discussions with different specialists and observations of the socio-political
situation in the country led me to slightly change the character of my project.
I understood, that in order to be clearer about the aims and implications
of my project, I have to analyse the region in a much broader context.
Design of one new salt work in one particular place is not the right
solution to the complexity of problems.
Although the process of peripheralisation and underdevelopment is a complex issue, what I see as
the main and most discussed problems of Eastern Slovakia :
- Insufficient infrastructure !!
- The lack of knowledge, innovation, know-how, unsuitable education for local labour market
- Prejudice - the region is unattractive for the investors, tourists, as well as residents
- The lack of a positive ‘advertisement’ and promoting
Potential of Eastern Slovakia:
- Potential for sustainable tourism – natural heritage, cultural heritage, use of renewables
- Labour force – (often people with lower education), who can be employed in building new appropriate infrastructure
- Historical value
According to public and academic opinion, the potential of Eastern Slovakia lies mainly in sustainable tourism and with it related small businesses. To achieve a real change, the action has to came from ‘bottom-up’ initiative. This statement comes from the research into regional development and is tested in governmental pilot projects as well as can be seen in some successful examples. Local action should be then coordinated on a bigger, regional scale.
For now, I call my extended proposal ‘the salt experience’, which is represented through an almost 100 km long ‘salt route’, which could be seen as a potential scenic route, or a pilgrimage. (Precedent: http://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/routes)
The route includes 4 or 5 key places historically of geologically related to salt, which I will further explore in the next four days, directly on the site.
- Prešov - historic salt works in Solivar (factory from the 17th century and from 1925), problem of the leaking brine, which I described in my previous essays
- Soľ- (en: Salt) – a small municipality with salt deposit. The brine springs were ‘destroyed’ during Austro-Hungarian Empire as a result of salt monopoly
- (?) Poša- a small municipality with similar history as Soľ
- Zbudza- a small municipality with salt deposit, potential for building a new salt works
- Sobrance – a small spa town. The thermal baths, historically knows as ‘Four salt springs’ are decaying, even though its water is characterised as healing and highly mineral. http://ciernediery.sk/sobranecke-kupele/
To see the route:
Rather than being bound to one particular locality, my design project could include a set of interventions located along a ‘salt route’, aiming to boost local economy, use local resources, potential and become an attractive place for possible investors as well as tourists and residents.
How do we move around? What do we see? Where do we sleep? Where do we get the information from? What do we learn and how do we entertain? And above all, how is our journey experienced through architecture?