On the trace of these conclusions, naturally one should ask whether these patterns are fate-like or can they be altered? The answer comes from the I King: “...reality is always conditioned, and these conditions of time and space limit and determine it. The spirit, however, is not bound by these determinants and can bring them about as its own purposes require. (The I Ching, Princeton University Press,1997., II 297). The recongnition of the spatial-social-temporal patterns as the limits of the reality allows for “informed” decision to be made. Though the methodology of Feng Shui-based decision-making overpasses the frame of this work, the possible courses of actions should be illustrated by a few remarks.
Since the space and the society of Szabadka can be described by the patterns of fortification – collection – exclusion, and accordingly by the qualities of earth and metal, according to the teachings of Feng Shui, the interventions can take two directions. The eastern way of thinking, shared by Feng Shui, considers liberty as recognition of the necessities, which leads to the idea that changes can be made by reinforcing the positive aspects of the diagnosed patterns, and the preservation and gradual increase of the low momentum of mobility. Based on this logic, the aspects of element earth related to care, nutrition and medicine should be initiated and supported in such way, that it should mobilize the organizational capacities of element metal. Some of such possibilities in short:
- establishment of the horizontal and vertical linkage and organization of agricultural production (earth) into some sort of territorial agro-industrial complex, in which the local self-government could use its central role in organization of territory and providing a wider market access to the products brought to a higher level of processing, thus expanding the access radius of the products and increasing by it the place’s internal momentum of movement.
- the forms of care and medical activities are already appearing at the territory as self-organizing initiatives. Szabadka has the highest number of private retirement homes in Vojvodina province, the zone of attraction of which function extends to the whole province and even to the capital, Belgrade. A smaller number of drug-rehabilitation centers already exist in the zone of farms surrounding the city. The local self-government could support these initiatives by the organizing and shaping quality that its inherent metal has, supporting the enlargement and diversification of these businesses.
- the fortification–collection qualities in their positive aspects could be interpreted as the perfect grounds for enlargement and diversification of storage capacities, which, in the long run, should enhance the trade-related traffic and by that the internal momentum of movement.
- at the symbolic level these contents could be represented in the social focal point, in the center of the city, for example by information points or open-air artistic installations, thus altering the self-image of the local society towards a more positive image.
The western way of reasoning is usually more inclined to the actions aimed to change the existing conditions, from which reasoning the introduction and strengthening of the deficient qualities – water and wood – is advisable. Some actions to this end should be:
- the traffic accessibility of the eastern and north-eastern segments of space should be increased along with measures aimed to alleviate the traffic jams in the traditional city center. However, as the history of the city shows, such plans usually lose the battle against the self-conserving mechanisms of the spatial structure of the city
- therefore the plans and decisions should be aiming towards the gradual alteration of the social perception of space – for example by dislocating some of the central functions of the local self-government to the “across the railroad territory”, and making the railroad increasingly and easily surpassable.
- along with the previous, in the center of decision-making, the City Hall, the contents related to culture, learning, knowledge and innovation (wood) should be increased, and the internal communications through the building on the longitudinal axis should be opened.
- at the symbolic level, as many decorative water surfaces and green areas should be built in the city, as possible. These would introduce the deficient qualities and gradually lead to the change and modernization of the local community. At this symbolic level, naturally, the amount of the deficient qualities should be increased in the identification center of the local community – the City Hall – by installing gardens and water features in the courtyards for example.