A milestone for raum AU and for Slovenj Gradec. It is the first and maybe the most fundamental one. The public infrastructure, that is since July 2019 officially part of the cultural infrastructure of Slovenj Gradec. Its subsidized use is regulated through open calls and it is limited to 14 entities, which establishes for this town, proper dimension of support for the non-governmental, non-profit sector. Now, citizens can enjoy a proper urban lifestyle, which offers a mix of public, private as well as an offer prepared by the civil sphere.
This is a big step for Slovenj Gradec and, if looked upon properly, it may be identified as a structure and system to be adapted elsewhere in Slovenia.
It is itself difficult to survive as an NGO in Slovenia, not to talk, when one would like to sustainably operate from Slovenj Gradec. On the basis of these particularities, the dialog between raum AU and the local city administration started already in 2009, as it was ever since the major concern of raum AU, namely to consider the qualitative non-public production of our city and to support their endeavors, at least by materialistic and communicative aims, if possible even with the proper allocation of financial support.
The HABitat Slovenj Gradec is in fact a habitat in the proper sense of the word, because it makes it possible for similar people to use the effects of economy of scale as well as connects to civic questions sensitive persons physically. Both vital elements to our sector. – Slovenj Gradec did face this issue now.
By operating all from one building, we obviously grew and still grow closer day by day. A flea-market has become a cities standard, an office empowering citizens offers non-formal political education and the raum AU is step by step acknowledged as the urban forum we are convinced needs to be established in our city (both part of our Slovenian pilot on non-formal political education).
The paperwork was prepared in cooperation with raum AU and the system, called “stara komunala” is today a systematic reality of Slovenj Gradec (for other infrastructures and aims to apply).
We are very happy and proud, that we could in an exemplary and cooperative matter find a way to realize this first model, which can in no way be compared with any similar structure throughout Slovenia.
WE DID, in difference to widely known other Slovenian structures, GO HAND IN HAND WITH OUR CITY-ADMINISTRATION – and therefore we can all together, already today be proud of what we did achieve by just sitting and listening to each other’s needs and difficulties.
We should always try to organize ourselves in a way that civil cohesion becomes a habit, by supporting each other because we can and because it makes sense. The HABitat Slovenj Gradec will be at service for many causes, talks and generations to come and a city needs such breathing spaces – just look at our humble history.