Back to top

Promoting active recreation in Zagreb

Smart Parks

Promoting active recreation


What’s the problem?

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia has many city parks and other urban green spaces that are not being used optimally by citizens of the city. On top of this, many inhabitants of Zagreb are not physically active in their daily lives, with detrimental impacts on their health. The team that developed this solution set out to connect these two issues in a way that promotes park usage and is inclusive to less active citizens like youth, the elderly and more vulnerable groups.


What’s the solution?

The solution is an App which promotes sports and active recreation through innovative communication and co-design of parks and unused public spaces in the city of Zagreb, with a specific focus on the inclusion of less active groups. The Smart Park App is an interactive mobile application, designed to provide user generated content (stories, facts, information) to attract visitors and to inform park visitors about various routes, activities and locations in Zagreb’s green areas. The app will contain all available information about the parks, as well as the ability for users to propose new improvements to the parks and to report damages, destructions and other irregularities. The app also connects citizen initiatives and key stakeholders (city district councils, outdoor clubs and schools etc.) by identifying their needs as well as unused green spaces in their neighbourhoods with the goal to co-design and co-create mini urban oases for sport, recreation and social integration jointly with the City offices.



  • Mobile application



  • Crowdsourcing
  • Physical activity and recreation
  • Health
  • Active citizenship & new democracy
  • Green public spaces
  • Spatial planning & landscape design
  • Public service delivery
  • Community building
  • IT
  • Participatory city making



  • Local City government
  • Park management
  • Sports clubs
  • Citizens
  • Schools
  • Outdoor clubs
  • Citizen initiatives



  • The aim of the Smart Parks App is to promote and encourage active participation in sports and recreational activities
  • The app will be designed to fit the needs of diverse target groups including less active groups (young, older, vulnerable group)


How is the solution innovative within the local context?

The solution is innovative in the context of creating outdoor sports and recreational content for unusual suspects (young, elderly, disabled) usually not targeted by existing outdoor content and activities. If adequately designed, the solution has the potential to activate those groups, stimulate their wellbeing and showcase that their needs can present a profitable sports segment. All in all, activating this target groups can result in social inclusion, healthy aging, and improvements in their overall quality of life.



The solution can be designed using public resources (City IT specialists in cooperation with the Faculty for Electronics and Engineering) and maintained as a multiple resource platform with funding coming from the city budget (since the City is the initiator), private sponsorships and EU funding. A greater project of mini urban oasis will be developed for funding from different sources, EU funds, City budget and crowdfunding.


Stage of development

  • Developing program proposal for communication and active sports
  • Setting up a pilot project


This innovation was developed during a co-creation process facilitated by Social Innovation Lab and supported by the Social Innovation Community.