The river Sava flows from Slovenia into Croatia along the Bosnian border and into Serbia where it merges with the river Danube. A 20km stretch of the river cuts through Zagreb, splitting the city in two: Zagreb and Novi Zagreb.
A new project sees this central 7km stretch of the river get a €2.7 million face-lift - a huge development plan called Sava Activities.
Located in the south of the city, the Sava was once a popular promenade but these days its river banks are relatively unused, aside from a handful of scuzzy music venues set on permanently-moored barges.
Spearheaded by the architecture firm Openact, who won the tender for the project back in 2015 with their proposal 'Swamp on the River', the architects see it as an adaptable urban space that lends itself to community-run projects including farmers markets, sports, playgrounds and a riverside beach, with the possibility of hosting some of the city's biggest cultural events likeZagreb Film Festival.
It's a massive investment into a shamefully overlooked part of the city. The proposal hopes to make the River Sava a central theme in Zagreb's cultural life.
The project is made up of three parts: Section One: 'Inbetween Land' provides recreational sports facilities to Arena Zagreb and the student digs nearby; Section Two: 'Central Location' sets uo cultural, educational and leisure venues in pavilions and outdoor spaces, and Section Three: 'Neighbourhood Scale' aims to establish the grounds as a new riverside hub with outdoor venues and markets. 'Swamp on the River' will also change the course of Sava itself, as the project claims parts of the river to create more useable space.
Construction has just begun and they're expecting to have it completed in time for summer.
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