Tine Radinja, Source: Škofja Loka Municipality

Tine Radinja: I want green Škofja Loka to stay green

Tine Radinja: I want green Škofja Loka to stay green

Interview with the Mayor of Škofja Loka, Slovenia

Tine Radinja was elected as a Mayor of Municipality of Škofja Loka in December 2018. Living for the majority of his life in his hometown Škofja Loka, he is dedicated to positive change in the local community.

Before his election as Mayor, he served as Deputy Mayor at Municipality of Škofja Loka responsible for the human resources and nominations, legislative and statutory issues and leading the areas of sports, culture and social affairs.

During the same period, Tine Radinja was a Consultant on Social Development with the World Bank in the Middle East and North Africa, contributing to the development of social policies and legislative frameworks in several countries. He was an adviser to the League of Arab States on the establishment of a representative NGO platform in the region.

Before his mandate of Deputy Mayor, he was the president of the European Youth Forum. In this position he was a leader of the world's biggest youth platform representing tens of millions of young people in Europe.

Škofja Loka invites you to come and discover and exceed your limits and expectations. Photo by Škofja Loka Municipality

Mayor Radinja, please describe the picturesque municipality of Škofja Loka in a few sentences.

Škofja Loka is a beautiful city, full of interesting sights and events. It is an extremely dynamic, colourful and culturally rich city on a green background.

Next year we will host numerous visitors from all over the world, with more than 1000 volunteers participating in the Škofja Loka Passion Play, the oldest Slovene dramatic text classified also on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. It is a unique performance outdoors, which will impress even the most demanding spectators.

Markets and streets of the medieval city are always a true spectacle, and you can also go out of the city to enjoy the wonderful, pristine nature, which is a true sight for sore eyes. Kind people will welcome you to Škofja Loka!

One of the strategic aims of the municipality is the green development in several areas. What measures do you plan for the maintenance and development of the natural resources that the municipality is endowed with?

Green development is my personal priority. Škofja Loka is a modern, well-groomed and sustainably oriented municipality, which respects the environment and supports the coexistence of the city and the countryside.

“Loško je ekološko” (Loka is eco-friendly) is a movement and slogan under which the Municipality of Škofja Loka carries out various ecological, cultural and other activities for sustainable development of the local community and realisation of global objectives of Agenda 2030. We also facilitate the energy efficiency of our public undertakings.

This year, actually, a public utility company started operating with which we aim even higher. We want to further raise the quality of environmental management, waste separation and introduce digitalized systems for a clean environment, water, air, etc.

We have state-of-the-art treatment plants and we constantly monitor air quality. This year, we will carry out numerous projects within sustainable mobility and thus further contribute to improvements in this area. The medieval Škofja Loka, with Poljanska and Selška valleys, is surrounded by beautiful hills, this is a green environment, which must be safeguarded. I want green Loka to stay green.

At the same time, the municipality is encouraging the active participation of the citizens and successfully includes young people and the elderly in the local community. Please tell us more about the initiatives of the municipality in this regard.

We try to make sure that everyone is well taken care of in our municipality. We have numerous NGOs and associations that include individuals of all age structures.

They carry out numerous projects and activities for their integration and cooperation. Škofja Loka is a town of volunteers. We encourage numerous activities, which contribute to an active and quality life of all our citizens.

We have just kicked off a participative budget project, with the aim of further encouraging cooperation between locals to improve the environment in which they live. A portion of the budget will go to that because I think this is an important tool for increasing the participation of locals. Due to COVID-19 the project has been put on hold, however, I believe it will be even more important to build local, grassroots projects in the aftermath of the crisis.

How would you evaluate the necessity of a portal that brings together the best practices of European municipalities and aims to keep the citizens informed about the latest developments in local policies, such as How can our platform be useful to your administration?

Examples of good practice are always welcome – almost everything has already been tested somewhere in this Europe of ours. We live in a global world, where we must cooperate, encourage each other and strive towards improving our communities.

We learn throughout all our lives, which makes the platforms that promote life-long learning particularly welcome. Also, in our last challenge, we sought good practices in addressing the pandemic in very different local communities across Europe.

What will be the main goals you are planning to develop in the near future to make Škofja Loka a better place to live in?

We never run out of goals. This year's emphasis will be on minor projects as the basis for further implementation of the green strategy.

I think that as many as 50 projects are planned in a range of areas for 2020 alone. Škofja Loka is currently experiencing a shortage of apartments and we will expand the housing stock and encourage investments. Quite a few will be obtained already by the end of this year and next year.

And many other things, too: we will build a new library in Trata, further develop the environmental and traffic infrastructure, in the city and in the countryside alike, restore some village centers and give them a new image. We need to build a resilient and smart local community that will continue to provide a high quality of living for each and every single member of our society, and there is still so much work to do! Can’t wait!

To find out more about Škofja Loka, visit the profile of the municipality.



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