Ljubljana Urban Region (LUR) is a territorial system of Slovene partners. Ljubljana Urban Region, with the capital City of Ljubljana, connects 26 municipalities with approximately 537 000 inhabitants is the central, the most developed and densely populated region in Slovenia.
The region extends on 2.555 km 2, with density 210 persons/km 2. The essential advantages of the region are its central position, good traffic and transport connections and the fact that the country’s capital is located in the region. The region’s fast growth also brings complications and challenges alongside the opportunities.
In Slovenia there are two levels of government – national and local level and the lack of formal coordination on the regional level can be felt. Regional level is currently defined partially in different laws that try to regulate some basic activities on regional level, but the decision-making and governance is still made on a national or local level. As there is no legal entity with decision-making power on a regional level an informal way of cooperation had to be found in order to deal with intermunicipal/regional issues.
A lot of problems occur with implementation of the projects – on one hand the projects are too small for state implementation and too big for municipalities (especially in fields of public transport, spatial planning, waste management, flood protection etc.). Smaller municipalities have also problems performing basic tasks; they are coping with the shortage of personnel and the budget for successful implementation of projects.
The Ljubljana urban region is characterized by a mono-centric spatial structure with Ljubljana’s predominance as an employment centre. It is the most developed region amongst all statistical regions in Slovenia and economically the most powerful. In comparison to other European regions, it exceeds the European average in many parameters, when compared by statistical indicators. In comparison to other Slovenian regions, Ljubljana Urban Region has a smaller share of the industrial sector, whereas market services and public services are more developed. Very good geographical position of the region strengthens its economic, educational and cultural dominance in the country. The region has diversified economy and promotes service sector and R&D sector development and clustering.
Monocentric development plays an important factor in the current traffic challenges we are faced with in the Ljubljana Urban Region. Strong pressure of daily commuters to Ljubljana from the region and other parts of Slovenia as well as very dense freight transport causes traffic congestions, air pollution and worsening of living condition in the city.
Nevertheless, the city of Ljubljana and Ljubljana Urban Region so far managed to preserve the environment, social cohesion, and quality of life for local citizens and pursued the goals of economic development at the same time.
Taking in mind the goals of the Rurbance project and pilot activities that are planned in case of Slovenia, the Ljubljana Urban Region is the most suitable pilot area to reach project goals and successfully implement the project.