On May 6-9 the DANUrB project held its sixth partners meeting and workshop in Novi Sad, Serbia. The event was organized by the Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad and brought together more than 40 researchers and 60 students from 7 countries, for whom a rich four-day program full of excursions, round table discussions and student workshops was prepared.
All the participants met on Sunday evening when the detailed agenda of the upcoming events was introduced. Next day, early in the morning, a joint excursion to Bačka Palanka (Serbia) was launched. After arrival, all participants were welcomed by the municipaln authorities and local experts who presented the history, basic characteristics and the flood control measures of the town, and a short introduction into the objectives of the student workshop took place, as well. Then, the group moved to the Danube bank with a beach and a very nice prospect of Ilok, a twin city located across the Danube river in Croatia with marvellous surroundings. This interesting cross-border location was selected as a topic for student design proposals, which were elaborated during the following days at the international student workshop. The main objective of the visit was an initial socializing and getting familiar with the place including its people and heritage. After Bačka Palanka the group went over to Ilok to see its famous vineyards and wine cellars such as the Old cellar that supplies wine also to the British Royal family. This area is part of the Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route which passes through Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. The additional program included visit of the Old Town and the country estate “Principovac” with a panoramic viewing point. The excursion was wrapped up by the students’ evaluation of their gained experiences and a discussion about the perception and understanding of the Danube and its values which make this river and its surroundings unique and attractive.
The third day was devoted to partners’ and students’ workshops. After the welcome speeches given by the representatives of the organizing Faculty and the Project Lead, a short presentation of interesting facts and attractions of the City of Novi Sad followed. Subsequently, all research partners focused on discussing the tasks related tothe heritage and stakeholder datasheets. The afternoon program included the research report workshops dealing with selected sites along the Danube in all partner countries. All researchers worked in small groups discussing designed research tasks within various objectives of the DANUrB project such as the GIS platform or the travelling exhibitions.
At the same time, the international student workshop took place, where groups of students from several countries were discussing and proposing effective interventions for the development and improvement of the Bačka Palanka (Serbia) - Ilok (Croatia) sites. The chief aim of this student workshop was the recognition of potentials, evaluation of site specificities and designing proposals for open public spaces located on two riverbanks facing each other and separated by the Danube, where priority was given to the users' needs and the main goal was to create a connection between the two sides. Considering the fact that people enjoy spending time on these river banks by various leisure activities, especially during the summer, these are the most valuable local public spaces. Moreover, beyond their popularity among the locals, they represent a great potential that might attract numerous visitors from other regions as well. In this workshop the students had a great opportunity to investigate various ways how to organize the river banks in Bačka Palanka and Ilok in order to increase the attractiveness on the local level, establish appropriate facilities and attractions, propose new character and programs for these sites and to find a way how to thematically and symbolically promote an interconnection of two river banks in two different cities and countries in Europe.
The last day of the DANUrB partners’ meeting was dedicated to the development and data enrichment of the Pocket Guide application, to the defining of the structure of the DANUrB Strategy, and the planning of upcoming partner meetings during the next periods of the project. The whole event was wrapped up bythe presentation of the student works and proposals for the selected sites of Bačka Palanka - Ilok. All partners will meet again in the twin cities of Štúrovo - Esztergom on June 29 to celebrate the international Danube Day 2018.
For more information about the DANUrB project, please visit www.interreg-danube.eu/danurb
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This project is co-funded by the European Union funds (ERDF and IPA)