“In most of them, people come together against someone or something. We came together for a particular goal – for a good, comfortable, safe and comfortable life. Today we have the result”, said Rimantas Micka, chairman of the Balsiai community council.
Balsiai is a neighbourhood of private houses in the northern part of the Verkiai district in Vilnius, and some adjacent villages. 25 years ago, when the settlement began to be established, there was an empty field in area of Balsiai. However, after the establishment of a public organization, the Balsiai community started to address many of the problems jointly. The community council has fairly ambitious plans in its activities, which have been successfully implemented so far.
“People will not be united without a reason, they need to be organized and brought together. For the community to be active, it must have rules – to pursue changes in the quality of life, safety, convenience, and aesthetics”, R. Micka stated.
The chairman of the Balsiai community council shared his observations: if the community has no common vision, it does not try to influence the decisions important to the settlement, and even worse – if there is no community at all, the government or entrepreneurs plan everything themselves, make decisions, and create and present everything to the people as a surprise. “But who will ask the people whether they need it?” asked R. Micka.
It’s no wonder why the Balsiai community, together with the Baltisches Haus real estate developers, developed a joint vision of what their supermarket should look like. According to Rimantas, the team of the future ŽALI marketing and service centre chose the right approach.
“We have been communicating with them since they bought land in Balsiai. Together, we discussed about what the future of the trade and service centre should be, and made population surveys”, said R. Micka. “This is a result of the correct approach of business to communities. This should serve as an example. Communicate with people, and find the community in settlements!”
As an example of cooperation, R. Micka presented a roundabout. Clients are important for the trade and service centre and convenient access is important for a community, therefore, the Balsiai residents and ŽALI decided to build a roundabout together.
“If everything goes well and the building turns out as planned, it will be an example of what to do to make things efficient and attractive”, said the chairman of the Balsiai community council.
According to Audrius Masionis, project manager at Baltisches Haus, which will develop the ŽALI trade and service centre, the future vision of the Balsiai shopping centre is clear – it has to be innovative, sociable, and a building open to the environment and people. Its foundation must be strong and sustainable, created by best professionals of architecture, design, and environmentalists. Of course, not only is the building important, but also its interior, range of products, daily services and the area surrounding the building – green, comfortable and stylish.
The future trade and service centre, developed in cooperation with the business communities, should become a place where everyone wants to communicate and share: close to a place for shopping and services, finding the time for a cup of coffee with friends, to meet neighbours and share news with them, or simply relax on a bench watching little children playing in a specially equipped space.