Present your organisation objectives and missions.

The mission of the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RRA LUR) is to detect potentials in the region, as well as to plan and co-create its sustainable development. RRA LUR is responsible for preparation of a Regional Development Plan of the Ljubljana Urban Region, it coordinates common projects and activities of 26 municipalities and offers expert support to regional decision-making bodies.

RRA LUR has been a partner in several projects with different topics and fields of work ranging from Management models of the abandoned historical sites (Forget Heritage), Planning for environment and multiuse of green infrastructure (Perfect), Restoration and conservation of wet habitats in the Ljubljana Marshes (Poljuba) to regional scale projects such as Navigability of Ljubljanica and a web based portal which provides descriptions of thematic trails suitable for cycling, hiking or running, and information on natural and cultural sights, catering and other tourist offer in the region (Let's Go!).

Ljubljana Marshes ©Karel Dolenc KP LB

What is your role in STAR Cities?

RRA LUR will contribute its knowledge and ideas related to the foreseen activities, furthermore, it will present relevant good practices from the region and its experiences from the past tourism, natural and cultural heritage related projects. Ljubljana with its environmental awareness proudly held the title European Green Capital 2016. In 2020 Ljubljana, together with the whole region, has been a candidate for European Capital of Culture 2025.

Within the STAR Cities project RRA LUR is in charge of external support for facilitation of interregional learning sessions.

Why have you decided to join STAR Cities and what do you expect from it?

RRA LUR is highly interested in further development of sustainable tourism and preservation of natural and cultural heritage in the whole region with a special emphasis on the Ljubljana Marshes, a large share of this STAR Cities study area situated in NATURA 2000.

While the potentials of riverside tourism are very well exploited in the Ljubljana city centre, other riverside areas are developing at a much slower pace. Other municipalities, through which the Ljubljanica river flows, do not prioritize the development of nature or culture-based tourism by the river. As this area has not been recognized as a tourist destination yet, development of leisure activities, involving cultural, educational, sporting, recreational activities and various wellness programmes could be an opportunity for the tourism development and promotion of the area. 

Petkovšek Embarkment © Andrej Tarfila

What are the main stakeholders you are planning to involve in STAR Cities? What is your organisation‘s relationship with them?

Our main stakeholders are 7 municipalities, which are located within the study area (Borovnica, Brezovica, Ig, Ljubljana, Log-Dragomer, Škofljica, Vrhnika) and the Ljubljana Marshes Landscape Park. Regarding the thematic part of the project our key stakeholders are also Tourism Ljubljana; competent ministries and institutes; universities and research centres.

As the coordinator of municipalities and being a bridge between national and local level RRA LUR has been working a lot with all involved stakeholders on a daily basis and we have great relationship with all also from previous projects.

What are your territory goals and challenges related to riverside tourism development? How would you ideally see your region develop over the next few years?

The vision of the Central Slovenia region as a tourist destination is to become the most connected and innovative green tourist region in Slovenia. Our values and principles of operation are the following: excellent service, authentic experience, committed to the green, we draw from tradition and we are focused on the future, we are constantly looking for new ways and different approaches, easy accessibility (information, purchase, access).

A very important goal is to get the navigability permission for the Ljubljanica river outside of the Ljubljana city centre. There is a lack of the (tourism) development strategy of the Ljubljana Marshes Landscape Park. A crucial challenge is to create a joint strategy of riverside tourist offer development, which looks beyond the centre of Ljubljana and includes revitalization of currently neglected areas.

Triple Bridge © Tourism Ljubljana