A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Airplane Spot

Silistra

Bulgaria

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
January 27, 2020
January 27, 2020

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

This site in the Samoleta District in Silistra is emblematic of the whole town. The dominant element in the space is the out of commission airplane, which was once used as a center for IT education. For decades the place remained abandoned, although local residents remained sentimental about it.

In 2018 a group of local activists from Civic Unity (“Grazhdansko edinstvo”) committed themselves to transforming the space from an empty area to a popular public spot that would attract both young people and adults, and eventually submitted their placemaking idea to BG Be Active. With their financial support, the local placemakers have worked together with community volunteers and partners from across public, private, and civic sectors to install a multifunctional outdoor fitness facility, a playground, an outdoor classroom equipped for different types of trainings, and a stage for improvised performances at one of the airplane landing gears.

The plans of the local placemakers behind Airplane Spot continue to evolve, as they now hope to restore the airplane structure and equipment that would allow it to function as a center once more.

Access & Linkages

The area is well-connected to city streets and pedestrian walkways. Located right at the border between Bulgaria and Romania, the space also attracts both local people who wish to spend time with their friends and family, as well as tourists who generally come to Silistra from the neighboring country.

Comfort & Image

Located in a park, the space acts as a green island in the middle of the city's urban asphalt. Proximity of the Danube River, flowers planted by residents, and mature park trees make the space truly inspirational for nature lovers. Protected by a fence and equipped with lanterns, the area has become not only functional but also safe.

Uses & Activities

Although a big airplane in the middle of the space offers the primary attraction  for passers-by, the space includes many other uses, too. There is relaxing zone with benches for people to calmly enjoy a book and talk to friends while enjoying the greenery and sunshine. Workout equipment allow people to stay on the move, while a green field provides a place for playing active games. Since Airplane Spot opened, local people have launched a Facebook page to publish updates on what is happening on the field.

Sociability

Despite the hard work the local activists had to conduct to make the space welcoming and comfortable for everyone, almost everyone surveyed (99%) said they were happy with its opening, and more than half of them (53%) would like to be part of the further improvement of the area. The local activists who started the project always seek ways to maintain and sustain the space in its magnificence. From time to time with the help of local volunteers, they organize a public clean-up to collect all the garbage discarded.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Airplane Spot
Airplane Spot
Airplane Spot
Airplane Spot
Airplane Spot
Airplane Spot
Airplane Spot
Airplane Spot

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET