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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL

Blog post by Deputy Mayor of the City of Ljubljana Tjaša Ficko.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL

Blog post by Deputy Mayor of the City of Ljubljana Tjaša Ficko.

You are warmly welcome to read the first post in a series of blogs entitled 'Townie', which was written by Deputy Mayor Tjaša Ficko.

Ours is the best, our kids are the best looking, and my husband is the sexiest. Sounds familiar? Evaluations of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, but no less real. Every eye has its beholder. Beauty is hard to measure and even harder to consider objectively. Luckily. Can you imagine life if this was otherwise?

And so Ljubljana is the most beautiful city. For many people and for various reasons. Also for me. Because it's pleasantly small and meanwhile still big enough. Because it is comfortable and manageable. Because here I can find company or be by myself. Because it is green and safe and clean and friendly. And because it has finally been reborn and woken up. Because here I feel at home.

Horses on the newly set-out path along the River Sava.
Horses on the newly set-out path along the River Sava.

To the capital which by numbers of residents and surface area is among the smaller European capitals, but for me is nevertheless large."

And no, when I say the most beautiful, I don't mean it doesn't have its faults. Most beautiful does not mean perfect (“I love your perfect imperfection”). By saying 'most beautiful', I am expressing affection, loyalty and pride in the city with all its positives, negatives, challenges and potential value. I've always loved travelling and exploring. With the exception of July, when what's priceless to me is wilderness with a view far across the open sea, I most enjoy visiting cities. From the biggest metropolis to the smallest towns with everything urban in between. I compare, I enthuse, (deliberately) get lost and then find my way again. You can't really get to know a city from a tourist bus, so everywhere I learn at least a few words so I can meet local people, order a coffee and the most typical dishes. Naturally, wherever local people get together. There is always best. Guaranteed. And in every city I always find my favourite spot, a touch of the urban that affects me most. Perhaps because of stories about its past or an interesting meeting that happened there, perhaps some nice memories or new friends  ...

And as much as I like travelling, I also love returning home. To the capital which by number of residents and surface area is among the smaller European capitals, but for me is nevertheless large. Because I know that here I will once again find a new favourite corner. In addition to all that in the past I have already found and adopted, there is always something new, sometimes newly created or just freshly polished. Right now it is the new recreational path along the River Sava, where the knees on a morning jog are grateful for the soft ground, the ears are caressed by the murmur of the river, nearby horses provide genuine contact with nature. It's lovely. The most beautiful. 

Despite subjectively evaluating the beauty of a city, it follows that we can add up entirely quantifiable data on changes such as hectares of renovated or newly laid out parks, recreational areas and areas for pedestrians and cyclists, kilometres of renovated water and sewerage networks, the number of new trees planted, new and extended bus routes and the proportion of separated waste collected from households. What's also easily measurable are the number of renovated kindergartens, playgrounds and schools, sports facilities and health centres plus free-of-charge cultural events, the number of users of the BicikeLJ system, participants in free-of-charge IT classes and visitors to the Mayor's Open Doors Days. And we can count absolutely precisely the international awards and recognitions that enhance the visibility and reputation of Ljubljana in European circles and further afield. Before anyone accuses me of bias, the number of houses that still await mains sewerage and the roads that urgently require resurfacing should also be counted.

And when in this way, mathematically, we have counted all of the above (and much more besides) then below the line it is even easier to draw up your own (therefore absolutely personal, subjective) conclusions about whether you like a city, whether the quality of life in it is improving, whether development in it is going in the right direction. How predictable - to me, Ljubljana with its developmental changes is beautifulEven when on the transition from theory into practice it is necessary for a decision to be adapted, upgraded, slept on twice and freshened up again.  Just as we are now seeing with events on the new Slovenska street.

As I've already said, to me it's the most beautiful. :)

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About the author Tjaša Ficko

I was born in Murska Sobota, where I attended primary school and high school, and after passing the Matura exam I decided to study communicology at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. I did my final year of studies at the Complutense University of Madrid, and after obtaining my degree I was employed as a special consultant in the Public Relations Office at Mercator, where I also passed a qualifying exam before continuing my formal education in the Master’s programme in management at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana. In 2004 I graduated from the Instituto Cervantes and in 2008 became a certified supervisor at the Slovenian Directors' Association. Nine years ago I worked for Zoran Janković’s campaign to be elected Mayor of the City of Ljubljana, and after his victory in the 2006 local elections he entrusted me with the leadership of the Section for Public Relations in the Mayor’s Cabinet.

In my spare time I enjoy sport and music, and I am keen on travelling and meeting new cultures, although I always like coming home.

I accepted the invitation to be a candidate on Zoran Janković's List with pleasure and pride, as I have been firmly convinced by the quality and dedicated work done by Zoran Janković's team over the last years. I believe that Ljubljana is being revived at last, is developing successfully and that in the coming years it will definitively shape and reinforce its brand and take its place on the map of the most successful European and world capitals. Having visited numerous capitals around the world I can conclude that Ljubljana is among the friendliest and cleanest, which I believe we are going to upgrade further in the future, and besides this make sure that the good name of our city is still further widely known.

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