Skopje Raste is an interactive map that traces the growth of the urban landscape in the central area of the city of Skopje and it was created by Reactor – Research in Action in partnership with a local architecture firm, Arhitektri. It visualizes four sets of urban elements (buildings, greenery, parking spaces and illegal buildings) over three chronological stages, providing users with a simple visualization of how changes to the detailed urban plans (DUPs) are affecting their neighborhoods.
The goal of our map is to provide a user-friendly visualization of the effects of past and future unregulated urban growth, but perhaps more importantly, to provide an alternative to presenting the overly technical DUPs in a way that every citizen can understand. Our ultimate goal is to convince municipal governments to adopt this, or at least a similar approach in their work, in order to allow for a more meaningful participation of citizens in the urban development process.
The platform was launched in early 2013 and was well received by its intended users: the citizens of Skopje and the administration of the Municipality of Centar. We have since been presenting the platform at various local and international events, advocating for its adoption by the municipal administration, as well as increasing the area covered in the platform to include more municipalities. We hope that the Data Visualization competition will additionally contribute to increasing the visibility of platform internationally and inspire users from other countries to adapt the platform for their neighborhoods.
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