New instruments for ecologically sustainable, socially balanced, market-oriented and efficient urban land management
• Integrated Urban Development Concepts • Early Public Participation • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) • Feasibility Studies • Brownfield Development • Urban Design Concepts • Standards for Land-Use Classification • Land Readjustment • Real Estate Valuation • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) •
The GIZ project Strengthening of Local Land Management in Serbia (2010-2015), financed by the German government through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), was first implemented in the year of 2010. Since then, it has been successfully executed by the German consortium of the consulting companies AMBERO Consulting and ICON Institute, in close cooperation with local partners from national and local level. The main political partner of the project is the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure.
In the decades before the year 2000, the urban development and land management in Serbia have been strongly characterized by socialist structures and processes. The economic and political transformation process introduced afterwards has made it necessary to adapt urban land management instruments to new conditions. New management instruments are needed to balance different interests of the market and the general public, and for a better coordination between public and private investments in municipalities. In view of the desired rapprochement of Serbia to the European Union, the project promotes the sustainability and the efficiency of urban land management in Serbian cities and municipalities according to European standards.
The implementation of the project is based on a multi-level, as well as a bottom-up approach with complementary advisory measures on national and local level. The project is cooperating with a broad range of partners for its implementation and the dissemination of results, such as the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, local self-governments, professional associations and universities.
The project has 4 components:
- Sustainable and Integrated Urban Planning
- Construction Land Development
- Real Estate Valuation
- Geographic Information Systems in Local Land Management
In the first phase of the project from 2010 to 2012, the introduction of new procedures and instruments was tested in pilot projects in 13 partner cities and municipalities. During the current second phase of the project, from 2013 to 2015, the experiences made in the pilot projects have been disseminated and discussed on national level.
Through supporting the implementation of new land management instruments and approaches on national level and in local self-governments, the project is conceptualized to directly address various stakeholder groups including citizens. For that purpose, capacity development measures – such as the workshop series “Urban laboratory”, round tables and study trips – and the development of training manuals and PR materials foster the understanding and dissemination of the newly applied approaches.
1. Component: Sustainable and Integrated Urban Planning
Under the focus of sustainable integrated urban planning, various activities have been successfully implemented, such as the development of integrated urban development concepts, feasibility studies for the revitalization of brownfield sites, the improved integration of strategic environmental assessments within urban plans, or the introduction of new participatory methods in urban planning procedures.
The urban planning processes in the partner municipalities, as for example the development of the Integrated Urban Development Strategies, were characterized by the introduction of new participation methods oriented towards informing and encouraging active participation of citizens and local stakeholders (such as survey, choice catalogue, design workshop, World Café and visioning). The application of these methods has contributed to an increased acceptance and ownership of the citizens concerning the development of their city, as well as to an improved transparency of the actions of the local authorities. The experiences made in the pilot municipalities served as valuable good practices for the elaboration of the “Guide for Participation in Urban Development Planning”, published by the GIZ project and disseminated throughout the country.
2. Component: Construction Land Development
Another instrument promoted by the project is land reallocation. Land reallocation is a process of land exchange, led by public authorities in order to readjust the ownership situation, so that new land plots are formed in a way that their position, form und dimensions are designed accordingly to the intended development and planned land-use as defined in the regulation of the urban plan.
The experiences made in the pilot projects on local level served as a basis for drawing up a proposal for a legal regulation of this instrument. The proposal has been integrated into the new Law on Planning and Construction in Serbia. As a next step, a proposal for a by-law on land reallocation has been drafted in collaboration with the Ministry, and is now awaiting its adoption in the near future.
3. Component: Real Estate Valuation
The GIZ project has been supporting local self-governments in real estate valuation with special regard to the implementation of a local GIS based information system for real estate and land prices, including purchase price collections and municipal land valuation maps. Based on the experiences made in the pilot cities and municipalities, the project is currently advising national institutions in the development of an official national real estate valuation system.
4. Component: Geographical Information Systems in Local Land Management
The project has supported Serbian cities and municipalities in the use of GIS for land management purposes. In Majdanpek, Kladovo and Despotovac, the local administrations were supported in purchasing appropriate software and training local staff to use GIS. In Čačak, the project has advised the City Administration in the further development of a Web-GIS based municipal land information system.
Legal framework: Draft of the new Planning and Construction Law
In December 2014, the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure adopted the Law on Amendments to the Law on Planning and Construction. The GIZ project supported the Ministry in the incorporation of the following topics into the law: EU compliant principles of planning, early public participation, establishing and financing of a national program for urban development, new regulations for the implementation of land reallocation and improved involvement of the environmental departments concerning Strategic Environmental Assessment. These amendments contribute to lead Serbia towards implementing standards in the urban development and land management sector in compliance with those of the European Union.