VIRTUAL MEETING PLATFORM: Designing solutions for eco-social challenges in urban surrounding

This Virtual Meeting Platform was established between two courses where we integrated the workshop in our curriculum. The courses were: Environmental Urban Planning (Ruhr University Bochum, Institute of Geography) and Community Work (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, Study Centre for Social Work). In previous session students from both courses did a problem analysis of issues that they will work on later and propose solutions. In second VMP students exchanged their ideas on proposes solutions. An added value was that each group used different approach in creating solutions. Group from RUB used scenario planning method based on three scenarios: business as usual, nature for biodiversity and nature for society. A group from UNIZG used project planning method that starts from problem analysis and evolves further to posing an overall and specific goals, defining results and appropriate activities. Based on VMPs, each student team from Zagreb implemented one activity in December 2022 and January 2023.

Virtual Place

Zoom platform


Start: 12.12.2022
End: 12.12.2022


14.00 – 14.10 INTRODUCTION 14.10 – 15.00 Presentation of BOCHUM scenarios 15.00 – 15.10 Discussion 15.10 – 15.50 Presentation of Zagreb projects 15.50 – 16.00 Discussion and Conclusion.

Based on VMPs, each student team from Zagreb implemented one activity in December 2022 and January 2023.

Total participants: 22 Total students: 20 Total Staff members: 2

Description: TRAFFIC SAFETY FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES- PROPOSED GOALS AND RESULTS The general goal we want to achieve with this project is safer and better mobility for children with developmental disabilities. In order to achieve this, we have set 4 specific goals. The first specific goal is to ensure accessibility to public areas to encourage the inclusion of children with developmental disabilities and facilitate their daily movement in the area of Donji Grad. The second goal refers to participatory and inclusive planning of public space. In this way, we want to improve the social involvement of parents with children with developmental disabilities in their own community. When building new facilities and services, care must be taken to ensure that they are adapted to all groups in the community so that everyone can use them equally. Members of the community want to become aware of the problems so that they can correct their behavior in traffic on a daily basis and thus contribute to the safe and increased mobility of parents and children with developmental disabilities. Therefore, the third goal of this project is to educate citizens about traffic culture for families with children with disabilities. And the last, but not least important goal is to improve the skills of parents and children with traffic difficulties. We want to strengthen their personal capacities and introduce them to different skills that they can adopt and apply in their lives to make it easier for them to move around and perform their daily activities. These 4 goals in combination should significantly improve the quality of their life and facilitate daily movement in the community. After the implementation of the project, we expect to achieve the following results:

R.1.1 In the area of Donji grad, 5 tram stations will be arranged and fully adapted to children with disabilities. R.1.2 In the area of Donji grad, 5 safe movement corridors will be arranged in which earthquake reconstruction is carried out.

R.2.1 Pilot project in which one restaurant in Donji Grad will be adapted for children with disabilities R.2.2 One location on Christmas Market will be fully adapted for children with sensory difficulties

R.3.1 A pilot project will be presented in the form of a map of the city centre with safe traffic zones for children with disabilities. R.3.2 There will be 5 one-week workshops on better organization of daily activities for parents with children with disabilities

R.4.1 Publication of a digital information brochure on traffic etiquette via social networks. R.4.2 Education on traffic etiquette will be held in 5 high schools and at two colleges

IMPLEMENTED COMMUNITY ACTIVITY: This student group developed a traffic etiquette and disseminated it to public.

WASTE DISPOSAL IN ROMA COMMUNITY- PROPOSED GOALS AND RESULTS The general goal is to achieve adequate waste disposal for the Roma population in the city area of Pešćenica-Žitnjak. Studying the data from the population census, it is evident, along with several other city districts, that the share of members of the Roma minority in the total number of residents of the city district is among the highest in the Pešćenica-Žitnjak area (DZS, 2011). It is also very important to take into account that the city area of Pešćenica-Žitnjak is at the very top of the risk of poverty compared to all other city areas (Barić et al., 2019). Accordingly, it is very important to influence members of the Roma community, but also all citizens of this city area, in order to change their behaviour patterns and to solve the significant problem that these citizens face on a daily basis. The first specific goal refers to the request to the local community to install more containers for waste disposal, with this specific goal an appeal is made to the representatives of local authorities, to organize the installation of a larger number of containers, with which they create a basis for citizens themselves to dispose waste responsibly. By improving the relationship and cooperation of city district councils and local committees with the local community on the topic of waste management, another specific goal was defined, which will enable the participation of people from the local community in proposing solutions, giving their own ideas, visions and in deciding on difficulties and problems that have a priority in solving. People make up the community, and these same institutions work for people and in their interest, so it is very important that the voice of the people living in that city area is heard. The third specific goal is focused on promoting a more positive opinion of the local community about waste management. This specific goal is very important, because as much as it is important that the representative bodies of local and city authorities provide citizens with the conditions for adequate waste disposal, it is equally important that existing attitudes about waste disposal among citizens are improved to more positive ones. The realization of more positive attitudes would be influenced through the publication of various articles about all the positive aspects and about the benefits resulting from proper disposal of waste. The fourth specific goal, which refers to promoting and raising awareness of the importance of waste disposal, aims to have a positive impact on the citizens of this city district by transmitting knowledge through educational and creative leaflets that are distributed in the local community, as well as a simple and instructive video that is published on social networks. Goals are followed by listed results: R.1.1. Established contact with representatives of the local community and participation in the meeting of the local committee where problems and solutions were discussed R.1.2. A compost plant was built for waste disposal

R.2.1. Organized local committees that collected waste together with the citizens of their local communities R.2.2. Organized gatherings of people from the local community with representatives of city district councils and local communities, where a collaborative relationship was built through discussions, games and proposing ideas and solutions on the topic of waste disposal.

R.3.1. An article published on social networks about the benefits of waste separation for nature and personal health R.3.2. Realized rights to points and rewards in situations of waste separation by citizens in cooperation with local stores

R.4.1. A video was made about the importance of waste disposal and published in the "My Volovčica" Facebook group. R.4.2. 500 leaflets with educational content on waste disposal in the local community were distributed

This student team made a video about the importance of waste disposal and published in the "Moja Volovčica" Facebook group.

FOOD INSECURITY AMONG YOUTH IN POVERTY- PROPOSED GOALS AND RESULTS General goal: Improve access to high-quality, organic, sustainable and affordable nutrition.

Specific goals:

  1. To inform young people at risk of poverty about the available possibilities of purchasing better quality and organic food at more affordable prices, and growing vegetables.

  2. To make the citizens of Prečko aware of the problems related to the inadequate nutrition of young people at risk of poverty.

  3. To economically empower young people at risk of poverty.

  4. Provide access to educational materials and workshops on healthy eating for all students from the 7th to the 8th grade of elementary school in the area of Prečko.

The general goal is to cover all aspects of poverty and unhealthy eating (information, affordability, availability, and profitability). There is an effort to increase the number of people who eat healthily and choose organic foods, thereby reducing the incidence of various diseases related to unhealthy eating.

The first specific goal refers to achieving better information and knowledge of young people who are at risk of poverty about different resources in the community (for example, land use in the Prečko Eco Park, different shops, websites, etc.), which would be achieved by distributing information leaflets to the target population, and by releasing video materials with the aim of educating about sustainable, organic and healthy nutrition.

Another specific goal is to sensitize the inhabitants of Prečko to the problem of poverty, and especially the unavailability of healthy food for people who are at risk of poverty through volunteering, participating in events, familiarizing themselves with the concept of sustainable nutrition, and donating their own excess food or groceries.

The third specific objective relates to facilitating the purchase of healthy food for people at risk of poverty by providing discounts in stores and distributing one-time vouchers for grocery purchases.

The fourth specific goal refers to the inclusion of both elementary schools in the area of the Prečko neighborhood (so far only one of the two elementary schools in the Prečko neighborhood is included) in the implementation of education and workshops within the Prečko Eco Park, as well as the introduction of the topic of healthy eating and organic farming in the school lesson. Goals are followed by the results: R 1.1. produced and distributed information leaflets (100 copies) containing information about available stores, discount stores and websites (through which better quality food can be obtained at a more affordable price) as well as instructions and advice on planting vegetables.

R 1.2. a series of educational video materials (five videos lasting 10 minutes each) have been created that talk about proper planting and maintenance of fruit and vegetable seedlings and seeds.

R 2.1. launched an initiative in which the citizens of Prečko donate excess food products to young people at risk of poverty.

R 2.2. an event was organized in which the citizens of Prečko could attend experiential workshops and educations on food preparation, hear about problems related to nutrition faced by people at risk of poverty, about the principle of sustainability and responsibility in the context of food consumption, and participate in the distribution of free prepared healthy meals.

R 3.1. distributed one-time vouchers for the purchase of food to young people at risk of poverty.

R 3.2. provided a daily discount of 15% when shopping in the local store for young people at risk of poverty.

R 4.1. students of the 7th and 8th grades of the Prečko Elementary School are involved in conducting education and workshops in the area of the city garden Prečko

R 4.2. two school hours at Prečko Elementary School and Nikola Tesla Elementary School were provided as part of the class teacher's hour for informing and asking questions about healthy eating.

PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE- PROPOSED GOALS AND RESULTS The overall objective is to ensure the satisfaction of existential life needs for homeless people. The first specific goal to be worked on is the increase in the number of accommodation capacities. It has already been mentioned that Donji grad has the largest number and concentration of homeless people, and that accommodation capacities are few and it is very important to increase their number. In accordance with the fulfillment of this goal, the service of organized housing was provided for 25 users. Also, a strategy for solving the housing issue of the homeless was drawn up and sent to the Ministry.

Another specific goal is to integrate social and spatial planning approaches. It is evident that there is a lack of integration and connection of these two aspects of planning.

The third specific goal is to increase the tolerance of the residents of the local community and the use of shared infrastructure spaces.

The fourth specific goal is to inform users about existing services. Since the homeless people are deprived of digital and educational assets, it is necessary to inform them about all possible existing services. The goals are followed by results: R 1.1. Organized housing service provided for 25 users R 1.2. A strategy for solving the housing issue of the homeless was drawn up and sent to the Ministry R 2.1. A round table was held on the topic of the lack of engagement of local authorities in solving the problem of the homeless, which was attended by 30 experts and representatives of local authorities. R 2.2. Held 3 training sessions on the topic of the homeless and their needs in the area of Donji Grad for 30 representatives of the local government. R 3.1. 50 educational posters about the life of a homeless person were placed in public areas, which were seen by 10,000 people. R 3.2. 10 volunteer meetings were held where 15 volunteers beautified (painting and additional furnishing) common spaces in the Donji grad area. R 4.1. Distributed 30 leaflets and put up 3 posters about existing services for the homeless in the Donji Grad area, which will be seen by 7,000 people. R 4.2. Held 2 forums for 30 homeless people in cooperation with the Fajter association about available services in the community.

This student group developed and distributed 30 leaflets and 3 posters in the area of Donji Grad about existing services for the homeless people.


UNIC CityLabs


Social inclusion | Green transition

Type of Case




Organizing unic universities

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