From October 11 to 13, “IT Subotica 2030” has realized an action within the project of cleaning and painting Subotica. This time, the focus is on concrete planters in the wider city center. The mentioned planters have been fulfilling their primary purpose for many years, as a place for flowers and other ornamental plants, but they also often serve as a physical barrier for vehicles to enter pedestrian areas. A large number of planters were mapped, as many as 98 in the wider city center, the vast majority of which are in poor condition. As part of this action, a total of 35 planters were cleaned and painted. We implemented this action on the volunteer initiative of our fellow citizen Natalija Boka and in cooperation with the Polytechnic School in Subotica. The action, as always, was carried out in coordination and agreements with the competent city services.
Natalija Boka has been living and working in New York CIty since 2007, but in recent years she has been spending more and more time in her hometown of Subotica. By profession, she is an interior designer and business communicator within the liberal arts. In addition to working in interior design, she is also a legal assistant for human rights within the state of New York. The organization “IT Subotica 2030” first drew her attention after our action of painting electric cable boxes in the center of the city, and on that occasion her brother told her that the organization “IT Subotica 2030” was also responsible for planting tree lines on “Palićki” and “Beogradski” roads, and he conveyed to her the concept and vision of the organization that Subotica soon becomes a relevant IT center in the region.
When asked how she came up with the idea to start an initiative to arrange planters in the city center, Natalija says that she has always been very interested in urbanism. Also, for a long time, she has been fascinated by the story of the creation of Singapore, under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew, who in his book “From Third world to First" explained how he transformed Singapore step by step from a swamp into what Singapore is today. "The aesthetics of the city is constantly on my mind and after many years spent outside Serbia, after many destinations that I have traveled around the world, I often think about the ways in which Subotica could become a more beautiful and interesting city, both for its citizens and for its visitors. Concrete planters, of which there are quite a few scattered around the city center, and which are in a rather unsightly condition, were given priority. Along with my desire to spend as much time as possible in my hometown, the “IT Subotica 2030” organization seemed like a team I wanted to join from the very start. After that, I got in touch with the executive director of the organization, Petar Stakić, and the project manager, Filip Budanović, whose willingness to cooperate, support and modernity in their work more than pleasantly surprised me (I was also pleasantly surprised by other Subotica institutions, such as the Intermunicipal Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and public company for roads in Subotica, who have approved the execution of this project smoothly, as well as the Polytechnic high school, which enabled the execution of these works)”, Natalija points out.
"The famous sentence of John F. Kennedy (35th President of the United States): "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" is very inspiring for me. We often expect the state or the city to do everything for us, when in fact we can do a lot by ourselves or by joining forces. Subotica is beautiful, but it could be much more beautiful visually and experientially. It is not enough for tourists to visit our city just once, it is also important that they return again or convey positive impressions to other future visitors. If every citizen individually or jointly did something for their city, for example to mow the grass in front of their house or building, throw garbage in the bin, the residents of the buildings join together and paint the car garages or paint the facades, the city as a whole would soon shine!
In any case, Subotica as a city is very inspiring in that sense, there is a lot of room for improvement. While we can debate what is beautiful and what is not, there is one universal value where we would agree that clean and maintained is beautiful. I want to live in a beautiful and orderly place and I believe that basically the citizens of Subotica also want that. I would like Subotica to shine in the coming period!", comments Natalija.
Professors and students of the Secondary Polytechnic School in Subotica provided great help in this action. A total of 18 art technician students and four professors - Marijana Buljovčić, Srđan Milodanović, Zita Šuhajda and Nenad Ražnatović made a great contribution, without which this action would have been much more difficult to realize.
This project is an excellent example of the initiative and voluntary involvement of citizens and educational institutions in the projects of the organization “IT Subotica 2030”. It is the right way how together with little effort we can do a lot to raise the quality of life in the city.
The action of arranging the concrete planters will continue in the spring of next year, and it is part of a wider project of the organization “IT Subotica 2030”, which deals with cleaning and visual beautification of the city in accordance with one of the strategic directions of the organization aimed at raising the quality of life and the environment. In the previous period, we have painted 30 electric cable cabinets, we have cleaned and painted the dilapidated advertising board at the "Đuro Salaj" Elementary School, and in the near future we plan to arrange new surfaces.
If you want to propose a new action, or get involved with your knowledge and experience, write to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org