The Institute for Spatial Policies (IPoP), established in 2006, is an independent research institute. Its mission is to achieve synergies across a range of disciplines and practices that deal with space and place, to raise awareness of the spatial dimension, and to consider the possibilities to guide policies of space.
The Institute for Spatial Policies was founded as a private institution in 2006 by Blaž Križnik, Marko Peterlin, Peter Šenk, and Tadej Žaucer. Today the institute is a non-profit organisation registered by the Slovene Research Agency (ARRS).
The activities of the IPoP include planning, consulting, expert networking, and the implementation of educational activities. In addition to organising lectures, the institute has established an online library of papers and publications focusing on themes from the IPoP areas of expertise, naming only strategic spatial planning, public space research, and a cross-cultural research of urbanisation.
International projects and networking
Since 2009 the Institute for Spatial Policies has been the URBACT point for Slovenia. URBACT is an European exchange and learning programme for the promotion of sustainable urban development.
Up to 2010 the IPoP worked on the project PoLok (a support to local initiatives) with partners Trajekt and the Community-Based Natural Resource Management Network (CBNRM Net). The aim of the project was to connect people who participate actively in the creation of inhabitant-friendly neighbourhoods.
Since September 2015 the institute has been involved into an international project for improving urban spaces together with refugees, called Refugees for Co-Creative Cities. The project that stems from the Ruhr area in Germany brings together engineers, refugees, artists and locals in order to improve private and public spaces. These spaces could function either as a long-term refugee accommodation or as spaces where locals and refugees interact.
In the period 2015–2016 the IPoP collaborated in the project New Ideas For Old Buildings led by the Municipality of Ajdovščina and funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme. The programme involved a number of small and medium sized towns: Cesis in Latvia, Oberhausen in Germany, Pula in Croatia, Belgrade in Serbia, Nikšić in Montenegro and Ajdovščina and Maribor in Slovenia. The project focused on improving public property management and assisted
municipalities to increase the real estate occupancy by public participation.
Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours. Since 2011 the iPop is the Jane’s Walk coordinator for Slovenia, and together with local partners the institute so far has managed to initiate 73 walks in different towns and cities across Slovenia. The discussions during the walks result in recommendations for spatial improvements.