented the Trenčín urban planning project Trenčín Si Ty at the first meeting in Amsterdam. Among other things, we visited spaces in Amsterdam that have become experiential places thanks to the interventions. Such as the large and inhospitable square (pictured), which after the imposition of a colorful carpet (for outdoor use) became a place for yoga practice, gatherings, and events of neighboring institutions.   

people standing on colorful carpet like ground, on the town square

The outcome of Cities in Placemaking education, and the City Reimagined project, will not only result in a better public space for us in Trenčín. In particular, the outcome will create happy residents and friendly, welcoming communities of people who will come about as a result of it.    

Mirka Gúčiková 

PR manager Trenčín 2026 

Photo: archive of Cities in Placemaking  



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