Revitalising plans for UNESCO Vlkolinec site

Demographic challenges, Environmental sustainability, Improvement of services / infrastructures, Entrepreneurship, Employment, Education

Locality Vlkolinec, borough of City Ruzomberok, was declared in 1977 the Reservation of Folk Architecture by the Government of the Slovak Republic and in 1993 was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites UNESCO.
Site UNESCO Vlkolínec is remarkable untouched residential unit consisting of 55 typical rustic objects (wooden dwelling houses) of central- European type and their economic infrastructure (e.g. barns). This mountainous village has kept its original character of almost intact objects of folk of architecture, sensitively placed in hilly terrain until present time, and it is a living reservation of folk architecture and creates an “island” of unique natural and cultural heritage within the surrounding rural landscape.
City Ruzomberok in cooperation with the Slovak Environmental Agency prepared in 1996 a zoning plan for the site, but there was no detailed policy on sustainable habitation of the site. Subsequently in 2007, the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic declared the border of buffer zone of the Reserve of Folk Architecture and in 2009 the city Ruzomberok ensured the development of a management plan for this reserve. The Council of Vlkolínec, nominated by Mayor of Ruzomberok in 2015, stated that the measures proposed in the management plan relating to the buffer zone has so far failing to bring to life. The city Ruzomberok in cooperation with local and regional partners prepared a draft of project for more effective implementation of tasks in 2016. This project could provide a solution for revitalizing buffer zone of site Vlkolínec in order to create conditions for the sustainable use of natural and cultural potential of the area.
The main objective of this project is to propose social innovation involving reconstruction of the characteristic landscape features and historic landscape structures in the buffer zone, through the revival of traditional farming means in the landscape, that were typical for Vlkolínec and its surroundings (e.g. cultivation of traditional crops: cabbage, potato, poppy, flax; renewal of plantations, planting native varieties of fruit trees, mowing of meadows, farming of sheep, cattle and so on). To achieve the objective of the project it will be needed to resolve within the locality Vlkolinec the problem ownership of the land, to ensure adequate and sustained financial support for the traditional form of farming in the buffer zone and especially to apply innovative and motivating procedures for returning the local community to the traditions and cultural values of the landscape in order to fully use natural and historical potential of the landscapes in favour of increasing the quality of life of local people and the local economy.

Networking, Training / Teaching, Production of goods, Public participation, Support (Technical, legal, etc.), Fundraising, Project management
Civil Association Vlkolínec, Agricultural Cooperative Ludrová, Administration of the National Park Velka Fatra, Regional Monuments Board Zilina and its local Administration Ruzomberok, Urban Forests Ružomberok, local community, local farmers, members of Local Assiocation of Gardeners, experts from other Slovak and Czech universities and institutions.

Creation and implementation of new forms of governance of the territory with the effective application of participatory approaches to planning and management, guidance and certain regulated the number of visitors especially in the summer could significantly contribute to promoting the local economy, creating new jobs, for example green jobs and also improve the quality of life of the local community.

• World Heritage Centre Report: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/periodicreporting/EUR/cycle02/section2/groupb/622.pdf

* Information at the level of NUTS 3 or local regions.