During our initial observations we noticed inequalities and social divides in the area.
There are strong contrasts between the types of building we observed. There were many empty industrial buildings. This area was built in the communist era and the industrial buildings look like they are no longer in use. There were also a lot of residential areas that are clearly the home of poorer people. They looked shabby and in need of repair.
The community seems to be in transition and there are a number of new developments taking place. Some new apartment buildings are already present in the area. They look like they have all the modern conveniences and are probably home to wealthy people. The area seems to have little connection with the poorer homes in the area. The new apartments are surrounded by large fences with security systems.
The area is generally characterized by a lack of shops and services. There is no postbox, no supermarket, no community centre. There seems to be a total lack of facilities. There is nothing in the area to bring the rich and poor together except for a church which may not attract everyone, for example younger people. There is also a park which has potential to be used as a community space.
We have discussed the possibility of a community project to bring the two groups together. A suggestion for the name of this project would be ´Bridging the gap´. In order to attract young people as community volunteers we could offer them reduced rent to live in the area in exchange for working as volunteers in the area. They could run a number of projects aimed at improving social cohesion. These projects could include
1. Film screenings in the park
2. Sporting activities and dance classes
3. Parent groups
4. Small projects to beautify the area such as painting buildings and planting flowers