Zagorje ob Savi
The area of municipality of Zagorje ob Savi spreads over 147 km2, it has around 17.100 inhabitants. Zagorje started with its industrial development when coal was discovered in 1755. After the year 1888, when Zagorje coal mine joined with Trboveljska premogokopna druzba, Zagorje began to turn into an industrial city. Toplice, a mining settlement, developed glazier’s workshop, zinc melting plant and separation. The second part of the settlement was first agrarian, settled on a sunny side terrace around the church. Workers’ families lived in simple workers’ hostels, which grew near mine shafts. After 1928, when the glazier’s workshop was closed, the settlements started to develop towards the railway station and Toplice. In Selo, Dolenja vas and Podvine settlements one-family houses started to grow. In the period till the 2nd World War the surrounding was mostly rural, bigger settlements grew in Loke, Izlake and Cemsenik.
The community began to develop after the 2nd World War with the growth of new industrial plants, which had been developed in Zagorje coal mine. The majority of them are still important part of municipality´s economy. In the last few years smaller and successful companies joined them due to development of business. In 1952 Zagorje became a city and got also current territorial rounding. After the year 1995 and 240-year tradition of coal mining the process of closing began. Due to closing process many jobs were lost. Long-term mining in our region left also many negative environmental consequences. Because of that the municipality´s authorities are trying hard to improve the environmental and social conditions. For Zagorje community and its further development, current period is strongly connected with the mine-closing, with exploring for new perspectives and developmental possibilities.
Municipality of Zagorje ob Savi is one of the most polluted towns in Slovenia. The pollution is caused by long-continued energetics, industry and local heating system with fossil fuels, and nevertheless, by the natural geographical characteristics – a very closed valley. To clean the air as much as possible, Zagorje ob Savi was among the first in Slovenia, which in 1993 granted a licence on building a gas infrastructure and its management. In last few years municipality made some important steps towards sustainable community. The community prepared study about possibility of exploitation of local available energy sources, like: wood biomass, sun energy and geothermal energy. They have already made studies of possibility of exploitation of warm mine water (geothermal energy), established low energy self sufficient mobile unit for demonstration of new concepts of low exergy technologies including heating system with mine water and completed municipality´s photovoltaic plants. The purpose is to demonstrate RES and EEU to locals and wider.