European Youth Portal
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Easy like 1x1

Make a big step forward, then one to the right. Now the same backwards, than to the left. One square feet. What would you do with it?

Sára Dányádi, Johanna Gadó and Krisztina Komlós have dreamt the 1x1 project which draws attention to the active and creative urban citizen behaviour and encourages it. They thought that by “adopting” only one square feet of it and making it nicer we can create a more friendly, colourful and liveable city we live in and we can bring a smile to the rushing, often grumpy people’s every days.

“1x1 meter and the city is yours!” – This is the slogan of the project which became more successful than expected on 2013’s spring. The three fresh grad girls get inspired in dreaming the project of that general attitude that we don’t consider the public places ours because we are waiting for someone who will reform the abandoned, unused or less pleasing urban spaces sometimes.

The realization of the project was supported by the “YOU TOO” Foundation through European Union’s Youth in Action Programme. The foundation rewarded projects dealing with popularization of volunteer work, this is how – inter alia- 1x1 project was chosen. The project appeared as a tender on the spring of 2013, the applicants could win tickets to different cultural programmes by “adopting” smaller or bigger orphaned public places waiting for renovation, but something tells me it was just cherry on the cake. The initiative is heart-warming and smile bringer: put in order a small place next to the closest bus stop on a sunny afternoon is a good relaxation itself. Not to mention that after then our day starts nicer every morning when we wait for the bus, and also everyone else’s who walks by.

The enthusiasm of the participants, interested people, the different offerings which facilitated the smoother and more eventful transaction of the project were such big experiences (also) for the organizers which made be worth to start the project. “We experienced that there is entrepreneurship and also need for similar movements, so it seems that the problem is very much actual.”

“Everyone knows famous graffiti, iconic city elements. Maybe the works made for 1x1 can become like them, since its point is the same: tagging the place, leaving a contact, of course doing it in the best meaning and with the best will.”

Doing “onetimesone” needs a little time and more and more creativity, maybe some money to buy the materials for the titivation, however the most creative ideas can be realized from pennies. An abandoned playground, a long-time empty concrete flower stand, the fans of the underground tunnel, dustbins, sidewalks, window of a closed shop, stump can be suitable targets – just to mention a few of the artworks.

Be cheerful, be colourful, imaginative, it’s not even a problem if not too functional. Make the city nicer, make the days of people nicer. Competition or not, walk with open eyes in the city, and you can also adopt 1x1 meter!

Written by Drubina Kamilla

Translated by Ildikó Zubály

Published: Wed, 25/03/2015 - 12:38

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