Belgrade International Architecture Week
Beogradska Internacionalna Nedelja Arhitekture

Sara Ramezani


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Documenting Public Spaces in the Bežanija Blocks
Sara Ramezani

This project is dedicated to using the power of photography as a means to document life within three blocks in New Belgrade (blocks 61,62 and 63), showing the complex relationship between public space and its users . Based on plans and designs from the early 1970s, these blocks were precisely planned, where careful consideration was given to the intermediary spaces between them. By comparing the original plans and designs with how public spaces are being used today, differences become apparent in their functionality and community utilization.

The photographic collection is organized into three categories, each offering different insights. The first category focuses on public spaces intentionally designed for specific activities, such as shopping or social interaction. Through captured images, viewers can understand how people engage with these spaces as intended by their original design.

The second category delves into the spaces initially designated for public use but now serving a different purpose. These areas, often small open spaces between the buildings or corridors connecting the blocks, have been observed to be neglected or underutilized, diverging from their intended role as communal gathering spots. This disparity is depicted through photographs, showing the lack of adaptation of urban spaces meant for communal gathering, or public spaces being used in a completely different manner.

Finally, the third category explores spaces not originally conceived as public areas, yet which have undergone unforeseen transformations over time. These transitional spaces, such as makeshift pathways through the greenery, improvised gathering spots, or even the ever-growing parking area, offer valuable insights into the organic or semi-organic evolution of urban environments and the fact thatm just as much as space shapes people’s lives and behavior, people also affect and shape the space to adjust it to their needs.

Besides that, photographs provide an overall insight into how the space between the buildings is being used, who are the main users and how it’s been maintained. Also, it provides a slight evaluation of urban design qualities such as livability, sense of belonging, safety, sense of security, human scale, greenery, and so on.

By showcasing the life within these public spaces, the photographic collection provides a window into the dynamic interaction between urban design and the evolving lifestyles of inhabitants, highlighting the flexibility and ingenuity characteristic of urban communities.

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