> progresso > le progres > progress n.

1. advancement in general
2. development towards an improved or more advanced condition
3. growth or development; continuous improvement

> Project Culburb: Rajka Central Park

Project Culburb activates the public realm in the suburbs of central European capital cities through acupuncture interventions. Using minimal means these actions set up interaction between inhabitants and have an impact on the community life.

Location: Rajka/Bratislava

Rajka is a village on the edge of Mosoni flats (a geographical region of Hungary) and is situated on the remains of old Danube river beds. Rajka is located on the border between Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, just 20 km from Bratislava and 75km from Vienna.

Its first written record dates back to the beginning of the 13th century. According to traditions its name was Rakfalva (Crab village), which referred to the crabbers living there. By the end of the 19th Century Rajka had become a small regional centre; the village was flourishing until the German population was forcibly resettled after the Second World War.With the creation of Czechoslovakia Rajka became the point of a border control, which created employment. These functions have ceased with EU membership in 1994, and since the border with Slovakia stopped needed policing in 2007. However, being located on the frontier is now making Rajka attractive for different economic reasons. In the last ten years people from Bratislava have started to settle down here due to its proximity to the growing capital city Bratislava.

Currently there are around 900 inhabitants related to Bratislava. Commuters cause problems for the community by sleeping rather than ‘living’ in the village; with little spare time it is difficult for them to take part in daily life so there is a confrontation between a city and village lifestyle. At the same time many Hungarian inhabitants are moving out of the village to nearby towns: the change of land use from agriculture to suburbia means there is now a market for their property; transport links to the rest of Hungary are relatively poor; and commuters are economically prosperous whilst local industries have shrunk. Though the public life of the village is still relatively rich, it is divided into various parallel and un-communicating layers. 

There is a relatively large open green area in the centre of Rajka and there are founded concerns that the continued residential development of the village might swallow this attractive plot. Therefore, project ‘Rajka Central Park’ is about declaring the need to save this endangered central green area of Rajka and to turn it into a vibrant and inclusive public park custom tailored for the community, by the community. The proposal works with the activating concept of public research. It involves working with the community to make a case for the importance of this public space to the neighbourhood, and promoting this to other stakeholders. It is also about developing community cohesion through engagement in a range of activities towards a common goal.