The Ljubljana University Medical Centre (UMC) is the largest hospital centre in Slovenia and among the largest in Central Europe. Every day, the area fills with employees, patients, and visitors. It is located in the heart of the city and lacks dedicated public transport solutions, while pedestrian and cyclist lanes are neglected.
The project improved the accessibility and use of green space in Ljubljana’s clinical centre. Patients and medical personnel co-designed a concept plan to renovate the green area chosen as the most critical by the participants. The decision was based on the specific needs of the users, empowering them to become actively involved in decision making and giving under-represented and vulnerable groups a voice. The design was partially implemented through quick-fix solutions.
The project prioritised the places and people that need it the most by providing more accessible green spaces designed to accommodate the needs of patients and disabled users, encouraging their well-being and faster recovery. Participants designed and implemented new spaces in the area and promoted their use and (mental) health benefits (reconnecting with nature). The site addressed the citizens’ real needs in urban spaces and improved the quality of the experience in their lives (re-gaining sense of community & belonging). By improving the environment around clinics, the project improved the well-being and health of both key groups of users: patients and workers.
The plan was presented to the Medical Centre’s management to influence them to implement it fully. The data gathered through these activities served as the basis for a series of guidelines that were included in the upcoming Climate adaptation strategy of the Municipality of Ljubljana.