After the end of the Second World War, the Urban Planning Institute, the Urban Planning Institute of the People’s Republic of Serbia and the Office of the Chief Architect of Belgrade, Nikola Dobrović, were established. The Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade was founded in 1948 as part of the Urban Design Administration, which managed the extensive planned and organised construction of the city...
During this period, Belgrade experienced the fastest urban development in its history. Yugoslavia gained political and cultural credibility at the international level due to the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. In 1958, the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade became an expert institution and the city administration body responsible for urban planning, development and implementation of plans...
The adoption of the new Constitution of the SFRY in 1974, the series of legislative amendments, the economic decentralisation in 1976–1977 and the weakening of once strong Yugoslavia had a strong impact on urban development...
The time of political turmoil and changes in Europe during the late 1980’s was marked locally by an economic and political crisis and periods of “stabilisation” and “rationalisation”. The breakup of Yugoslavia, the wars in the region followed by political and economic sanctions of the 1990’s led Serbia into a period of transition where the priorities of urban development were hard to formulate...
The new century inspired a new phase in the urban planning of Belgrade, and not just symbolically. In the first years, the city was recovering from a difficult period and its initial focus was to invest in designing public spaces and pedestrian zones. The city centre has regained the look and feel of a typical European capital...
Draft Master Design of the Greater Belgrade Area, 1948
The Office of the City Architect produced the first Traffic and Land Use Draft Master Design of the Greater Belgrade Area on a scale of 1:10,000, including Belgrade, New Belgrade (Novi Beograd) and Zemun, in mid-1948. Even though the design was an apparent work of architect Nikola Dobrović and his team of young experts, various state, republic and city authorities and institutions were involved in its development. Those were e.g. the Ministry of Construction, railways administration, scientific institutions, individual experts and special expert bodies and committees, out of which the most significant was the Expert Committee for the Construction of Belgrade on the Left Bank of the Sava, which gathered a wide range of experts from all over Yugoslavia.
This draft is considered the first urban planning document of entire Belgrade. It was widely deliberated and publicly presented at the Society of Engineers and Technicians, and the conclusions adopted at these debates were binding for the urban design team. Many relevant concept designs were adopted through this decision-making procedure, such as designs of New Belgrade, railway junction, road, river and air transport, water control system, water supply and sewerage systems of the city.
This analysis offered an overview of all the previous deliberations and decisions about certain relevant issues and concepts. In practice, it served as the basis for existing investments in accordance with the first Five-Year Development Plan of Belgrade and it was an inspiration and expert foundation for all further research, which ultimately resulted in the adoption of the final version of the Master Plan of Belgrade in 1950.
Nikola Dobrović, Milorad Macura
Nikola Dobrović (1897–1967)
Nikola Dobrović (1897–1967) came to the capital after the liberation of Belgrade, where he started a new phase of his life and work. He was appointed Head of the Department of Architecture at the Ministry of Construction of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia in 1944, and after that Director of the Urbanism Institute of the People’s Republic of Serbia in late 1945, after which he became Chief Architect of the City of Belgrade. In that period, Dobrović invested enormous efforts to make urban planning services able to deal with the complex tasks of restoring and constructing Belgrade, and also to develop the Master Plan of Belgrade. However, according to his contemporaries, his ambitious plans lacked a sense of reality of the moment, and therefore he was relieved of his duties and appointed full professor and dean of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade. According to his associates Oliver Minić and Milorad Macura, “…the biggest blow for Dobrović happened when the political leadership did not accept his ideas about the railway junction and the location of the future railway station.” His appointment as professor at the Faculty of Architecture was considered the heaviest personal defeat sice it had happened during his long study visit to England as the prominent Chief Architect of Belgrade. Nikola Dobrović was one of the founders of the Serbian Society of Urban Planners (1955) and the first president of this society of experts. He received the October Award in 1962 for the State Secretariat of National Defence building – east wing, and another one posthumously in 1968 for his urban planning concepts that were later used for the construction of New Belgrade.
Milorad Macura (1914–1989)
Milorad Macura (1914–1989) takes a prominent place in Serbian post-war architecture. Even though he was primarily known as an architectural designer, after the Second World War he began to work at the Urbanism Institute of the People’s Republic of Serbia. Within the post-war enthusiasm and understanding of planning as “transformation of the total space shaped by the human hand,” Macura saw an opportunity to apply Corbusier’s principles and postulates. During his short stay in the urban planning sphere, he participated in the development of the Master Plan of Smederevo. As head of urban design teams within the Office of the Chief Architect of Belgrade, he managed the development of contest designs for the FPRY Government Presidency building. He also managed the development of the preliminary plan of New Belgrade. In mid-1948, due to a disagreement between the Ministry of Construction of the FPRY and the Office of the Chief Architect about the development of New Belgrade, Macura resigned. The criticism of this conceptual design caused Macura’s great disappointment and he quit the urban planning practice. In his later career, Macura approached urban planning only theoretically. As a proven expert and great authority in the field of urban planning, he took part in the work of many urban planning committees. Despite his bad experience with the Preliminary Plan of New Belgrade, Macura received well-deserved recognition for his work on this subject – the October Award of the City of Belgrade for “urban concepts and designs used for the construction of New Belgrade” in 1968.
Miloš Somborski, Đorđe Šuica, Josif Najman
Master Plan of Belgrade, 1950
The development of the Master Plan of Belgrade was the first task of the newly-formed Urban Planning Institute in 1949. Since the design of this plan lasted for several years, it was necessary to start developing a definitive plan, on the basis of their study material for the master plan, the preliminary sketches made in 1948 and the results of the discussion held at the Society of Engineers and Technicians. The programme for the Master Plan of Belgrade was put together by the Planning Committee and the Urban Planning Institute after discussions with numerous experts from various federal and republic institutions.
The Master Plan of Belgrade was based on the basic assumption that it needed to manage the future development of Belgrade, whose population had increased by a million people, and therefore it had to include both the territory of the city and the entire region that belonged to it. In addition, it needed to offer general solutions for all basic elements of city life, so that the citizens of the capital would have equal access to hygiene, comfort, cultural development, technology and cultural heritage in all parts of the city territory. What stood out as a special topic was the design of a new city on the left bank of the Sava and its merging with Belgrade and Zemun, which was supposed to make Belgrade the political, economic and administrative centre of the new republic (Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia). The starting point was also the decision to apply to the plan design (that is, to planning, a term more often used in modern urban planning) all modern and advanced urban planning ideas that would prove to be acceptable for our natural and social conditions.
The Master Plan of Belgrade was in fact designed as a flexible framework plan for the development of the city. It was considered that a detailed elaboration and organisation of all city elements would not be a good approach, because the continuous advancement of science and technology would in time surpass an urban plan so designed, inevitably making it an obstacle to the natural development of the city. It was assumed that partial amendments to a strictly defined plan would also bring into question its main guidelines and measures. Such city development, despite the planning, would have more resembled unplanned development. Instead, the Master Plan of Belgrade set out designs for main traffic routes and general distribution of zones, and its implementation was planned to be in phases, in accordance with annual construction and investment plans and what was realistic, possible and necessary.
Miloš Somborski (1902–1983)
Miloš Somborski (1902–1983) was an architect born in Sarajevo who acquired his urban planning education in England. In the 1920s, Miloš Somborski joined a Zagreb art group called The Travellers (Traveleri). Together with a well-known architect and urban planner, Josip Sajslo, he contributed to the avant-garde movement in Yugoslavia with their art performances and zenithist-dadaist aesthetics. Having already acquired vast experience in the urban utility services of Belgrade before and during the Second World War, Somborski became assistant to Nikola Dobrović at the Urbanism Institute. His most significant role was that of Director of the Urban Planning Institute within the Urban Design Administration of the Executive Board of the People's Committee, under whose management the Master Plan of Belgrade was developed in 1950.
Presentation of the Master Plan of Belgrade model to President of the Republic Josip Broz Tito, 1950
The final draft of the Master Plan of Belgrade was reviewed first by Josip Broz Tito in 1949. After that, the plan was discussed at the Architect Section of the Society of Engineers and Technicians. Finally, the Urban Planning Committee reviewed their opinion and proposed corrections that were to be entered into the Master Plan of Belgrade. This revised version of the plan was adopted by the Executive Board of the People's Committee of the City of Belgrade in 1950. It is interesting that, in accordance with the applicable legislation, the plan was made available for a one-month public review after its formal professional adoption, so that all interested state institutions and the general public could review the plan and offer their remarks. A new design proposal was developed based on these remarks, which differed from the previous one in terms of the water control system on the Great War Island (Veliko ratno ostrvo) – the new design planned for the closing of the branch of the Danube and the forming of a lake – which resulted in changes to the traffic matrix on the territory of New Belgrade, railway routes and bypass city roads. The People’s Committee of the City of Belgrade adopted the final version of the Master Plan of Belgrade in October 1950.
Plan of New Belgrade developed within the Master Plan of Belgrade, 1950
The plan of New Belgrade within the Master Plan of Belgrade is the first officially adopted urban planning document for the design and construction of a new city on the left bank of the Sava River. All the analyses conducted thus far – preliminary sketches, contest designs, plans and studies – served as a basis for setting some of the starting points of construction (the Federal Executive Council (SIV) building, Hotel Yugoslavia, Branko’s Bridge (Brankov most), student campus Studentski Grad, blocks along Tošin Bunar Street, etc.). The opening of many issues that required immediate answers helped make the idea of New Belgrade be objectively present in the construction of Belgrade from its very beginning.
According to this plan, the territory of New Belgrade was divided into five primary zones: state administration and cultural institutions zone; residential, supply and distribution zone; industrial zone; and recreation and sports zone. New Belgrade was planned to house 250,000 residents. Housing was organised according to modern urban planning postulates of micro areas and areas with accompanying social facilities.
Study for the Master Plan of New Balgrade, 1953
Just after the Second World War, many expert studies and analyses were conducted with conclusions and recommendations for dealing with the development of the territory of New Belgrade. These studies and analyses inspired the first ideas about three major technical designs – placing revetments, land reclamation and building regulation.
The study research was based on the analysis of the already developed plans – regulation of the rivers using high quaysides and an artificial lake at the branch of the Danube, reclamation of the entire land and construction of a number of residential blocks with an average height of four storeys.
The study set new hypotheses that treated engineering and urban planning aspects of the new part of the city as one, indivisible subject. Therefore, it was presumed that the placing of revetments would keep the terrain safe from the highest possible water levels of the rivers, and that land reclamation was not necessary on the entire territory of New Belgrade, just the part where construction had been planned.
Stanko Mandić (1915–1987)
After Stanko Mandić (1915–1987) had graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade in 1938, he went to study in Rome. Very little was recorded about this period. Stanko Mandić’s later interest in urban planning and his affinity for city reconstruction that respected traditional principles and local building traditions, demonstrate the significance of his stay in Italy and confirm why he was known as “Roman school disciple”. Within the Urban Planning Institute of the People’s Republic of Serbia, he made his mark as the designer of the Master Plan of Negotin (1947). Within the Urban Planning Institute of the Executive Board of the People's Committee of Belgrade, he took part in the design of a number of urban planning studies, such as his study for the Master Plan of New Belgrade (1953). His participation in the development of the Master Plan of Belgrade (1950) was certainly his most significant work, where he dealt with regionalisation, organisation and uses of the city territory. As an architect with passion for designing public spaces, he developed the concept design of the Terazije Terrace (Terazijska terasa) in the Master Plan of Belgrade. As an associate, he took part in the development of the design of Dimitrija Tucovića Square (Trg Dimitrija Tucovića), after the adoption of the Master Plan of Belgrade.
Master Design of the Territory of Belgrade on the Left Bank of the Danube, 1957
In the Master Plan of Belgrade, the city was planned to be expanded to the left bank of the Sava, while the territory on the left bank of the Danube was quite undefined. Six years after its adoption, the plan was supplemented to include the urban development of the Municipality of Krnjača, so-called Pančevo Swamp (Pančevački rit). Upon the adoption of this plan, the total main territory of the city, which had covered 8,150 ha in the first version of the Master Plan of Belgrade, was expanded for another 4,320 ha, and thus the planned precondition to develop Belgrade suitable for 1,300,000 inhabitants was fulfilled. Apart from this expansion of the main city territory, which was intended for residential and industrial zones, the plan defined the use of the rest of the territory of Pančevo Swamp amounting to 45,000 ha mostly for agriculture, but also for the accompanying urban settlements: Ovča, Borča and new socialist-type settlements.
According to the detailed plans, Danube City (Dunavgrad) was ambitiously planned as a city for 400,000 people and 70,000 jobs primarily in the field of industry: construction industry, chemical industry, metallurgical industry, food industry, and others.
Bratislav Stojanović (1912–1996)
Bratislav Stojanović was one of the most significant architects and urban planners of the Urban Planning Institute. His participation in the forming and work of the first urban planning services and expert organisations after the end of the Second World War was crucial. During his several decades long career, he stood out as an architectural designer and urban planner, as a chronicler of his period and a detailed analyst of the work of urban planning and design services of the City of Belgrade. He published over three hundred texts, articles, studies and scientific papers in the fields of architecture and urban planning. As proof of Branislav Stojanović’s versatility and many talents speaks the fact that he, as an active painter, began exhibiting his works at Belgrade and Yugoslav art exhibitions as early as 1932.
The Urbanism Institute of the Ministry of Construction of the People’s Republic of Serbia was founded in 1945 and was headed by architect Nikola Dobrović. The Urbanism Institute became the Urban Planning Institute of the People’s Republic of Serbia at the beginning of 1946, with Bratislav Stojanović as Deputy Director. After the forming of the Belgrade Group within the Urban Planning Institute of the People’s Republic of Serbia, and later of the Office of the Chief Architect in 1948, Bratislav Stojanović, as one of Nikola Dobrović’s assistants, took part in developing the sketch of the master design of the entire Belgrade. This resulted in the development of the Preliminary Urban Plan of Belgrade. After the abolition of the Office of the Chief Architect, the newly-formed Urban Design Administration of the Executive Board of the People's Committee integrated the basic technical and design services, thus forming the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade for the first time under that name. Bratislav Stojanović was appointed Head of the Urban Design Administration, and Miloš Somborski became Director of the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade.
As Head of the Urban Planning Committee of the Urban Design Administration of the Executive Board of the People's Committee, consisting of 32 expert members, Bratislav Stojanović took part in reviews and discussions of the Master Plan of Belgrade in the period 1948–1950. He also took part in the development of an annex to the Master Plan of Belgrade. In 1956, Stojanović worked on the design of the Municipality of Krnjača, a territory on the left bank of the Danube. His urban planning analysis resulted in the adoption of the Decision of the People's Committee of the City of Belgrade on Amending of the Master Plan of Belgrade in 1957. This way, the territory of the so-called Pančevo Swamp (Pančevački rit) was included in the Master Plan, which made Belgrade a city that would cover both banks of the Danube.
Bratislav Stojanović came to the reorganised Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade from the Directorate for the Construction of the Left Danube Bank in 1959. He was deputy to the Director of the Urban Planning Institute, Aleksandar Đorđević, and his long-term advisor.
During the many years he spent working at the Urban Planning Institute, Bratislav Stojanović mostly worked on the urban planning of the left bank of the Danube. He developed the spatial plan of Belgrade on the left bank of the Danube outside the territory covered by the Master Plan of Belgrade. He also worked on the Detailed Urban Plan of Borča and a detailed urban plan of the part of the first local community in Borča. He also developed the plan for the sports and recreation centre Kovilovo.
However, Bratislav Stojanović’s significant role in urban planning of Belgrade, apart from the activities in the first post-war years and the forming of urban planning services and organisations, was his active observing and recording of the city’s development. As a long-term editor of the Urban Planning Institute’s magazine Belgrade Urban Planning (from 1969 to 1979), and as a writer of numerous texts in other professional journals, he left his mark writing about many topics, including the realised and unrealised construction endeavours.
Генерални урбанистички план Новог Београда, 1958
The Master Plan of New Belgrade was a step further towards the development and realisation of the design of the new city on the left bank of the Sava, which was first defined in the form of an urban plan within the Master Plan of Belgrade in 1950.
New Belgrade was planned to be a city housing around 200,000 people. It would be based on modern urban planning principles of open building and positioned on the territory stretching between Belgrade and Zemun. It is interesting that, with this spatial design that did not include major urban planning of Bežanija and the territory along the Sava, the Master Plan of New Belgrade directed the construction from the centre towards the outskirts. This was completely in opposition to later plans and their realisation, which started from the furthest bocks 45 and 70. Immediately after the adoption of the Master Plan of New Belgrade, blocks 1 and 2 were experimentally constructed, fully complying with the analysis, established principles and compositional design presented in the plan.
Branko Petričić (1911–1984)
Branko Petričić was born in Plaški on 6 August 1911. He graduated from the Technical Faculty in Belgrade, Department of Architecture, in 1935. Having completed his studies, he started working at the Ministry of Construction in Belgrade. In 1937, he pursued specialisation at Le Corbusier studio in Paris, where he took part in the development of the plan of Paris Plan de Paris 37.
Branko Petričić was Director of the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade between 1955 and 1958. In this period, he designed the Master Plan of New Belgrade within which the first two residential units were constructed – blocks 1 and 2, with a surface area of 33 ha and 3,600 flats for 13,000 residents. These two blocks were also constructed according to Petričić’s urban planning project developed in the period 1959–1962. The design of available land areas as unique parks gave particular quality to these blocks. Urban, architectural and park design of the first and the second block and the work on the Master Plan of New Belgrade were the largest projects of architect Petričić. He won the October Award of the City of Belgrade for this project in 1968. During his employment at the Institute, Petričić also took part in the development of the Regulation Plan for the Reconstruction of Bulevar Revolucije in 1957. He also contributed to his profession by working with a group of authors on the new design of the passenger system of the railway junction Prokop in 1970.
Apart from working as an architect and urban planner, Petričić also had an academic career. After the war, in 1946, he was appointed lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry in Zemun.
Regulation Plan of the Municipality of Voždovac, 1960
Andrija Mendelson, Gordana Carević
Uroš Martinović, Leonid Lenarčić, Milutin Glavički, Milosav Matić, Dušan Milenković
Urban Design of the Central Zone of New Belgrade (Novi Beograd), 1960
The Urban Design of the Central Zone of New Belgrade placed greater importance to its central section – from the Federal Executive Council (SIV) building to the railway station – than it had originally been planned in the Master Plan of New Belgrade. This area, consisting of three blocks, was planned to become a centre of general importance for the city, whose backbone would consist of three large squares with different purposes: a manifestation square, a city square and a station square. The other blocks were planned to be residential, with some commercial facilities along the main boulevards. It is interesting to note that this design was not adopted as an amendment to the Master Plan of New Belgrade, but as its supplement and its further elaboration.
This project served as the basis for constructing residential block 21 that was planned to have around 10,000 residents. For other residential blocks (22, 23, 28, 29 and 30), which only had schematic overviews in the adopted plan, detailed urban plans were developed in the following years. Since the 1980s, the construction of the central section of New Belgrade between the Federal Executive Council (SIV) building and the railway station has been, both in its shape and content, subject of many urban planning designs (urban planning projects, studies, plans and contests). However, it was abandoned as an idea, and the fact that residential block 24 and the Belgrade Arena in block 25 were constructed merely confirmed this fact.
Milutin Glavički (1930–1987)
Among many great names of the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade, the name of architect Milutin Glavički stands out. He started his urban planning career when he came to the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade in 1958. The moment of his arrival coincides with the year of the fundamental reorganisation of urban planning services of the City of Belgrade. This reorganisation put the Urban Planning Institute, headed by its new director, architect Aleksandar Đorđević, in charge of the development of all urban plans for the territory of Belgrade. The most significant topics Milutin Glavički dealt with during the 24 years he spent at the Institute were the urban planning of New Belgrade and the development of the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000.
Together with Uroš Martinović and a team of experts, Milutin Glavički created a “new concept urban design of the centre of New Belgrade” in 1959, based on which he later on, as chief designer of the team of the Urban Planning Institute, participated in the development of the first Regulation Plan of the Municipality of New Belgrade in 1962. This regulation plan was realised in 1966 with the development of a number of detailed urban plans for each block (local community) individually. Glavički was chief urban planner responsible for these plans (for blocks 3, 4, 8, 9a, 9b, 11b, 11c, 30, 37, 38, 45 and 70). As chief designer, he took part in the development of detailed urban plans of blocks 22, 23, 28 and 29, on the basis of which contests were carried out, designs developed and construction completed. As responsible urban planner and chief of the partner service of the Urban Planning Institute, he participated in the development of detailed urban plans and other urban planning documentation for public buildings, river banks, parks, roads and technical infrastructure (such as the Friendship Park (Park prijateljstva), Jurija Gagarina Street, the heating power plant complex Novi Beograd, etc.). Afterwards, in 1969, together with architect Josip Svoboda, Glavički as responsible urban planner managed the development of the Joint Regulation Plan of the Urban Areas of the Municipalities of New Belgrade and Zemun – a single plan for the entire city territory on the left bank of the Sava.
In the mid-1960s, Milutin Glavički – then Assistant Director of the Institute, became head of the development of the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000, together with Director Aleksandar Đorđević.
Milutin Glavički’s contribution to the development of the urban planning profession lies in his active participation in the forming and work of professional associations. He was one of the urban planning architects who with their hard work influenced the forming of the Urban Planning Society of Belgrade. Glavički was president of this society between 1961 and 1963. It is interesting to note that the premises of this society were for a time in the very building of the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade. As member of the presidency of the Urban Planning Association of Serbia, and later as its president, he supported the development of urban planning services in other cities and towns of Serbia. He was a member of the presidency of the Urban Planning Association of Yugoslavia, and also the president of this association from 1980 to 1981.
Milutin Glavički worked at the Urban Planning Institute until 1982. He was Head of the New Belgrade Department from 1960 to 1965. He was also a long-term Assistant Director of the Urban Planning Institute (from 1965 to 1973) in the period when he was working as Head of the Urban Design Department, later on the Urban Planning Department. After the institutional reorganisation which resulted in the Urban Planning Institute becoming the Development Planning Institute of the City Belgrade in 1974, Milutin Glavički became Head of the General Planning Department and later on advisor of the director of the Institute.
Regulation Plan of the Municipality of Grocka, 1961
Regulation Plan of the Municipality of Savski Venac, 1961
Dragan Gudović, Natalija Mikelački
Regulation Plan of New Belgrade, 1962
“The New Belgrade construction system is based on the modern understanding of housing, work and recreation as integral parts of the use of constructed and free areas, while meeting the hygienic, biological and psycho-emotional needs of the urban population. The fact that New Belgrade is being built as a new part of the city, within a new historical and technical reality, on a completely flat terrain, with specific characteristics different from the rest of Belgrade, also conditions the specific procedure of forming spatial compositions that do not tolerate fragmentation, but are instead formed from large ensembles and sections, not neglecting the creation of intimate ambiences within residential buildings and social centres.” (Source: Regulation Plan of the Municipality of New Belgrade, 1967)
Master Plan of Železnik, 1962
Regulation Plan of Zemun, 1964
Unlike the 1950 Master Plan of Belgrade, the Regulation Plan of the Municipality of Zemun placed special importance on Lower Town of Zemun in further spatial development of Belgrade and reaffirmed the Old Downtown of Zemun as a historical urban unit of special value, which should be revitalised and given the opportunity for further natural development.
The Lower Town of Zemun was planned as a unique residential urban area for around 30,000 residents. It included buildings and facilities of general importance for the future Belgrade. The Regulation Plan included a network of main roads around the Old Downtown of Zemun and a programme for the centre, which together would guarantee the existence of conditions for its revitalisation.
Master Plan of Borča, 1965
Regulation Plan of the Municipality of Stari Grad, 1965
Master Plan of Kumodraž, 1965
Master Plan of Ostružnica, 1965
Detailed Urban Plan of the Residential Area in Julino Brdo, 1965
“The Detailed Urban Plan of the Residential Area in Julino Brdo and its construction requirements were developed at the Urban Planning Institute in late 1965. The narrow slopes of the hill directed the residential area towards the north and the south. These conditions influenced simply and logically the organisation of the area. Residential buildings were modelled as unique volumes of two compact series oriented frontally towards the eastern and western sides, moved and directed at horizontal and vertical levels.”
“Three years ago, a contest was announced for the concept design of residential buildings on this location, in accordance with the urban planning requirements of the Urban Planning Institute. Among 28 projects, the jury selected the winning concept design taking account of functionality, economic efficiency and artistic spatial expression. The awarded work develops and corrects urban planning conditions, and is therefore accepted as a basis for the main design. The special conditions of the Urban Planning Institute and the investor give designers the opportunity to further develop the plan and directly participate in all phases of realisation.” (Belgrade Urban Planning, issue No 5, 1969)
Milutin Glavički, Ivan Tepeš, Velimir Gredelj, Jovan Mišković
Detailed Urban Plan of Blocks 45 and 70 in New Belgrade, 1966
The 1962 Regulation Plan of the Municipality of New Belgrade provided for the construction of a residential area for around 60,000 people on the territory of the village of Bežanija. According to this Plan, blocks 45 and 70 would be located along the bank of the Sava, and they were planned surface-wise to be the largest residential units in New Belgrade – four times bigger than Corbusier’s modernist 400x400 m block.
The surface of blocks 45 and 70 was planned to cover a total of 137 ha and each of them was planned for 15,700 residents and around 8,000 flats. The blocks were designed as two unique and almost identical urban planning units serving as extended local communities. Their basic residential purpose was organised in four subunits characterised by two types of residential buildings: the first were half-atrium buildings along the river, open towards the river, with ground floor and four storeys; the second were residential towers in the northern part of the block, with 6 to 14 floors. The residential buildings were planned to have accompanying green and recreation areas, a local community centre, schools, health and social care buildings, as well as traffic areas. The promenade was planned to go through the blocks following the line of the Sava and to be framed by groups of non-residential facilities. The promenade was planned to connect blocks with the centre of the area in central block 44. After the adoption of the plans, all residential capacities were realised; however, half of the planned public facilities have unfortunately never been constructed – three nurseries and two elementary schools.
Master Plan of Belgrade 1950 – general overview, 1966
In 1966, the revision of the first post-war Master Plan of Belgrade began during the Yugoslav self-governing socialism with an assessment of its implementation. Belgrade developed swiftly and turbulently, but not based on big moves planned by a master plan. Several detailed urban plans were developed in 1955 for the most important parts of the centre of Belgrade, but they were not followed by investments. There was an interest for construction on individual, unbuilt locations throughout the territory of the city. The opportunity to acquire building land cheaply (or for free) resulted in extensive building of family houses along the outskirts of the city and the beginning of “the destruction of the city environment.” There were also no detailed regulation plans for the entire city territory. (Đorđević, 1972)
As of 1959, regulation plans for municipalities and their closest suburbs started to be developed, and they included: urban planning regulation of all surfaces (use, density, urban planning parameters), functional organisation by neighbourhood units (local communities) and certain areas for “general urban needs and local centres” in accordance with the norms for all public facilities (schools, nurseries, health centres, etc.). This way, unique criteria and urban planning order were introduced in the implementation of the Master Plan of Belgrade for the entire territory of the city.
Milutin Glavički, Stevan Milinković
Detailed Urban Plan of the Cemetery in Bežanijska Kosa, 1968
The location for the cemetery was designated by the Regulation Plan of Novi Beograd, in 1961, on the 92 ha area of the Bezanijska kosa plateau. The site was thoughtfully chosen and the need for such facility was urgent due to the fact that existing capacity of Belgrade cemeteries was size low having in mind the planed population of the city, New Belgrade in intensive construction. The urban design concept was innovative for the time: the architects considered that “the level of sacral and landscape culture should be raised” and artistically designed the terrain as it was made of plasticine... The Plan was fully implemented.
Vesna Matičević, Vladislav Ivković, Predrag Ljubičić
Detailed Urban Plan of the Transversal Road from Bulevar JNA to 27. Marta, 1968
The route of the Transversal Road was laid down in the 1950 Master Plan of Belgrade and in regulation plans of certain municipalities. It is important to note that, in the turbulent history of this unrealised project, experts both from the Urban Planning Institute and outside of it worked on detailed designs of the Transversal Road on several occasions, until 1967. After that, upon request by the Construction and Reconstruction Directorate of Belgrade, the development of a new Detailed Plan of the Transversal Road began in 1967. A year later, further work on the revision of the Master Plan of Belgrade introduced new elements to the traffic system of Belgrade, and therefore new programming requirements for the Transversal Road. This lead to the development of the Detailed Plan of the Transversal Road according to the new programme, for the same investor and within the same task, in 1968.
“The significance of this road is obvious since, apart from the extremely burdened transversal road from Kneza Miloša to Takovska, Belgrade does not have a suitable parallel connection for the northeast–southwest route – a transversal connection for the longitudinal routes through Bulevar Revolucije, Maršala Tolbuhina and the motorway.” (Belgrade Urban Planning, issue No 2, 1969)
The plan for the part of the Transversal Road (from 27. Marta to Bore Stankovića) was accepted by the Expert Committee of the Urban Planning Institute in October 1968. This was confirmed later that year by the Urban Planning Council, with a note that the economic analyses needed to be supplemented. The part of the Transversal Road from Bore Stankovića to the motorway entrance was corrected in accordance with the suggestions made by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments.
Milutin Glavički, Josip Svoboda
Joint Regulation Plan of New Belgrade and Zemun, 1969
Detailed development of individual, smaller zones was intensified based on the regulation plans of the municipalities of New Belgrade and Zemun, adopted in the first half of the 1960s. At the same time when the first detailed urban plans and urban planning requirements in this territory were developed, the Construction Directorate of New Belgrade in cooperation with the Urban Planning Institute worked intensively on the programme of all future activities: the development of the plan basis for the construction of residential areas, roads, centres, parks, cemeteries, industrial facilities, services, etc. In addition, some programmes were directly developed by the Assembly of the City: the construction of the motorway through Belgrade, the reconstruction of the railway junction, etc. This all resulted in the four-year programme of urban planning development that was adopted by the Assembly of the City in late 1968. Furthermore, the planning of construction on such a large scale implied the development of an even larger number of studies and projects in the Urban Planning Institute which, among other things, amended and perfected preliminary designs. This all brought to the conclusion that it would best to present and explain all the adopted amendments, supplements and proposals through a joint plan of the entire city territory on the left bank of the Sava.
In that regard, one of the reasons why this plan was developed was to present in one place all the amendments to the regulation plans of New Belgrade and Zemun that occurred after the adoption of these plans until 1969. Another aim was to propose the necessary and logical improvements of the entire plan that hadn’t been the subject of previous partial amendments. It also aimed to set modern and official urban planning grounds for the implementation of all further activities – such as detailed planning, adoption and realisation of plans, and construction – until the adoption of a new Master Plan of Belgrade. Therefore, the aim of this plan was also to help to revise the current Master Plan of Belgrade.
Detailed Urban Plan of the Northern Part of the First Local Community: Josip Svoboda
Detailed Urban Plan of the Southern Part of the First Local Community: Stojan Maksimović
Detailed Urban Plan of the Fourth Local Community: Josip Svoboda
Detailed urban plans of the first and the fourth local communities in Zemun, 1969
“New urban planning units in the first and the fourth local communities confirm the basic micro composition of the Lower Town of Zemun. This new composition, seen from the Lower Town, gives a new, deep, solid and consciously composed form to the relatively unified silhouette of New Belgrade. The construction of the first and the fourth local communities, under the adopted detailed urban plans, is a reality that one will soon experience in the old streets of Zemun. These will be the first significant urban planning activities in the area of the Lower Town of Zemun.” (Belgrade Urban Planning, issue No 2, 1969)
Stojan Maksimović, Milica Jakšić
Detailed Urban Plan of the Third Area Centre in New Belgrade, 1969
According to the Regulation Plan of New Belgrade, the territory of the city was divided into residential areas that consisted of local communities gathered around a multi-purpose centre. The third residential area was intended for around 42,000 people and it included blocks 1, 3 and 4, which already had their separate detailed plans (block 1 had one even before the development of the Regulation Plan) and blocks 33, 34, 37 and 38, for which a general Yugoslav contest was announced in 1961 – for a concept urban design of three local communities and an area centre.
The development of a new detailed urban plan started in 1966. This plan would provide a design for the centre of the area, reflecting the concept of contest designs, but also including the corrected programming requirements.
The detailed urban plan, which was finally adopted in 1969, planned the construction of around 33,000 m2 of gross building area with various amenities (a shopping centre, craft shops, restaurants, agencies, a bank, a post office, a police station, multi-purpose halls, a library, a gallery, a cinema, business facilities, a hotel), 550 parking spots (which would cause one part of the pedestrian paths to be raised to the first floor level) and two spacious squares, intended to connect the centre with the planned sports swimming pools.
New building of the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade, 1969
Branislav Jovin (1935–2018)
Right after he graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, Branislav Jovin came to the Urban Planning Institute, New Belgrade Group that was headed by Milutin Glavički. He participated in the development of the planning documents for New Belgrade blocks. He spent a significant period of his work at the Institute focusing on the traffic, mostly on developing the project for the Mostar Loop (Mostarska petlja), for which he was awarded first prize at a Yugoslav contest carried out in 1960 and 1961. Engineer Jovan Katanić was his key advisor in projects such as this one, with whom he later on continued the development of the metro line project at the Directorate for the Construction of Belgrade. As an expert in the field of traffic design, Jovin was main designer on many traffic design projects, such as the project for the construction of motorway through New Belgrade and the project for the Vračar Transversal Road, whose implementation lasted for many years and which passed into the hands of architect Vesna Matičević in 1968. He and Stojan Maksimović designed the building of the Municipality of New Belgrade in the period 1960–1965. Architect Jovin once again proved to be an excellent designer when he developed the project for the building of the Urban Planning Institute in Palmotićeva Street, which has been the Institute’s home since 1970. Jovin developed his passion for designing open public spaces while working on urban plans for the design of the Sava banks of New Belgrade. Jovin and architects Predrag Ljubičić and Stevan Milinković received the October Award in 1967 for the completed project of the Sava promenade. He was also the author and responsible designer of the urban plan of the riverbanks of blocks 45 and 70.
Detailed Urban Plan of the First and the Second Local Communities in Dorćol, 1970
“Addressing the issue of the Belgrade railway junction and the location of the future main railway station, it is assumed that the railway around Kalemegdan will be relocated, as it is the largest obstacle Belgrade ‘coming down to the rivers.’ This would create an opportunity to build residential buildings close to the river at least in this part of the city territory. This would connect the centre of the city with the part of the Danube that provides the most beautiful and widest view of New Belgrade, Zemun and the along the river all the way to Pančevo.” (Belgrade Urban Planning, issue No 8-9, 1970)
Detailed Urban Plan of Kalemegdan, 1970
In the plan for the definitive design of the Belgrade Fortress (Beogradska tvrđava) – a monument of the history of Belgrade and the entire territory of Kalemegdan – the monumental role of the fortress was highlighted by its specific urban architectural shape, which was planned to be retained by preserving its silhouette and reconstructing its dominant parts. This approach would require a special preservation and design system of the parts of the fortress visible in its silhouette and a special design system for the protected zone of the fortress (such as the urban historical ambience of the fortress serving as an open museum of the history of Belgrade, certain spaces in the fortress that could serve as open stages for cultural manifestations that reminisce the events from the history of Belgrade, and other significant modern monuments).
The total territory covered by the plan was predominantly treated as a city park, Kalemegdan, with the following areas: social, children’s, resting, entertainment, sports (swimming pools) and service area. Traffic, infrastructure equipment and decorative lighting (accentuating the collimation line from the distance, local collimation lines, tree surfaces, water surfaces and fountains, ground-level decorations, monuments and other similar objects) were all defined in the plan. The lighting of paths, terrain, greenery and the fortress walls was laid down separately for every spatial unit. The plan also stipulated the reconstruction of the pier and the use of Nebojša Tower, Toplivnica Museum and Eugen Gate as tourist sights.
Detailed urban plans of the second residential area in New Belgrade, 1965–1970
According to the 1962 Regulation Plan of the Municipality of New Belgrade, the second residential area, consisting of blocks 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, was planned for around 40,000 residents. Each block was imagined as a separate local community, while public facilities of significance for the entire residential area were planned to be in blocks 22 and 29, which border with the centre of the area between the Federal Executive Council (SIV) building and the railway station.
In addition, general Yugoslav contests were being announced for architectural designs of buildings, inspired by the aim to achieve high-quality construction of the central zone of New Belgrade. That way, the original work of urban planners, designers and teams awarded at contests gave each block its own distinctive identity, and this zone of New Belgrade became an inseparable part of the authentic urban planning and architectural heritage of Belgrade.
Work at the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade, 1960–1970
Milutin Glavički (left) with associates
Aleksandar Đorđević, Milutin Glavički
Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000, 1972
Presenting the Master Plan of Belgrade, Aleksandar Đorđević, Director of the Institute and Head of the plan development, said: “The task of an urban planner, expert or designer in the development of the Master Plan of Belgrade is to discover through scientific work and research the rules of operation and development of the system and use that knowledge to propose alternative development options to the society. In this context, our Master Plan can be defined as a social agreement on the future development of the City of Belgrade.” (Belgrade in the 21st Century, 1974).
In his speech about the adoption of the Master Plan of Belgrade, Mayor of Belgrade Branko Pešić pointed out that it was not relevant to have fully accurate numbers for the following 20 to 30 years, that there might be deviations. However, he added that it was important that strategic goals were set properly, such as “the direction of the city expansion, freeing the riverbanks from the railway shackles by relocating the railway station, bringing the city to the rivers, building a metro line, locating new residential settlements, resolving numerous traffic problems, reconstructing the central zone of the city, locating the opportunities for industry, building recreation areas, etc.” The implementation of the Master Plan of Belgrade was planned in accordance with the optimistic Belgrade GDP growth forecasts until 2000 found in mid-term development and construction programmes of Belgrade and its comprehensive Detailed Urban Plan and Urban Planning and Technical Requirements. According to the Master Plan of Belgrade, the national income per capita was projected to grow from USD 1,140 in 1970 to USD 4,500 in 2000, and the population to rise from 0.93 million people to 1.86 million people.
Even though it was methodologically well grounded, the 1972 Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000 had very ambitious goals that soon proved to be unrealistic, and the realisation of the plan considerably weaker than planned. After 10 years of its implementation, assessments showed that the economic development did not happen as planned, so the great strategic projects such as the metro line, city transversal roads or secondary city centres had never begun. Consistent implementation of the plan prevented the city to consider other options within the new economic conditions, until 1985, when the Master Plan was revised.
Leon Kabiljo and Milica Jakšić
Detailed Urban Plan for the Retention Basin in New Belgrade Block 9b, 1972
The Regulation Plan of the Territory of the Municipalities of New Belgrade and Zemun adopted in 1968, provided for the construction of a retention basin on the spot where these two municipalities meet – in block 9b. This 10 ha retention basin was planned to collect rainwater in cases of heavy rain, pumping it gradually into the Danube. The territory of this block was also planned to become a recreation area which would complement the green areas planned for the nearby residential blocks in which the percentage of construction was high and the norm of free and green areas reduced to a rational minimum. The main reason for the adoption of this plan was the creation of preconditions for improving the existing poor hygiene and microclimate conditions in the area of the planned retention basin, which was overgrown with high weeds, intersected with canals, separated from the residential tissue of Zemun with a railway track and full of construction waste.
The retention basin was designed to have a minimal natural inclination and to collect extra rainwater that would in all probability happen once in 40 years, while frequent rains would produce a low level of water and short retention of overflow water. The retention basin was designed in such a way that it was possible to form three groups of recreation areas – children’s playgrounds, entertainment and recreation area, and sports and exercise area. Along Džona Kenedija Street, a group of stilt buildings raised on platforms were planned. All useful areas and facilities were planned to be positioned so as not to stand in the way of the rain collectors within the retention basin.
Vesna Matičević, Dragomir Manojlović
Detailed Urban Plan of Block 19a, 1974
Before the Detailed Urban Plan of Block 19a was developed, the established urban planning practice of rigorously defining all elements of a future physical structure of an area, based on the principle of strict functional area segregation, was still in effect. However, this planning method did not offer a suitable solution for situations when social and economic needs or requirements change, which inevitably happened during plan implementation.
In that sense, the Detailed Urban Plan of Block 19a was the first “flexible” plan of the urban planning practice of Belgrade, developed in a methodologically innovative manner. This plan only included elements of broader social interest, with freedom to realise the interests of investors and immediate users through further development of urban planning projects. That was why the urban planning requirements, which were part of the plan, were designed to serve as requirements for architectural and urban planning contests. This plan was a pioneering attempt to set up a detailed urban plan as an instrument of continuous planning, which would define strategies and tactics for realising general and practical goals of social development and direct the development of the city as a system.
The practical realisation of this plan was successful, primarily owing to Milan Lojanica’s exceptional design that won the contest carried out by the future construction investor. This success helped to introduce the idea of a new method and approach to detailed urban planning, an idea that had been shaped at the Urban Planning Institute for many years.
Location analysis and programme: Stevan Milinković, Velimir Tomić, Miloš Perović, Nenad Novakov
Designers: Miloš Perović, Velimir Tomić, Stevan Milinković, Milenko Jevtić, Aleksandar Drndarski, Slavko Đerfi, Tatjana Jakšić, Nenad Novakov
Friendship Centre, 1975
The Friendship Centre was planned to be a multi-functional centre that would connect the left and right banks of the Sava in the area around the Sava Amphitheatre (Savski amfiteatar), complex both in content and structure. It was to be built in honour of the non-aligned countries bloc.
The publication in which the project was presented linked the project itself and its significance within the current social and political context. The introduction presented adopted declarations from Conferences of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries – from the first, held in Belgrade in 1961, to the fourth, held in Algeria in 1973. The Friendship Centre project was presented through criteria for evaluating the attractiveness of the Sava Amphitheatre location, the principles on which the concept design was based, and through the basic elements of the system and the physical structure of the centre.
The project was planned to start at the same time as the fifth conference of the non-aligned countries which was to be held in Belgrade. The project was planned to continue the tradition of the first conference held in 1961, when the new Friendship Park was opened in the area of the Sava and Danube confluence in New Belgrade, designed as a symbol of friendship between peoples. There were two buildings constructed within the Friendship Centre project, planned for the 1977 conference – the Congress Centre Sava, which was built in record time, and the Hotel Intercontinental, designed by chief designer Stojan Maksimović, which was built immediately afterwards. The Friendship Centre idea faded soon afterwards, only to come to life again in the mid-1980s through the development of numerous construction plans and projects of the new city centre on the Sava riverbanks.
Computer Atlas of Belgrade, 1976
In the mid-1970s, not limiting its work to developing plans alone, the Institute started actively working on various studies and research, which stands out as the Institute’s particularly significant activity because of its general contribution to the understanding of urban planning. The Research into the urban structure of Belgrade: Multivariate analysis and computer atlas of a continually built area was one of the first methodologically and technically innovative studies. The research was based on current global trends of analytic research of large urban systems, where one of the key influences on the urban development nature were “variables” that described social, economic, political and cultural aspects of a system. A large number of data that could be analysed – basic urban characteristics (urban planning parameters such as population density and construction index), demographic characteristics (age groups, family structure, migration), social characteristics (education, employment) or housing conditions (flat structure, age of buildings, residential wiring) – was interconnected using complex statistical techniques and it was visually presented on the map of the city. That way, the “anatomy” of Belgrade had been studied closely and a tool was created for better spatial development decision-making.
It is interesting that the Atlas of Belgrade was developed entirely on a computer owned by the City Institute for Statistics. In that sense, it was one of the forerunners of today’s geographic information systems. The Atlas of Belgrade was exhibited throughout Yugoslavia, and it was presented to the Belgrade audience at the exhibition Research at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1978. In the following years, it was exhibited in Paris and Dublin.
Vladimir Petrović, Miodrag Ferenčak
Study of the central zone of Belgrade, 1976
According to the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000, the central zone of the city covered the area of 2,840 ha, which was only 4.1% of the total territory included in the master plan. On the other hand, 30% of the population lived there, 46% of the population worked there and 45% of the total number of buildings was built there.
The basic aim of the Study of the central zone of Belgrade was to define specific development guidelines, which would ensure a maximum socially justified load of the zone with activities, population and construction capacities, and which would prevent negative, chaotic processes that lead to degradation and degeneration of the main city centre and therefore the entire city as a system. The whole research was based on the initial assumption that the development of the central zone – due to its distinct comparative preconditions for grouping all the functions and activities of the region – would, without planned directing, always lead to the absolute use of all limiting factors (functional, traffic and environmental), and therefore any subsequent efforts to mitigate these consequences would be too expensive or virtually impossible.
The largest part of the central zone had already been built densely, but also poorly, so the existing buildings could serve as a basis for further urban development. It was estimated that planned remediation and reconstruction of the existing blocks by replacing old with new buildings would need to produce four times larger housing capacities and twice as large capacities for business facilities, in order to be economically viable. That is why it was decided that planning the development of the central zone should be carried out within the limits of maximum capacities and within the limiting factors. Therefore, it was decided that this principle would be applied to every unit that required reconstruction, and also that it would consequently influence new construction on available locations. In order to implement this principle, a new urban planning parameter was introduced – the land development index, which has become one of the basic norms for planned construction of this part of the city.
Detailed Urban Plan of Višnjica, 1978
The Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000 (adopted in 1972) assessed that the territory of Višnjica displayed extraordinary unity of landscape. This area was conceived as a future small-density comfortable living area with separate buildings surrounded by greenery. It was estimated that such urban structures would come to life in the end of the planning period, “when the urban environment shows the need and opportunity for such residential zones.”
he complex goal of the Detailed Urban Plan of Višnjica was to consolidate existing and new structures into a higher-ranking residential unit structured in accordance with current principles of residential zone organisation. The goal of the plan was also to completely integrate this new residential unit into the city tissue using appropriate designs of roads and other technical structure elements.
There were several plan alternatives, and, in the end, the following was selected: family housing on separate lots within the existing settlement, with the possibility of transforming larger agricultural lots into smaller urban lots; collective housing in denser structure groups and in buildings up to three storeys high, on higher points of the terrain, with recreation areas and a visual contact with the Danube; terraced houses on neutral medium altitude zones of all three local communities.
Spatial Plan of Belgrade, 1980
The development of the Spatial Plan of Belgrade started in 1976, in accordance with the Project Assignment for the Development of the Spatial Plan, the Decision of the Assembly on the Start of Development and the Social Agreement on Joint Funding. The Statutes of the City of Belgrade (1978) and the Law on Social Planning of the People’s Republic of Serbia (1980) stipulated the adoption of the Spatial Plan, which would be within the competence of the Assembly of the City, as a long term plan for the entire territory of the city. The development of the Spatial Plan of Belgrade was preceded by the work on the Spatial Plan of the Belgrade Region (1974), which included the wider region of Belgrade, but was aborted because of the changes made upon the adoption of the new Constitution in 1974.
The new Spatial Plan included the territory of the city of Belgrade (all Belgrade municipalities), covering the surface of 320,000 ha. Its specificity lied in the metropolitan character of the city territory, which had the largest concentration of population in Serbia and was the capital of both the People’s Republic of Serbia and the SFRY. The Spatial Plan had been developed for five years. In that period, a global model for general development of Belgrade was created, based on the results of the analysis and synthesis of development, research on development opportunities and future needs, development goals, etc. This global development model was approved by the Urban Planning Committee of the Executive Board of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade in 1978. Four alternatives for the development of Belgrade were created based on the global model of general development.
Detailed Urban Plan of the Territory of Gardoš in Zemun, 1980
In 1977, the Development Planning Institute of the City of Belgrade, in cooperation with the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Belgrade, started the development of the Detailed Urban Plan for the Territory of Gardoš in Zemun. This plan had elements of an urban planning project and its projection was until 2000. The subject of the plan was planning the development and revitalisation of the territory of Gardoš, as well as determining preconditions in the immediate surrounding area whose realisation depended on this plan.
For the purposes of developing the detailed plan of this delicate space and this urban matrix, a programme and three different programme sketches for the development of Gardoš were designed, since it was determined in 1966 that this territory had characteristics of a cultural monument. Programme sketches for the development of Gardoš offered the following variants: variant 1 – residential, variant 2 – residential and commercial, variant 3 – commercial.
This plan introduced a new phase in the planning process – the participation of the public. After many meetings with cultural workers, social and political organisations and representatives of the Municipal Assembly, and after an exhibition that was followed by a catalogue, variant 2 was approved for the draft plan at the meeting of the Expert Council. The plan was adopted in 1980.
Conservation and respect of historical and urban planning values of the fortress, settlement and viewpoint of Gardoš were the bases for the development of the plan. The planned blend of these values meant the continuation of the inherited functions that Gardoš had kept throughout its history. On the other hand, the goal of the planners was its modernisation, too.
Detailed Urban Plan of Knez Mihailova Street, 1980
The aim of the plan was to enable detailed planning, designing and construction of this part of the city as a separate spatial and functional unit of the central zone of Belgrade, which would develop in accordance with the basic urban planning postulates of the future development of the central zone of Belgrade. Its general goals included: 1. efficiency and functionality of the area; 2. permanent development; 3. creating and nurturing human and social values; 4. revitalisation of the area which would achieve quality in its overall use; 5. preserving, developing and creating aesthetic and cultural values; and 6. optimal economic power of the area.
The complex methodological plan development procedure included: drafting documentation and conducting analyses of natural structures; determining preconditions; forming general and specific goals conditioned by higher-ranking plans; development of programmes and programme sketches on the basis of the existing programme and approved goals; creating criteria for assessing programme sketches and the selection of an optimal variant, and a definitive establishment of general and special goals; development of the detailed urban plan; proposal of smaller units for realisation through stages for which urban project elements are developed; development of smaller units with elements of an urban planning project (5 blocks); and determination of urban planning requirements. The plan covered the surface of 19.55 ha where large population density was planned along with commercial facilities. The most significant cultural, educational, commercial, trade and tourism facilities were planned in Knez Mihailova Street, the main pedestrian artery that obtained the highest communication rank in the plan.
Detailed Urban Plan of Slavija Square, 1980
“The bases for and the goals of the plan were: to provide the conditions for gradual reconstruction of the area of Slavija (gradual transformation of the physical structure and purpose transformation), in order to satisfy current and future living and working needs; to ensure conditions for harmonious and logical functioning of the traffic system; to create a planning mechanism that would grow to its full potential through its implementation and realisation; to enable the continuity of thought, ideas and values of this area – growth and development in the past, the present and the future.”
“The basic characteristics of the plan are the following: making Slavija one of the most important social and commercial centres of Belgrade; detaching its function as a square from its traffic function, which would remain on the square itself, and moving the square to the space between Njegoševa, Beogradska, General Ždanova and Nemanjina streets; keeping its residential function equal to the other functions; developing housing on locations that meet the conditions; keeping the residential parts of East and West Vračar zones as cultural heritage, and aiming to improve the quality of life there; building large commercial facilities in the central part of Slavija with social amenities on the lower storeys; strengthening of commercial and social facilities along Bulevar JNA and Maršala Tolbuhina streets; simplifying the traffic junction of the historical roundabout – regulated as an expanded four-way crossroad; transforming the part of Srpskih Vladara Street into a pedestrian area, which would only be used by public transport; closing traffic in certain streets (Kralja Milutina, Prote Mateje, Svetog Save and Deligradska); merging blocks in order to achieve higher compactness of the area around Slavija; the significance of introducing a metro line, both in view of its traffic function and within the spatial conception of the newly formed square and piazzetta at the level of the planned vestibules and the Manjež Park.”
Detailed Urban Plan of Savska Terasa – Železnik, 1981
The plan of the wider area of Železnik set the following planning foundations (also included in the Detailed Urban Plan of Savska Terasa – Železnik): “The permeation of human and natural elements should be ensured in such a way that the natural element receives a certain social role – to become a true medium of many social events. Natural, permanent growth needs to be ensured by developing plans that articulate processes and thus enable transformation and permanent growth. Historicity needs to be nurtured. Complementarity of actions needs to be achieved – permeation and complexity of activity should be ensured in smaller parts of the area, too. The stages of realisation need to be as realistic as possible.”
According to the analyses of spatial potentials, two versions of the programme were created and evaluated. Simultaneously with detailed capacity studies, other specificities were examined in order to determine the character of the settlement, and therefore the character of its appearance. These were: analysis of the area structure and interconnections, analysis of planning documents, replacement model analysis (central zone of Belgrade) and analysis of the model network of the settlement.
“All elementary and complementary housing, working and recreation functions are planned to be developed in Savska Terasa, which means that this part of the city is planned to be as complex as possible.” “The desire to also have various business activities in Savska Terasa means that the plan tries to avoid the segregation of the living functions in order to improve their connection. But, as we have seen in practice, these plans are difficult to realise because of the known difference in the realisation paces of different functions. Therefore, the plan provides for gradual development of these areas.”
Detailed Urban Plan of Resnik, 1981
At the time the Detailed Urban Plan and the Urban Planning Project of Resnik settlement (coverage area 440 ha) were being developed in the late 1970s, Resnik included two units – the existing settlement and the new part, which were approximately the same size. An interesting architectural approach was applied in their design: “in the new part of Resnik, the planning should be oriented towards the future reality, while the existing Resnik’s reality should be embodied into the plan.” A unified settlement was supposed to spur from these two opposing approaches under the working name of Avala City (Avala grad).
The main features of the plan for the existing part of Resnik were the following: preservation of the material and visual heritage of the settlement; equipping the settlement with modern roads, technical infrastructure and accompanying amenities; re-allotment of individual building lots; designing collective residential buildings up to 4 storeys + ground floor and terraced individual buildings with 1 storey + ground floor at the place where existing Resnik meets new Resnik.
The new part of Resnik was planned to have all the characteristics of a modern town. The main features of the new Resnik spatial design were based on the postulates of linear development models, and they are the following: the construction of a pedestrian area surrounded by amenities typical of a town centre, in the middle of a linear urban tissue; constructing primary roads on the brim of the urban tissue, which would provide equal housing conditions; linear development of the centre which would provide for unlimited expansion; direct link of the residential tissue with nature.
Velimir Tomić, Miloš Perović
Socio-Economic Development Concept, 1981
The period after the two institutes merged was marked by an important and urgent task – to create a single document for complex city development. The Socio-Economic Development Concept and the Programme for Spatial Development and Construction of Belgrade in the period 1976–1985, developed under the supervision of Velimir Tomić and Miloš Perović, were adopted by the Assembly of the City of Belgrade in 1976. In addition to aligning socio-economic and spatial urban planning aspects of development, the objective of this mid-term plan was to review the development of the City in stages based on the long-term development plan, i.e. the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000. Given that many elements of traffic design within the Master Plan were still only in the form of a concept, the Development Concept particularly highlighted, analysed and discussed the topic of traffic, which was presented in the form of a map of contributions titled Addressing outstanding issues and traffic development programme until 1985.
In the period immediately after the adoption of the Concept, where preliminary selection of suitable and economically justifiable locations for housing construction was performed and where funds necessary for the preparation of locations were reviewed, it was necessary to develop planning documentation for the planned directed housing construction. Overall, 10 detailed urban plans were adopted in 1976, and another 20 were initiated in 1977, for the purpose of constructing as many as 100,000 flats. The system of master, detailed and urban plans and their development, as well as the needs and requirements of all participants – the Belgrade Housing Community, utility workers’ organisations and the Construction and Reconstruction Directorate of Belgrade – were all coordinated by the Institute, while the entire process was headed by architect Vesna Matičević. The results were designs developed by joining the interests of various stakeholders – local communities, interested communities, municipalities and the city as a whole. Mid-term development plans were designed for ten-year periods, but were revised on a five-year basis. A new Programme of Socio-economic and Spatial Development of Belgrade for the period 1981–1990 (Velimir Tomić, 1981) was adopted and consolidated with the newly adopted Spatial Plan of Belgrade. However, the optimisation and rationalisation of city investments became a burning topic right upon the adoption of the said material. This was also the period when the preparation of the following and, at the same time, the last Programme of 1985 began.
Exploring alternative city models, 1979–1981
The Urban Structure Study of the Sava Amphitheatre (Savski amfiteatar) developed within the Friendship Centre project, particularly the possibility of forming a traditional street that would be the outline of the composition design, served as the basis for launching a new research project aimed at offering an “alternative model” to a functionalistic city, at a time when Modernism was still predominant (and based on which the entire New Belgrade was designed). The study provided theoretical bases for a systemic (not a formalistic) approach to the matter, through analysing the relation between the sizes of urban blocks, building typology, street width and other natural and man-made conditionalities. In order to test these new – in the first stage, still abstract – models of the city, a “new urban block” was formed as the core unit carrying all necessary information on an optimum structural city unit, embodying the best qualities of a traditional and functionalistic urban block. Similarly, other elements of urban structure were defined, such as a square, streets, car parks, green areas and city centre. These elements helped explore the possibility of creating complex urban areas by physically condensing and adding contents to three basic city models – historical core, settlements built in the style of Modernism, and new unbuilt areas.
Influences of theoretical research and conclusions presented in this Study can be noted in all subsequent urban plans for the territory of New Belgrade that provided for the construction of more compact urban structures of blocks and buildings aligned along the main roads.
Miloš Perović, Branislav Stojanović
Study of the reconstruction of the centre of New Belgrade (Novi Beograd) and the Sava Amphitheatre, 1981-1984
The possibility of an actual application of theoretical research on alternative city models was the task of the following research project that dealt with the “reconstruction” of the urban tissue of New Belgrade built in the previous decades and with the construction of a completely new city centre at the Sava Amphitheatre. The project proposed new focal points, physical structures, amenities, networks of public spaces (pedestrian zones, green areas) and infrastructure with the aim of revitalising, humanising and creating a new identity of the city that had thus far been planned in detail but only partially realised (there were mostly residential blocks, with no accompanying amenities). Accurate numerical indicators of the possibilities of urban growth and development of the central zone of New Belgrade and of the Sava Amphitheatre greatly contributed to realising their urban, economic, environmental and social potentials.
A book titled Experiences of the Past was published in 1985, upon the finalisation of both projects. It is embellished with magnificent graphical representations (sketches and photos of two large models) done by Saveta and Slobodan Mašić. At the invitation of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the book was presented at the solo exhibition in London.
The same year, both projects were presented at the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) under the title The Cultural Centre of the Third Millennium in support of the SASA’s idea to make the Sava Amphitheatre Belgrade’s cultural centre, mirroring large projects carried out in Paris at the time.
“The essence of the many years I have spent researching into the city is studying the delicate and complex processes existing between the planned and the spontaneous, the principles of spontaneous growth of the urban tissue, and the growth and shift of focal points of urban activities through time... To think in historical categories does not mean to recreate concepts of the past, but to understand the present as a bud that sprung from its historical roots.”
Miloš Perović (1939– )
Miloš R. Perović worked at the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade from 1967 to 1993 with multiple interruptions while pursuing further specialisation. Almost the entire time he worked at the Institute, he was Head of the Division, and later the Department for long-term strategic planning of city development, during which time he headed the development of several five-year Belgrade construction programmes and numerous special studies. At his own initiative, he went to Athens to pursue specialisation at the Graduate School of Ekistics, established by Constantinos Doxiadis. In 1980, as a student of Nikola Dobrović, he was editor of a special issue of the Urban Planning of Belgrade, magazine dedicated to Nikola Dobrović’s unpublished papers (issue No 58). Important urban planning projects and studies were published in the form of special monographs, such as Research into the urban structure of Belgrade: the Friendship Centre (1975), The Street of Encounters (1978), Multivariate analysis and computer atlas of a continually built area (1976) and Experiences of the Past (1985).
BETRAS study of the transport system, 1985
The 1980s were struggling with the shortage of liquid fuels and their enormous prices, which caused a decline in the living standard, higher prices of transport and disturbances in the functioning and the development of the transport system. The BETRAS study focused on reviewing appropriate interventions, primarily on the city street network and the public transport system, with a view to making the transport system more economical and efficient under new circumstances.
Three options were considered for both the street network and the public transport system. After the options had been evaluated, proposals for the transport system were formed and incorporated into draft Amendments to the Master Plan of Belgrade.
Higher concentration of jobs in the central city area and the construction of large residential complexes on the outskirts without the necessary pace of developing secondary centres intensified radial movements.
The basic idea of the proposed variants for the development of the street network was to form ring and tangential roads around the most central area and to better connect radial sections, which would result in a more balanced distribution of traffic towards the zones of the most popular attractions. The proposals particularly emphasised the need to connect the right and left banks of the Sava river, as well as the Banat and Šumadija area by bridging the Danube with tangential roads whose purpose would be to keep the commercial transport outside the central area. They further pointed to the need to connect the railway station Prokop with the central area of the city. There was also a series of other proposals on how to ensure alternative directions in connecting certain city areas.
The main objective in designing variants for the public transport system (PTS) was to give priority to developing PTS subsystems with electric traction and to set up a greater-capacity tram system at the busiest sections. What was primarily stressed was the need to connect the right and the left bank of the Sava with at least two bridges, to delevel the passage of trams through the most central city area and to build a number of sections aimed at expanding tram corridors towards the outskirts, as well as sections for reorganising the connection of existing corridors in the central area. In addition, the expansion of the trolleybus subsystem was proposed. The concept of developing the tram network provided for a gradual transition from the tram system onto the so-called light rail transit (LRT).
Amendments to the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000, 1985
Yugoslavia’s power began to wane in the 1980s as a result of two global oil crises during the 1970s. The Constitution was amended in 1974, economic decentralisation was carried out in the period 1976–1977, and the Long-Term Programme of Economic Stabilisation was adopted in 1982 due to numerous problems piled over the years.
The 1974 Law on Spatial Planning and Design integrated urban with socioeconomic planning which lead to the changes in the statute and the activity of the Urban Planning Institute. Apart from the Concept of socioeconomic development and the programme of spatial development and construction of Belgrade in the period 1976–1985, there was no real integration of plans with their social and economic effects.
The City’s responsibilities were being reduced in this period. It was first responsible for ten city municipalities (1974); then, the responsibility included the scope of the Master Plan (1978), only to later be reduced to giving opinions on draft detailed plans that were under the exclusive responsibility of city municipalities (1982). The City only remained responsible for detailed planning of matters important for the entire city, such as roads, primary infrastructure, landfills, cemeteries, markets etc.
Changes in the social climate and slow economic growth were the reasons for reviewing the vision of Belgrade’s urban development, redirecting public investment and creating conditions for both the private and the public sectors to invest into projects that are more modest. In late 1984, the Assembly of the City of Belgrade drafted the Decision on Amending the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2002, where it chose attainable goals and a “paced” development.
It provided for condensing and improving the already used building land, urban revitalisation and reconstruction, reducing the territories planned for construction by over 30% in favour of free, green and agricultural areas. The transport network had to be revised due to ambitious but unlaunched projects such as the Inner Semi-Ring Road (ISRR), while the public transport system saw the return of trams in parts where the metro system was planned to be established. Seven “types of construction” were introduced for residential and mixed-use buildings, with altered urban planning parameters.
The stages of the Plan realisation were elaborated for each aspect (transport, housing etc.). They were also elaborated in the Programme for Socioeconomic and Spatial Development until 1995, and for some areas, until 2000 (Stage Plan). The Institute strived to make the Master Plan of Belgrade an operational document that would enable a detailed plan elaboration without any dilemmas regarding crucial plan decisions, ensure direct application in constructed city block that only need “filling”. Unfortunately, this rational turn in the strategic plan was not followed by rationalisation in its implementation. The state and the city lost control over the construction processes, while the decentralisation of responsibility only gave way to increased instability and illegal construction.
Detailed Urban Plan of Čukarička Padina, 1986
Urban planning on this territory included remediation, partial reconstruction, total reconstruction and locating new uses on the field that had not yet been prepared. It also tackled very broad and complex matters, such as family housing, building superstructures on existing buildings, organisation of a new settlement, reconstruction and widening of the transport and infrastructure network, and treatment of surfaces and spaces whose rank is important for the municipality and the city.
The realisation of the construction was planned to be divided into several stages and phases of realisation. The first stage provided for the construction of all 15 groups of high-rise residential buildings, along with the construction and the reconstruction of the related part of the transport network and stationary transport areas and setting the entire planned network of technical infrastructure. With regard to the accompanying amenities, the first stage planned for the construction of an elementary school in Makiš, three combined children’s institutions, parking garages in Karpoševa Street and ground floors for planned multi-storey car parks in Makiš.
The plan was partially realised. New residential buildings were constructed in the area covering the Sava arterial road, Požeška and Trgovačka street, which represented the first phase of the first stage of realisation. In addition, a combined children’s institution was built, but no elementary schools or garages. The amendments to Detailed Urban Plan of Čukarička Padina developed in 1992 were precisely related to the area between the Sava arterial road, Požeška and Trgovačka streets, where new residential and commercial buildings with combined children’s institutions were planned in place of the existing forest area, while new commercial buildings would be built on an area intended for a multi-storey car park.
Detailed Urban Plan of the settlement at Bežanijska kosa, 1988
The plan covered the surface of around 95 ha with approximately 15,400 residents. It provided for increasing housing density, i.e. new residential settlements outside the central parts of the city, with population density of 200-320 ppl/ha and buildings with up to 6 storeys + ground floor.
The main planning approach was to form a residential settlement organised within an enlarged local community with a full functional autonomy, tightly connected with the neighbouring zone, i.e. with a unified settlement. The Plan was developed so as to account for environmental protection, due to conditions of local natural factors and the position of the Bežanija Cemetery. The Plan expressed tendency towards nurturing good neighbourly relations, as one of the communication values, through building high-quality spaces that enable all forms of communication (gardens, facilities for youth and all other age groups, playgrounds, pedestrian zones, parks, lines of benches, squares etc. – all those spaces where people meet, communicate, get to know each other, make arrangements etc.).
Further planning of the settlement aimed for departure from agriculture towards fulfilling the wish of local residents to have lower buildings of up to 4 storeys + ground floor combined with individual constructions.
Milica Toma Krstanovski, Marijana Strugar
62. Detailed Urban Plan of Blocks 19 and 20, 1989
The Urban Plan of Blocks 19 and 20, intended primarily for central and business activities, was developed in cooperation between the Planning and Design Institute and Energoprojekt as one of the first plans conceived under the direct influence of reviewing the concept of New Belgrade during the 1980s. In particular, the Plan was conceived under the influence of alternative city model studies and the reconstruction of the New Belgrade centre and the Sava Amphitheatre carried out in the Urban Planning Institute, and of urban planning ideas of the great International Competition for the New Belgrade Urban Structure Improvement organised by the Association of Belgrade Architects in 1985.
Orthogonal forms of free-standing structures expected to spring in the vicinity of the Congress Centre Sava and the then Intercontinental Hotel were “broken” by diagonal communications, visual breaches and structural segments of compact blocks, creating a new urban composition in New Belgrade. The focus was placed on designing physical structures of the city, which in addition to buildings implied designing squares and passages. Particular attention was devoted to city panoramas and scenery. Furthermore, there was an obvious increase in planned block building capacities, which was the result of the strategic approach laid down in the Amendments to the 1985 Master Plan of Belgrade to rationalise construction expenses.
In the following decades, the Urban Plan was almost entirely realised – from the construction of the Hyatt Hotel in 1990 to the residential and commercial complex Savograd in 2010. Unfortunately, some buildings have never been completed and put to purpose.
Olga Popović-Marović, Zoran Ćubić
Urban Planning Project of the old port and bank near Nebojša Tower, 1989
The Urban Planning Project provided for the riverbank to be lowered by 1.5 m. The final stage of the project included the construction of a revetment with continuous walkways stretching from directions of “Dorćol“ and “25. Maj”. The walkway would rise above the river with a central plateau, ending in an amphitheatre in front of the bastion, i.e. it would merge with the bastion.
This would give the most beautiful views of the other bank, of the Great War Island, New Belgrade and Zemun, which was the focus of these designs. Planned amenities of this space are mostly parterre – footpaths, lawns, “fish square” (central space designed as a square), walkways by the river with places to sit and rest, two combined vehicle-pedestrian paths etc. The plan also included water amenities (fish farm, restaurant, boat marina, commercial facilities, entertainment, clubs, services etc.).
The riverbank area ends in middle-age ramparts planned to be reconstructed. It was also planned to rebuild the walls around Nebojša Tower to prevent water directly breaching into the Lower Town. Flooding of Lower Town potentially caused by the high waters of the Sava and the Danube would be controlled by the ramparts of the Belgrade Fortress, while the rampart gates would be defended by a sandbag dyke and floodgates.
Vesna Matičević, Miodrag Spajić
Detailed Urban Plan of the Staro Sajmište monument complex, 1990
This Plan was developed in extraordinary cooperation between the Belgrade City Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and the Planning and Design Institute. The Belgrade City Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments was the planning consultant that worked on the part of the Plan dealing with the conditions for the protection and restauration of the monument complex.
The aim of developing this Plan was to create a planning precondition for the reconstruction and renovation of the monument complex and restoring the original look of Staro Sajmište in all aspects, including the renovation of the original transport network. The Plan provided for the designation of the areas intended for memorial, museum (Fair of Samples) and multifunctional facilities of public nature.
An interesting aspect of this Plan is its transport design of peripheral roads, more specifically road 13-13, an extension of Jurija Gagarina Street, which provides connection with Bulevar Lenjina (today’s Bulevar Mihajla Pupina) and Bulevar Edvarda Kardelja (today’s Bulevar Nikole Tesle).
The Plan has never been realised in any aspect. However, plan revisions conducted over the past 15 years have kept the Plan in force because it contains detailed and precise conditions for the protection and restauration of the monument complex, i.e. the cultural heritage of the area.
Dragomir Manojlović, Milica Toma Krstanovski, Antonije Antić, Slobodanka Prekajski
Varoš na Vodi, 1991
In 1991, the SASA Executive Council organised the development of thematic projects for the Sava Amphitheatre under the Third Millennium project. On that occasion, they engaged 8 expert teams, including the Planning and Design Institute. The result of the research was a study called Sava Amphitheatre – study of the possibilities of transforming the area into a new city centre. The recognition of the human aspect and contextuality singled out the project Varoš na Vodi. Through conscious romanticisation, the project embodied diversity of experiences of polyvalent public spaces, bridges and boulevards, with a city centre that included the Sava river and its banks, intertwined with a network of islands.
The Institut expanded this task into two research projects: Varoš na Vodi, which in addition to the Sava Amphitheatre dealt with the Terazije Terrace and the planning of the Danube bank in the Belgrade port zone, and Astral, which focused on the centre of New Belgrade. The two research projects received the first prize in the category of studies and research projects at the Urban Planners Exhibition organised in 1991 in Niš.
Regulation Plan of Kaluđerica settlement, 1995
Kaluđerica is one of the oldest and most famous unplanned settlements at the territory of Belgrade, in the municipality of Grocka, for which the first detailed urban plan was developed in 1979 and revised in 1987. Although the designs were adopted, they were never realised, which lead to another revision of the urban plan in 1989. The plan covered a surface of 265 ha divided into 8 units and planned for around 20,000 residents.
However, in the 1990s, particularly in the period 1991-1995, the city of Belgrade faced a sudden increase in illegal/unplanned construction as a result of migration caused by the transition and the developments in the region (the breakdown of the SFRY). Therefore, what occurred during the drafting of the plan was mass uncontrolled construction of over 1,000 family residential facilities, most of which were built in areas planned for roads and infrastructure corridors, for the construction of elementary schools, children’s institutions and other related facilities, as well as in areas planned for the construction of multi-storey residential buildings.
Accordingly, the objective of the Plan changed, and it now included the following: repurposing of all residential areas into areas intended for the construction of family facilities on individual lots, correction of road routes and designing new organisation of the settlement, allotment, and partial changes within the transport network and the technical infrastructure network as a result of all previous changes. One of the most important initial ideas that distinguished this plan from all the previous ones was the idea to retain and fit all the existing facilities into the planned design as much as possible. The plan was adopted in 1995 as one of the first regulation plans, in accordance with legislative amendments introduced that year.
Ljiljana Beloš, Dragica Lilić, Sanja Đorđević
Regulation Plan for the Spatial Unit of Dedinje, 2000
This was the first adopted plan in the new generation of regulation plans, whose drafting was initiated in accordance with the 1995 Law on Spatial and Settlement Planning and Design. In addition, it was the first plan developed on digital geodetic survey maps. The plan was ahead of its time by content and by the way it examined this sensitive area, where the spirit of the pre-Second World War Belgrade – former outskirts with summer houses long protected from new construction, met areas that had succumbed to the influence of new architects who were making their mark in the society by designing new buildings.
The aim of the plan for this sparsely built residential settlement that had only 2,000 lots on 700 ha, with numerous buildings and natural goods representing cultural heritage, was to preserve its ambient characteristics as much as possible by introducing building rules.
This was the first plan to define building rules for characteristic zones within four spatial units comprising Dedinje. They were defined based on the proposed rulebook on construction by Professor Branislav Krstić and on the hypotheses for the new 1993 Master Plan that were avant-garde compared to the urban technical requirements for construction that had thus far been defined by detailed urban plans. What is also specific about this plan is the preservation of existing cadastre lots, which greatly facilitated the implementation and realisation of the plan.
The methodology and system of rules for characteristic zones served as an inspiration for defining the content of plans within the new Law on Planning and Construction that was adopted in 2003.
The plan’s methodology earned it the first prize in the category of regulation plans at the Urban Planners Exhibition organised in 1998 in Niš.
Motorway transformation study, 2002
The area along the Motorway through Belgrade is an important city area that, after the political changes in 2000, was considered among the projects that were expected to create new possibilities of spatial and economic development. The planned construction of the Dobanovci–Bubanj Potok bypass and the road’s rank change would create an opportunity to transform the area along the Motorway, and the task of this study was to prepare and present information necessary for decision-making and defining the course of further development.
The idea was to grasp the complexity and the scope of the area through partition, classification and systematisation at the level of space and function, and to offer viable solutions through appropriate models of spatial planning (“chunks”). The area is divided into eight characteristic sections between loop roads – nodes, with recognisable features and identities.
Spatial planning and spatial designs are provided through models of physical structure organisation, recommendations and main urban planning parameters. The models were defined as spatial patterns for the following: service roads, commercial activities, commercial zones, housing, green areas, environmental protection and footbridges. Specific models (one or more possible “chunks”) were designated for each section, which ensured the application of appropriate regulations, the preservation of identity and the diversity of designs.
Vladimir Macura, Miodrag Ferenčak
Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021, 2003
The Master Plan whose preparation began in 2001 had three new bases for physical and spatial planning: social, economic and environmental. The Plan is expected to provide guidelines for development in short term, “to ensure remediation of the city and urban planning” and to be open enough to provide a possibility of choosing a direction when the society decides on the development model.
This is the first time a master plan addresses two aspects: strategic, with general objectives of city development, and operational – to provide basis for issuing construction requirements. The Law on Planning and Construction enabled direct implementation of construction rules that had traditionally been part of operational urban plans (Official Gazette of RS, No 47/03). The Plan reflected continuity of the 1985 Master Urban Plan designs, taking account of the existing constructions and reviewing the possibilities of further development, instead of making unrealistic projections. It further provided for the protection of the remaining natural resources and greenery and, in particular, offered improvement of instruments for direct implementation in built and planned parts of the city. The Plan focused on several major city projects, possibilities for individual construction, planning settlements on the edge of the city, reducing industrial and work zones in the centre and rationalising traffic and transport designs. The city’s identity was an important aspect, while three branches of the natural corridor of the Danube and the Sava with the Great War Island were its vital element.
Major city projects required the development of study bases and expert public contests. These projects included the Sava Amphitheatre on the Sava’s left and right banks, the Belgrade Fortress, a new commercial zone, a motorway, a new island and a recreation zone on the riverbank of the Danube, railway station Centar at Prokop, Ada Huja, Autokomanda, the Makiš Well, and Avala.
In 2003, studies and analyses started being developed to help planners and administration make important decisions in city planning. Their development intensified in periods of special investment activities. These include: location analysis for the Belgrade opera house, Loess Scarp Study, Organisation and Financing of the City of Belgrade, Study of the Belgrade Riverbank and the Natural Centre of Belgrade, social housing study, study of Belgrade public spaces in the municipality of Stari Grad, Study of High-Rise Buildings, Plan for Installing Facilities on Water, project Green Regulation of Belgrade etc.
Particular value of this plan lies in the fact it formalised continuous city planning. The Master Plan of Belgrade became “a managing instrument of the city that is occasionally revised and adopted, but continuously analysed, maintained and prepared so that its targeted improvement is possible at any given moment, as well as in annual, four-year and ten-year cycles.
The Amendments to the Master Plan were adopted in 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2014.
Detailed Regulation Plan for the Old Downtown of Zemun, 2003
Today’s Old Downtown of Zemun was established in late XVIII century when it became the backbone of social, economic and cultural development of Zemun. It is a unique urban phenomenon expressed through multitude of shapes, contents and significance, which is why in 1979 it was designated as a spatial cultural-historical unit of great interest to the Republic. Within the spatial cultural-historical unit of Old Downtown of Zemun, many buildings have the status of individual cultural monuments. Archeological sites of the ancient Taurunum are also located within this area, as are numerous subunits of particular urban planning, architectural and ambient value.
Detailed Regulation Plan for the Old Downtown of Zemun determined the scope and the concept of protection, design and reconstruction of the Old Downtown of Zemun for the purpose of preserving tradition, identity and cultural, historical and natural ambiance and improving public spaces and functions. The Plan fostered the idea of urban reconstruction of cities founded on all urban planning charters, which affirmed the concept of a sustainable city as a priority in its management and continuous planning.
The Plan affirmed the Old Downtown of Zemun as one of two historical centres of Belgrade, and one of three hubs that comprise the main city centre. Development potentials of this area were defined in the context of efficient transformation and affirmation of an exquisite ambiance, and not in the context of significant expansion of residential and business area capacities.
Aleksandar Vučićević (2004), Borislav Stojkov (2011)
Regional Spatial Plan of the City of Belgrade Administrative Area, 2004/2011
After a series of social and economic changes, development of the Regional Spatial Plan of the City of Belgrade Administrative Area (Belgrade RSP AA) was initiated by Decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia (April 2002). The Belgrade RSP AA, which was developed by around 120 members of the working team, had an integrative nature and incorporated the following basic elements: nature, society, economy and their adjustment to the institutional framework. Designs were defined for areas where that was possible, as were planning policies for housing, illegal construction and social development, while planning proposals were provided for the field of protection (environment, natural disasters). With the adoption of the Law on Planning and Construction, the responsibility for the adoption of the Plan was transferred to the Assembly of the City of Belgrade. In May 2004, the Assembly (with consent of the Republic Agency for Spatial Planning) adopted the strategic plan for the development of Belgrade for the upcoming period.
The planning proposals and designs within this Plan were defined on three levels, according to the planning horizon and the level of priority: (a) the 2006 level for designs that carry arguments of necessity and justification from social, economic and environmental aspects and that represent the backbone of public good and public interest, while simultaneously supporting the protection of private interest and free market; (b) the 2011 level, for designs assessed to have a possibility to be realised with assistance provided through EU funds for candidate and acceding countries, including Serbia; (c) the post-2011 level, as a guiding idea for strategic planning of designs that foresee a long-term spatial development and planning of the City of Belgrade.
The planning procedure included defining and articulating plans for the Belgrade region as a functional category, the so-called nodal region with a strong urban centre (10 city municipalities) as the backbone. It is surrounded by smaller city and rural centres forming a complex and dynamic system that is the City of Belgrade (Belgrade AA, 17 city municipalities). This being a highly attractive area (from economic, cultural and social aspects), the influence spread beyond Belgrade AA, which is why the Plan also examined the neighbouring municipalities (Ruma, Pećinci, Stara Pazova, Pančevo, Ub, Smederevo and Smederevska Palanka), proving that they stand in direct, more or less expressed, functional correlation with Belgrade AA, forming an area defined as Belgrade metropolitan, or potential Belgrade Region. A strong influence of Belgrade spreads well beyond the metropolitan area, which is why certain studies have also been conducted for the area of the functional macro region of Belgrade (based on the studies carried out within the Spatial Plan of Serbia) highlighting strategic directions to which certain activities and functions spread at a wider area.
Đorđe Bobić, Vesna Vladisavljević
Detailed Regulation Plan for Vračar plateau, 2005
The Assembly of the City of Belgrade made a decision on launching the development of regulation plans for reconstructing the central Belgrade zone. Upon this decision, the early 2000s saw the beginning of work on a comprehensive spatial and programme concept of Vračar municipality (Đorđe Bobić, Sanja Đorđević). Given that the concept was developed in parallel to the new Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021, the process required continuous, two-way alignment with new general designs, the most important of which was the abolition of the so-called Vračar Transversal Road where reconstruction and building had been forbidden ever since the late 1960s.
The concept design of Vračar was approved by the Planning Commission in 2002, after which it was partially developed through multiple detailed regulation plans, where the plan covering the Vračar plateau area was the most comprehensive and the most complex of all.
The longitudinal direction of the city centre, with Kalemegdan as a pole, ends naturally at the Vračar Plateau. The Plan covered a 21 ha area next to the then newly constructed Svetosavski Square, directly behind the Temple of Saint Sava and Skerlićeva Street. Based on the concept design and numerous citizen initiatives, the plan was developed so as to enable the full use of the area’s potentials, primarily through raising standards of housing and land use, along with an active approach to the existing public spaces and buildings of national interest – the National Library of Serbia, Karađorđe's Park and the Temple of Saint Sava.
Milica Joksić, Vesna Martinović, Dušan Milanović
Programme for the Republic Square, 2003–2006
Almost a century and a half had passed since the construction of the National Theatre in front of the former Stambol gate and Emilijan Josimović’s idea of forming a cultural hub of Belgrade. The period was marked by abundance of unrealised ideas, plans and contest designs for the reconstruction and final establishment of the Republic Square urban structure. The Republic Square has a specific character – it is a point of meeting, gathering, revolt, farewells, a part of the city’s mental image with a tangible spirit of the place. From Autokomanda to Kalemegdan, it is the vital point in the system of public spaces.
In 2003, a complex and unresolved issue of the square’s planning was reopened. Addressing the issues of undefined urban structure and regulation, transport and pedestrian communications and planning parterre and green areas, were the basis for developing the Programme for the Detailed Regulation Plan for the Republic Square. In addition to analysing all previous designs and developments of the square area, analysis of transport in the square broader zone was carried out, which lead to defining multiple design options that would enable the formation of the new square, expansion of pedestrian zones and functioning of public and individual transport. The Programme originally offered 3 scenarios of concept design. Upon verification and adoption, they were narrowed down to one design that was the most similar to the existing state.
Vera Mihaljević, Jovanka Đorđević Ciganović
Programme for developing the Urban Planning Project for Kosančićev Venac Spatial Unit, 2007
The historical urban unit of Kosančićev Venac was pronounced a cultural monument in 1971 as part of modern Belgrade with specific historical, ambient and art qualities. The following aspects of the relatively small area of Kosančićev Venac were supposed to be brought into balance by the Detailed Regulation Plan:
- historical context,
- cultural heritage,
- tourist potential of the area,
- economic activities,
- social context,
- various types of transport (water, railway transport in the first stage, transit and pedestrian transport),
- cultural amenities,
- spiritual centre of Orthodox Christianity.
The main goals of this plan were the affirmation of the unit’s unique silhouette in the city’s image, planning of new collimation lines to and from the area, restoration of existing and creation of new ambient values – especially the memorial area of the National Library that was burned down in 1941, and ensuring planning conditions for economically realistic future transformation of the entire area.
The plan was developed in two stages – programme design adopted in 2003 and the Detailed Regulation Plan adopted in 2007.
Inner semi-ring road (ISRR), 2007/2011
An inner semi-ring road (ISRR) within a continuously built city area was foreseen to be formed around the Central Zone including the old centre of Belgrade, the future centre in the Sava Amphitheatre, the old and the new centre in New Belgrade and the Old Downtown of Zemun. The purpose of the ISRR was to relieve the central area of individual transport, reduce traffic on the existing bridges across the Sava and ensure alternative options for connecting remote city areas. In addition to being important for individual and road transport as a whole, this section is crucial in organising public transport, particularly in the direction connecting the left and the right banks of the Sava river, where a high capacity rail system was planned to be developed. The length of the route was 16 km divided into 5 sections. On the route, the 927-metre long bridge Ada Ciganlija was designed across the Sava, as were the 2,170-metre long Dedinje Tunnel and Šumice Loop from the Belgrade-Niš motorway.
Aleksandra Tilinger (stage 1), Vladimir Macura, Žaklina Gligorijević (stage 2)
Study of the Belgrade Riverbank, stages 1 and 2, 2007/2011
The first step in carrying out the City’s policy to develop and plan the zone of the Sava and Danube banks, was the Study of the Belgrade Riverbank (covering 16,950 ha in 2007). A team of experts analysed the area, having provided definitions, scope and zoning, and reviewed potentials and limitations of the territory and water area. This provided the basis for the protection and development of this area and investments therein. The City of Belgrade’s Development Strategy was based on a stance that the riverbank is one of the most important resources and elements of Belgrade’s identity, which lead to the continuation of research and subsequent development of the Study of the Natural Centre of Belgrade (2011). The Institute thoroughly examined the zones, identity, natural and cultural values, capacity and scenarios for developing this morphologically and naturally rare phenomenon and heart of urban Belgrade.
The methodological improvement of the Study of the Natural Centre of Belgrade was a result of education and participation of all sectors and all parts of administration through public survey, questionnaires, meetings and workshops attended by numerous experts and public figures. Similar studies in the field of riverbank protection included the Plan for placing vessels along the banks of the Sava and Danube at the territory of Belgrade (Vesna Radovanović, 2007, Željka Nikolić, Ivan Lalić, 2012), Study of the protection, planning and reconstruction of the Zemun-Bežanija loess scarp (Olgica Gvozdić, Ljiljana Bajc, 2009), and especially the Detailed Regulation Plan of the attractive and protected area of Ada Ciganlija (Ljiljana Beloš, Dragica Lilić, 2016).
Marija Milovanović, Jasmina Đokić, Nataša Danilović Hristić
Programme for Ada Huja, 2007
The programme for developing an urban plan for the area of Ada Huja included a section of the Danube riverbank that was around 6.5 km long – from Marina Dorćol to the island downstream from the edge of Ada Huja, with a surface of around 480 ha. The Programme reviewed the area’s potentials and the positions expressed within the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021, while it also provided guidelines for its transformation and further development.
Wider public was included in the Programme development and a series of meetings (users of the space, experts, representatives of utility companies etc.), surveys, studies and other activities were conducted to get a full overview of the area, engage all relevant social actors and find the best common solutions for the development of this part of the riverbank. Multiple expert analyses in the field of transport (road, railway, water transport, and logistical system concept), ecology (state of the landfill, state of the environment, micro-climate characteristics) and water resources engineering were carried out. In addition, a spatial-programme validation of the Ada Huja area (public expert survey) was performed, while the best solutions for works were incorporated into the Programme concept.
The Programme offered a concept of desirable transformations and improvements of the riverbank, its detailed recovery, and the activation of the location’s value in the context of the future development of the city and the Danube corridor, based on the following goals:
- transformation of the area from a largely commercial purpose to central functions, i.e. expansion of the existing central zone of the city onto the rear of the Danube riverbank,
- spatial and functional integration of the area into the urban tissue by constructing new transport and infrastructure networks,
- developing integrated uses of the city centre
- remediation, improvement and protection of the environment and creating conditions for achieving high environmental standards of a new “city riverbank” based on the principles of sustainable development.
The Programme proposed further stage development of the Ada Huja area through detailed regulation plans.
Jelena Jović, Vesna Vladisavljević
Programme for spatial cultural-historical unit Topčider, 2008
Owing to its specific natural, cultural and historical values, the spatial cultural-historical unit Topčider was pronounced cultural good of great interest to the Republic of Serbia in 1987. Despite its outstanding importance both for the city of Belgrade and the Republic of Serbia, this area had not been subject to planning, which gravely affected the degradation of its natural and cultural values. The Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021 proposed developing a comprehensive and large project of integral development of the zone, where transport conditions would comply with the requirements of monument and nature protection.
The development of a unique concept design of the area spreading across 800 ha began in 2007. The following four subunits were defined according to spatial characteristics, specific contents and potentials: the Belgrade Racecourse complex with its surroundings, Topčider unit, Košutnjak unit, transport corridor and a unique zone along the valley of the Topčider river.
The main goals of developing the urban plan concept stemmed from a comprehensive study. Clearly defined spatial conflicts, as well as connectivity, resulted in a decision to continue the stage plan development of this area by developing draft detailed regulation plans for individual units that today have all been adopted by the Assembly of the City of Belgrade. Although the adopted plan regulation did not completely comply with the strict requirements of protecting both natural and cultural values, the first step was nonetheless made – first plans came into force as an awakening of collective consciousness of the need to constantly pursue education and create new social goods.
Milica Joksić, Vesna Vladisavljević
Programme for the Urban Plan of the Slavija Area, 2006-2008
The May 2006 initiative of City Architect Đorđe Bobić launched the development of the Programme for the Urban Plan of the Slavija Area. The aim of the Programme was to perform a detailed transport analysis, review applicable planning documentation, define and examine potentials, limitations and development priorities of the area, and identify possibilities for implementing and developing the winning design of the Survey contest for urban and architectural design of Slavija Square, through a unique overview of the entire Slavija area and contact blocks.
The Programme zoned the area of 9 blocks according to the type and scope of planned interventions, in accordance with specific conditions and rules of planning and construction. The transformation zone included areas where, based on the contest winning design, more intensive construction of new buildings and contents was planned, as well as potential alignment and reconstruction of the existing physical structure. The zone was intended for constructing buildings with combined commercial, business and residential use, with a maximum of 4 storeys + ground floor to 8 storeys + ground floor + loft. The zone of planned reconstruction of existing buildings included existing lots and blocks of buildings intended for housing, commercial and public use. Planned interventions referred to reconstruction and improvement of conditions for use, adaptation of buildings, removal of ancillary buildings and planning of inner-block free and green areas.
Further development of the concept was planned to be realised through developing several detailed regulation plans for Slavija Square traffic and streets that filter in: Kralja Milana, Beogradska, Makenzijeva, Svetog Save, Bulevar Oslobođenja, Deligradska, Kralja Milutina, Nemanjina and Svetozara Markovića, with designs for an underground public car park, in accordance with the planning and project documentation for the construction of LRT.
Predrag Krstić, Vesna Vladisavljević
Petrol station network, 2009
With the adoption of the new Law on Planning and Construction in 2003, a new type of planning document was defined – the detailed regulation plan, which in addition to spatial scope of a city part/settlement could be applied to purposes whose distribution throughout the city tissue has a form of a network. In addition to plans for infrastructure and traffic network systems, a detailed regulation plan could be used for planning networks of complexes and buildings (primarily public-use buildings) that comprise specific functional systems.
Due to its complexity, which included urban planning and fitting of each location into its immediate surroundings and an active relation to all other parts of the system, the so-called “network plans” made a huge step, in a methodological sense, in creative application of the provisions of the new Law related to the main elements and content of detailed regulation plans. The first network plan developed for the entire area of the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021 (a territory including 12 city municipalities) was the General Regulation Plan for Petrol Stations.
Study of public spaces, 2009
The Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade worked on studying, promoting and presenting public spaces through its main activities and through joint projects and studies with national and international universities, related institutions and specialised organisations. A guest exhibition titled Barcelona in Progress and a workshop where colleagues from Barcelona presented the importance, city policy and instruments for improving public spaces in Barcelona were organised in 2007. In continuation of this cooperation, exhibition European Prize for Urban Public Space 2008 had its premiere in Belgrade.
The Study of Belgrade’s Public Spaces (Vera Mihaljević) for the area of Stari Grad and the Catalogue of Planning and Equipping Public Spaces (Aleksandra Tilinger) were launched and developed so as to spur the interest of the expert community and form a strategic study for planning Belgrade’s public spaces in the period 2007–2008. Chief City Planner’s strategic priority was public space planning, to which end the Handbook on Open Public Spaces was prepared in 2016 as a basis for defining regulations and recommendations for better and more efficient design and realisation of public space at the territory covered by the Master Plan (Marija Lalošević, Žaklina Gligorijević).
Žaklina Gligorijević, Marija Milovanović
Urban Planning Project for Stepa Stepanović Settlement, 2010
The Urban Planning Project for the Construction of the Residential Settlement Stepa Stepanović was the result of an agreement between the central and the local government on implementing two strategic decisions – one incorporated into the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021/2 and related to the transformation of the Serbian Armed Forces locations assessed as “non-perspective”, and the other laid down in the special 2010 Law on Encouraging the Construction Industry of the Republic of Serbia in the Economic Crisis.
This Urban Planning Project was the basis for repurposing the area of the former barracks into a residential complex with accompanying public and commercial amenities, where 25% of residential capacity was designated for the employees of the Serbian Armed Forces. The fact that the land was state-owned allowed for this transformation to be carried out through the procedure of an urban planning project, in which two levels of government and several public institutions were involved. The adopted urban planning project covering 42 ha enabled re-allotment and separation of public-use areas and areas intended for other uses. It further enabled developing projects, issuing construction permits and constructing buildings, roads and infrastructure.
Jovanka Đorđević Ciganović, Vera Mihaljević
Study of tall buildings, 2010
The 2003 Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021 limited the height of residential and commercial buildings in accordance with the then applicable laws and regulations, despite the fact that Belgrade residential and commercial architecture of the 20th century was much higher in certain locations. Having opened to foreign investments, Serbia saw frequent initiatives for the construction of tall buildings and, in 2009, the City insisted that criteria, zones and rules for such construction be defined through the revision of urban plans.
In 2010, the Urban Planning Institute, in cooperation with local and foreign experts from the faculties of architecture in Belgrade and Barcelona, city administrations of Vienna and Barcelona and from SASA, developed the Study of tall buildings as the basis for defining building requirements within the Master Plan of Belgrade. For locations outside the designated zones, it was possible to perform checks through detailed regulation plans. Models were found in cities of similar size, context and urban heritage – Barcelona, Vienna, Dublin, Prague, Warsaw and Budapest – and in their methods of expert evaluation, criteria and public validation. Paris and Vienna were interesting examples due to their strictly limited building heights, protection of city landscapes and accurate zoning.
The main criterion for assessing location suitability was traffic coverage and availability, connection with main city roads and lines of mass public transport, due to the number of users and traffic demand these buildings usually generate. Other criteria included fitting new tall buildings into the urban context and the existing structure, requirements for the protection of cultural and urban heritage, environmental requirements, architectural design, public space contribution etc. The Study was repealed four years later, but the same methodology and criteria for the evaluation of individual locations are applied in plans containing analyses of the fulfilment of criteria for the construction of tall buildings.
Dejan Filipović, Vesna Trivan, Mirjana Nedeljković, Jelena Marinković, Božidar Bojović, Milan Cvetković, Dragoslav Pavlović
Spatial plans for 7 suburban municipalities, 2012
Amendments to the Regional Spatial Plan of the City of Belgrade Administrative Area and spatial plans of city municipalities were developed in the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade in the period 2010–2012 as a result of the 2009 Amendments to the Law on Planning and Construction and to the Statute of the City of Belgrade. Plans for the municipalities of Grocka and Sopot were developed in cooperation with the Faculty of Geography, University of Belgrade.
These spatial plans were developed so as to allow for the development and implementation of plans defined by umbrella planning documents. Furthermore, they would facilitate guiding and controlling the expansion of building land, as well as drafting a document that would serve as the planning and legal basis for achieving local interests, that could be directly implemented and that, complying with the main European principles of spatial development, would represent the basis for attracting and realising investments from European and national funds. The 2008 spatial plans for the municipalities of Lazarevac, Surčin and Obrenovac were amended.
The plans defined the main types of land – agricultural, forest, water and building land. They also incorporated mandatory rules of planning and construction for all zones that are not further developed through urban plans, and for units and zones where schematic overviews are created. The idea was to “cover” the entire territory of the city administrative area with plans that enabled direct implementation or that would provide accurate guidelines for further development of certain large settlements (usually, municipality centres) or important units and zones. Development of general regulation plans was planned for larger settlements within municipalities, while schematic overviews were created for other settlements. Further development through detailed regulation plans was planned for large infrastructure systems and complexes, industrial zones and sports and tourist complexes.
Outer main road tangent – OMRT, 2013
The main purpose of the outer main road tangent (OMRT) was to reorganise the connections of radial roads filtering into the city centre, which would create a more balanced distribution of traffic towards zones of greater attraction. In addition, the aim was to segregate certain types of traffic, primarily goods and transit transport, and direct them to bypasses, which would increase the capacity of the existing street network. The purpose of the eastern section of the OMRT – from the existing city motorway (Veliki Mokri Lug) to Pančevački Put, was to protect the old centre of Belgrade from goods transport. In this section, in the Ada Huja zone, a corridor of a new bridge for crossing to the left bank of the Danube was outlined. Therefrom, this corridor would pass through the Pančevo Swamp towards the north to connect with the newly planned corridor of the northern tangent. This part of the OMRT was also planned to connect three roads leading into the city: Pančevački Put, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra (Smederevski Put) and the motorway.
Vesna Trivan, Mirjana Nedeljković
Avala–Kosmaj Spatial Plan, 2014
The Spatial Plan for the special-use area of exceptional features Avala–Kosmaj covered the territory of 45,180 ha. The Plan included two protected natural zones – Avala (important natural zone under three protection regimes) and Kosmaj (important natural zone under two protection regimes). The Spatial Plan set out main strategic approaches, designs, requirements and guidelines stipulated by the law. Due to their position and characteristics, Avala and Kosmaj were subject of the Tourism Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia (2006), the City of Belgrade Development Strategy (2008) and the City of Belgrade Tourism Development Strategy, all which preceded the Spatial Plan.
Integral method was used to develop the Plan, taking into account three interrelated basic dimensions of spatial development: environmental, economic and social, with special emphasis on the issues of protecting and developing areas of exceptional features Avala and Kosmaj. The interrelation was such that it helped implement certain principles and projects: sustainability (preserving biological and cultural diversity and local specificities), identity (natural resources, cultural heritage, population), accessibility (traffic, technical infrastructure), competitiveness (tourism, sports and recreation as part of tourism, cultural goods), contextuality (spatial development within a broader regional area) and horizontal and vertical coordination in planning and programming activities at the national, regional and local level.
Aleksandar Vučićević, Milica Joksić
Spatial Plan for the Special-Use Area Belgrade Waterfront, 2015
In 2014, the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade developed the Special-Use Area Spatial Plan for Regulation of the Riverbank Part of the City of Belgrade – the Sava Riverbank for the Belgrade Waterfront project, at the request of the Republic Agency for Spatial Planning of the Republic of Serbia as the Investor.
The main objective is to completely reconstruct this neglected area and turn it into a new modern city centre that is spatially integrated, socially acceptable and economically sustainable. Within Belgrade’s development conception, the Sava Amphitheatre is seen as the future city centre of the highest level with the greatest potential for constructing new central, commercial and public facilities, and with the possibility of elite housing, including exceptional public spaces and green areas. Cultural and educational facilities of national and city interest will take a special place in the new urban matrix, which a new traffic network will connect to the existing traffic system on both sides of the river, along with active inclusion of the riverbanks and new diverse and highly attractive functions and contents.
The Plan includes conditionalities and limitations imposed by over 40 city and state institutions during the drafting of the document. The Plan was adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and published in the Official Gazette of RS No 7/2015.
Detailed Regulation Plan of the bus and railway stations in Block 42, 2016
Relocation of the bus and railway stations is one of the preconditions of urban rehabilitation of Belgrade’s centre. Block 42 was strategically chosen for the relocation, as it represents the place where two axes of New Belgrade intertwine: the historical axis from the Federal Executive Council (SIV) building towards the Sava river and the new development axis along the railway and ISRR corridor.
The location was studied through two urban planning architectural contests organised in 1995 and 2014 for complex traffic node and integral urban design corresponding to the context of New Belgrade. The contest was organised in cooperation with the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade and the Association of Belgrade Architects. Among 54 proposals, the jury chose a design developed by a team led by academician Professor Milan Lojanica and Professor Vladimir Lojanica. Along with the recommendations and guidelines provided by the jury, this design served as the basis for developing the future plan.
The Plan’s concept was developed through extensive cooperation with public and utility companies of the City and the Republic, bus service operators and the municipality of New Belgrade. The greatest challenge was to resolve the issue of a complex internal technological scheme and align all types of public and city traffic, public city transportation, vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Another two aspects were crucial for creating the identity of the location: the possibility of constructing tall buildings and an appropriate public space complying with New Belgrade’s urban structure. Planned commercial capacities should ensure efficient use of city building land, in accordance with the location conditions, and compensate for significant public investments.
Suzana Branković, Dragana Minić-Šinžar
Detailed regulation plans for Jajinci settlement, 2016
The 2003 Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021 provided some guidelines for transforming the zones riddled with illegal construction and a basis for establishing criteria in the process of legalising facilities built without a building permit. Upon the adoption of the Master Plan, the City and the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade continued to work on resolving this problem, having adopted decisions on developing plans for the following settlements: Jelezovac, Mali Mokri Lug, Busije, Grmovac, Altina 2, Krnjača, Batajnica, Šangaj and Jajinci. The teams of the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade employed exceptional effort to develop all these plans striving to fulfil the main goals – to preserve the maximum number of constructed buildings, to provide an adequate planning and legal basis for their legalisation and to find a solution to raising the standard and the quality of life by introducing regular procedures. However, this is all, unfortunately, post festum planning.
The detailed regulation plans for Jajinci area in the municipality of Voždovac were preceded by the development of a single concept design. Upon reviewing the existing planning documentation that included the 1988 Detailed Urban Plan for Jajinci settlement and the 1983 Detailed Urban Plan for Kumodraž I settlement, and upon comparing it with the existing state, it was noted that the given area had long been swarmed with uncontrollable unplanned building that did not comply with the applicable planning documentation and minimal rules of urban planning. This resulted in an “urbanistic chaos” and utility and infrastructure ineptness of the area. In that sense, it was concluded that it was primarily necessary to carry out remediation of the area and bring it in line with basic urban planning principles through further planning by developing one or two individual planning documents, so as to create a basis for a higher urban living standard and include it into the already established city matrix.
Mila Milovanović, Jelena Đerić
Detailed Regulation Plan for Blocks 25 and 26, 2016
The initiative to develop a Detailed Regulation Plan for blocks 25 and 26 was launched by Belgrade’s Chief City Planner in 2005 with a view to defining all necessary programme elements, reviewing spatial, functional, volumetric and design possibilities of forming the centre of New Belgrade in accordance with all previous designs, and with a view to evaluating the scope and character of a future public space. The original design was based on an expert spatial-programme validation carried out in 2006. The design specification was developed based on the received material, and the urban planning architectural contest for blocks 25 and 26 was announced.
A survey contest was announced so as to explore the content and spatial potentials of the area that was the most important resource of the central New Belgrade zone with high urban potentials (economic, social and cultural) and the largest concentration of interests. The jury’s report on the winning design developed by architects Jovan Mitrović and Dejan Miljković emphasised the establishment of a new concept of New Belgrade’s central zone as its main attribute and value. According to the design, this new concept would be achieved by installing four reference towers, not along the previously advocated Federal Executive Council (SIV) building – railway station axis that had basically been abandoned due to further development of the city, general circumstances and the construction of a sports arena, but perpendicularly to it, which distinctly framed the new scope of New Belgrade’s centre. This was considered to be an important innovation and improvement.
After the contest, the work on the detailed regulation plan continued in 2015. It was necessary to develop an additional analysis that would define the possibilities and rules for constructing tall buildings in Block 26. The adopted Plan did not provide for new construction in Block 25 (which was one of the requirements of the contest), while it provided for the construction of more than 300,000 m2 of commercial buildings and 100.000 m2 of residential buildings in Block 26, in addition to the existing commercial buildings and a church.
Master Plan of Belgrade, 2016
The elements of urban development conception defined in the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021 have been kept as strategic approaches in the new Master Plan of Belgrade, having previously been evaluated and reviewed to take account of economic, demographic and social changes, as well as altered priorities of the city administration. Determining of potential locations for large city projects, rehabilitation and transformation of former industrial and military complexes, along with previously defined plans for commercial zones and parks, are the backbone of the urban development of Belgrade.
The new Master Plan of Belgrade, as a strategic planning document, dictated that general designs be defined based on the city’s urban development strategies and concepts with far less details compared to the 2003 Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021. The implementation of the Master Plan is carried out through general and detailed regulation plans.
Contrary to partial approach and unsynchronised spatial interventions, the focus was on planned design and development of larger spaces. At the same time, this enabled the city to have better control over the use and design of spaces and, therefore, pursue its economic, social and public interests.
The Plan recognised important spaces of interest to the entire city, with a potential to generate development of the surrounding areas. They were defined as future large city projects, proposed for more intensive planning, study and project activities in the planning period. They were aimed at the following:
- transformation and remediation of the area, including abandoned industrial and military complexes, brownfield locations and Belgrade riverbanks,
- initiating and intensifying the use of locations along the main city roads and entrance roads,
- developing projects for new residential buildings, affordable and social housing,
- developing strategic transport projects, and
- affirming the urban identity and values of the city.
Important parts of the Master Plan also include the following: a synthesised overview of the limitations of urban development, heritage, waters and water areas, measures for improving the environment, hydrothermal potentials of Belgrade, religious buildings and Belgrade riverbanks.
Sanja Đorđević, Vesna Radovanović
General Regulation Plan of Belgrade, 2016
The fact that it covers around 57,000 ha of the building land covered by the General Regulation Plan of the Seat of the Local Self-Government Unit – the City of Belgrade (units I–XIX), makes this plan surface-wise the largest in its category on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. The new Law on Planning adopted in 2009 introduced new types of planning documents – the general urban plan, which is a strategic plan defining guidelines for spatial planning, and the general regulation plan, as a plan that replaces the master plan defined by the former Law on Planning and sets the basis for the development of detailed regulation plans, while its parts can also be directly implemented through direct application of building rules.
The concept of the General Regulation Plan of the Local Self-Government Unit – the City of Belgrade builds on the Master Plan of Belgrade, which served as the basis for this Plan. Continuity has been achieved in the next few elements: recognition of the existing structures and realistic evaluation of physical possibilities for further intervention; continuity in traffic and infrastructure planning in accordance with the existing and planned uses of areas; integration of various amenities; planning the protection and development of remaining natural green areas deeply imbedded into the core of the city and nurturing inner-city green areas.
Darija Banjanin, Vesna Isajlović
Detailed Regulation Plan of Savska i Jezerska Terasa Settlement, 2017
The area between the Ibar Main Road (Ibarska magistrala), the Makiš Marshalling Yard and residential settlements of Žarkovo and Železnik was mostly addressed in detailed urban plans of the 1970s and 1980s. Despite being comprehensively planned, the residential settlements with accompanying amenities have never been constructed, except for the sports complex of FC Železnik and several infrastructural areas.
Unlike the urban plans of new settlements from the period of “organised residential construction” that were launched with a clear goal to ensure the basis for constructing a specific number of flats, one of the initial tasks of this Plan covering a 540 ha territory was to assess the future number of residents in the settlement. It was estimated that, if the settlement was fully constructed, around 50,000 people would live in it. Taking that goal into account, various typologies of residential zones were defined, with 11 locations for pre-school institutions, 7 for elementary schools and 2 for secondary schools, while significant portion of the area was intended for green and recreation areas (forest area) and for building facilities intended for sports, cultural, central and public contents of local and city interest.
The second task, which substantially differed from the previous ones related to this area, was to adjust the urban design (traffic and infrastructure matrixes, optimal dimensions of blocks and various types of distribution) and planning and building rules to the current land policy, i.e. to the existing cadastre situation, mainly comprised of privately owned agricultural fields. Since the dimensions of these lots were not suitable for construction but for farming, it was particularly challenging to find a way to retain the quality of the settlement in compositional and functional sense without limitations stemming from ownership relations.
However, despite the novelties in residential settlement planning introduced through this Plan, which were necessary so as to ensure the realisation in current circumstances, the key precondition of planned building is the construction of large infrastructure facilities and ensuring good utility/transport infrastructure for this large city area.
Green Regulation of Belgrade, 2002–2018
Upon analysing the state of green areas in Belgrade and identifying problems in their planning, setting up, financing and maintenance, the first stage of the Project in 2003 included drafting the Decision on the protection and improvement of green areas in Belgrade. Due to its comprehensive nature, the line ministry turned this decision into a law that, unfortunately, has not yet been adopted. In 2004, the second stage of the Project implied the preparation of a detailed programme necessary for developing GIS for Belgrade’s green areas. Based on this GIS, the public utility company Zelenilo Beograd formed a database that, since 2018, has become part of their business system, which has completely fulfilled the essence of having information systems.
The result of the third stage of the Project Mapping and Evaluation of Biotopes in Belgrade, in the period 2005–2007, was the creation of GIS for Belgrade biotopes, the first of its kind in Serbia. This database provides information on the diversity and presence of biotopes, flora and fauna, and on the value of biotopes with regard to biodiversity protection, which, inter alia, enables the application of domestic and international legislation and the integration of environmental principles into the process of urban planning.
The fourth stage of the Project implies developing an urban plan of the system of Belgrade’s green areas, the first ever in Belgrade and Serbia. Having defined the rules of planning and construction for forests, public green areas and green areas surrounding buildings, at the territory covered by the Master Plan of Belgrade, the Plan will serve as a basis for realising the city’s green infrastructure, once it is adopted.
1948-1958 The beginning
After the end of the Second World War, the Urban Planning Institute, the Urban Planning Institute of the People’s Republic of Serbia and the Office of the Chief Architect of Belgrade, Nikola Dobrović, were established. The Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade was founded in 1948 as part of the Urban Design Administration, which managed the extensive planned and organised construction of the city. Its main task was the development of the first post-war Master Plan of Belgrade, adopted in 1950.
Despite the scarce utility infrastructure, worn-out residential buildings and low standard of living, a large number of people from other parts of the country suddenly started moving to Belgrade. The city began developing abruptly and turbulently, without large planning procedures, within undeveloped locations throughout the territory, especially through the construction of family homes on the outskirts of the city. The Master Plan of Belgrade was being implemented through reconstruction and construction projects in the central city zone and through the analysis of ambitious visions for New Belgrade (Novi Beograd). The work on two major urban master plans, for New Belgrade and Belgrade on the right bank of the Danube, began in 1955. During that period, a series of decisions were made to reorganise the city’s urban planning services and form specialised institutions – such as directorates for city parks, bridges and roads – that would, on behalf of the city, organise the construction of public buildings and apartments, the design of squares and the construction of New Belgrade. In addition, a system of research and educational institutions for urban planning and architecture was set up.
1958-1974 Fast development
During this period, Belgrade experienced the fastest urban development in its history. Yugoslavia gained political and cultural credibility at the international level due to the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. In 1958, the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade became an expert institution and the city administration body responsible for urban planning, development and implementation of plans. By 1960, it employed around 110 experts from various fields, mostly architects. The most important tasks were major regulatory plans for the territories of all city municipalities and suburbs. The work on these plans resulted in the establishment of a new planning methodology, shifting from individual to team decision making, from expert-only to expert-synthesis of social and political entities. The basis for new plans lay in monitoring the implementation of previous plans, with the involvement of all social sectors.
In the Master Plan of Belgrade until 2000, a framework was established for spatial planning of large city areas, plans for the implementation stages (“etapni plan”), and through detailed urban plans for individual zones and local communities. Protection of the environment, natural, and cultural resources became the emphasis of the planning process alongside progressive studies, plans and projects for the most significant building projects in Belgrade. Both leading experts and city and state political leadership participated in forming the vision of future Belgrade. The scale and complexity of Belgrade’s growth made its architects and planners respected experts in the field at home as well as abroad.
1974-1985 Re-examining the visions
The adoption of the new Constitution of the SFRY in 1974, the series of legislative amendments, the economic decentralisation in 1976–1977 and the weakening of once strong Yugoslavia had a strong impact on urban development. Gradual political instability and accumulated economic problems following the death of President Tito in 1980 called for a revision of the urban development of Belgrade. In 1974, the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade and the Social and Economic Planning Institute merged into the Development Planning Institute of the City of Belgrade. This transformation was followed by the integration of the urban planning aspect of city planning with social and economic trends. The Institute lost its urban planning title for the first time, being absorbed by the social and economic trends.
After almost two decades of noteworthy organised residential development, the lack of reconstruction of the already built tissue became an acute problem. The modernist structures of the New Belgrade blocks were exposed to examination and creative criticism, which directed the work of the Institute towards study-research and detailed urban plans for the reconstruction of relevant city areas.
The Amendments to the Master Plan of Belgrade in 1985 stipulated that the city chose to pursue reachable goals and “moderate” development because of ambitious projects that had never begun. The plan called for thickening the existing tissue, urban revitalisation, reducing the scope of construction territories and the revision of transport networks. This change in the strategic plan was consistently implemented. State and city control over construction processes weakened. The transfer of planning jurisdiction from the city to municipal level only increased the instability and contributed to the growth of unplanned building.
1985-2000 The period of uncertainty
The time of political turmoil and changes in Europe during the late 1980’s was marked locally by an economic and political crisis and periods of “stabilisation” and “rationalisation”. The breakup of Yugoslavia, the wars in the region followed by political and economic sanctions of the 1990’s led Serbia into a period of transition where the priorities of urban development were hard to formulate. Plans from the period of planned economy became an obstacle to building, and the urban planning tradition and system were brought into question. Within the “free” market, municipalities autonomously made decisions about their development projects without any coordination at the city level, and during the late 1990’s, the number of unplanned buildings became equal to the number of buildings with a building permit.
In 1986, the Development Planning Institute of the City of Belgrade split into the Planning Institute, an administrative organisation for strategic planning, considered the legal successor of the former Institute, and into the Planning and Design Institute, an enterprise that operated on the market and developed detailed urban plans and conditions. The Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade, founded in 1994, was once again entrusted with the full responsibility of planning and development of the city. Striving to offer a solution for the bad urban planning situation the city was in, a new method of direct implementation of the Master Plan of Belgrade through the development of urban analyses of city blocks was used as the basis for interventions, as well as through the development of a large number of so-called “rehabilitation plans” for the city territories overwhelmed by unplanned building.
2000-2018 New enthusiasm
The new century inspired a new phase in the urban planning of Belgrade, and not just symbolically. In the first years, the city was recovering from a difficult period and its initial focus was to invest in designing public spaces and pedestrian zones. The city centre has regained the look and feel of a typical European capital. The market liberalisation and private capital now influence the ambitions of the administration and planning. New boulevards are being built alongside public, residential, and commercial buildings, including the first shopping centres. On the other hand, part of the city land is occupied by unplanned building, so solving the problem of these informal settlements has also become a matter of urban planning.
The Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade has entered the new century as a public urban planning enterprise. The development of the new Master Plan of Belgrade until 2021 has started. This was the first Master Plan of Belgrade with two simultaneous aspects: strategic and operational, because of the need of the society to speed up the administrative, permitting process of development. This principle enabled direct implementation of general rules in already built, central areas of the city, without any further formal elaboration through the long planning procedures. The second credit of this Plan was the introduction of the continuous planning principle, enabling five legitimate amendments to the original plan, according to the needs and the dynamics of the city and the society.
The new Master Plan of Belgrade and the General Regulation Plan for the City of Belgrade were adopted in 2016.
The new century has brought new challenges for urban planners: global urbanisation, climate change, smart networks, and new development priorities. To overcome these challenges, planners have to combine tradition and innovation, youth and experience, history and new visions for the Belgrade sustainable development.