Sec. 2b – The Ideal Neighbourhood

        In Ljubljana, the key projects of renovation and city development were taken on by the young generation of architects led by architect and professor Edvard Ravnikar, student of Jože Plečnik. As early as 1955, in prof. Ravnikar seminar a study of a radial development of city Ljubljana was produced, based on geography, and including latest international (especially Scandinavian) breakthroughs in urban planning. The study proposed a series of tall residential developments along the city arteries while retaining long tongues of green areas between the radials extending all the way to the city centre.

        That model became the basis for the General Urban Plan of Ljubljana adopted in 1965, the first comprehensive urban document of the city after the WW2, which defined neighbourhood unit as the fundamental organisingprinciple of urban planning policy.   

        The concept of a neighbourhood as a sociological and physical grouping, a concluded autonomous territorial unit, which enabled a better organisation of a city’s spatial development, was also developed in Prof. Ravnikar seminar.

        The basic model of the neighbourhood unit was planned on the criteria of pedestrian streets and paths with the primary school in the centre (pioneered by American planner Clarence Perry for the Regional Plan of New York in 1929), was upgraded by organisation of space according to function; on residential areas, public areas, transport network, recreational areas and green space. All the functions essential for everyday life of the inhabitants were planned in the area; these were social, educational, cultural and service programs. To foster diversity in the population structure model included different housing typologies, from high-rise apartment buildings to individual houses. The centre of the neighbourhood emphasised by skyscrapers (to build up the identity of the area) was located along the main road on the outer edge of the neighbourhood with a bus stop nearby. The traffic routes were completely separated from the pedestrian areas, no transit motor traffic was permitted within the estate. Great attention was paid also to creating quality green open spaces in residential areas.

        This concept was presented as the model of an “ideal neighbourhood” for 5,000 inhabitants at the exhibition “Family and Households” in Zagreb in 1958.

In 1965, a Housing Reform was implemented, which triggered the beginning of the construction of housing for the market. Further development of the city was carried out with an intensive construction of housing estates until the end of the 80s.