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About Our Creek from La Terenuri

For one month, the initiative group from the Calvaria Creek – La Terenuri area tested ways that could decrease the number of trips to the city center, by improving how we spend our free time in the Mănăștur neighborhood.

Why we did this
Several short car trips are taken from the residential neighborhoods of Cluj to the center, for leisure purposes. We wanted to set up the framework through which the residents of the Calvaria Creek – La Terenuri area could develop ideas for how they would use the common space and spend more time in the neighborhood if they had money, specialists and permits available. The Our Creek from La Terenuri team was selected following an open call in October 2017, and worked on preparing the test interventions in the neighborhood in May 2018.

The test
Between April and June 2018 the Our Creek from La Terenuri team went door to door to the neighbors living around the Calvaria Creek in Mănăștur and the connecting section between Dacia Cinema and the green area La Terenuri, and documented a number of customs and ideas the residents have when it comes to using the area. This field research was then used as the theme for an architecture and landscaping workshop, involving students from UTCN’s Architecture and Urban Planning Faculty, in order to develop ideas for the interventions that were installed in the public space for one month.
The interventions that were tested during June 2018 aimed to:
1. Negotiate with the owners of illegally parked cars, in order to have the cars moved temporarily, and be able to organize social events.
2. Create infrastructure that meets the neighbors’ needs.

Results and lessons learned

The beaten path is the best design option
Two main interventions were temporarily built from pallets: a wooden bridge with access stairs over the creek, steps next to the existing path, as well as a space for meeting, socializing and sitting close to the playgrounds. Both interventions were among the most suggested by the 1200 neighbors that answered the field research performed by the team.

Other ideas from the neighbors included: benches, a running and bicycle path, tables for chess and welcoming and cared for green spaces. Both interventions were used in particular by children. The pallet meeting space was vandalized two weeks after it was installed.

Build on existing initiatives
The Our Creek from La Terenuri Creek mostly includes members of the initiative group of ‘La Terenuri – common space in Mănăștur”, formed in 2012 in order to support community initiatives for the development of the area. The team chose to consolidate the knowledge gained in the last 6 years about the neighbors by conducting research about the socio-cultural context of the Mănăștur neighborhood. The 1200 responses received validated the fact that the activity of the initiative group is known in the neighborhood, and that the neighbors expect the already existing

projects to be scaled (Mănăștur Days and developing the La Terenuri area). Therefore, after discussions between the initiative group and representatives of the Cluj-Napoca Municipality, it was decided that the report resulting from this projects to be used as a consultation and evaluation document for the offers received to the public bids aimed at developing the masterplan for the sports and leisure park ‘La Terenuri’ (currently in process of being awarded).

Cooperation does not exist when rules contradict each other
The neighbors were quite reluctant to moving their private cars, which are usually parked on each side of the Calvaria creek. Although the cars are parked illegally, since there is no system that allows for sanctioning this type of behaviour or that offers viable options (more parking spaces in theparking structure, incentives that influence people to give up using their personal car, etc.), car owners were skeptical when it came to temporarily moving their cars, even for a few hours when the various temporary interventions occurred.

The Our Creek from La Terenuri team is represented by:

Echipa inițiatori: Maria Fleșer , Gabi Rus, Gabi Barbu, Marcela Armanca, Mihai Armanca, Păunița Boancă, Sonia Borș Oprica, Silviu Medeșan, Lala Panait.

Vecini care s-au mai alaturat pe drum: Sebastian Boancă, Grig Vulpe și Bernadeta Pătrașcu, Anna Șargov.

Colaboratori: Anca Chis și Marina Mironica

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