THEMATIC ROUND TABLES IN THE PROCESS OF DRAFTING THE STRATEGY ON SUSTAINABLE AND INTEGRATED URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA UNTIL 2030

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After the initial conference in February 2018, the elaboration process of the Strategy on sustainable and integrated urban development of Serbia 2030 was continued within the next step – the elaboration of SWOT analysis and needs assessment. Working groups of the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure (MCTI) and the Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia (IAUS) with technical support of the GIZ/AMBERO project have organised six thematic round tables on the 29th and 30th of March 2018 in the hall of the Constitutional Court in Belgrade.

During the work within the round tables, about 120 representatives of the ministries, local self-governments, national organizations, academic institutions, institutes and public and private urban enterprises, development agencies, the SCTM, professional associations, non-governmental organizations and civil sector, international program – from Arandjelovac, Belgrade, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Krusevac, Nis, Novi Sad, Smederevo and Uzice took part. The conference was opened by the Assistant Minister Mr. Djordje Milic.

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Round tables were guided by the representatives of the IAUS in following topics: sustainable economic growth and financing of the local urban development; sustainable urban structures and rational land use; inclusive urban development and housing (29th March); traffic and technical infrastructure; environment and climate; cultural heritage and urban culture (30th March). At all round tables, the SWOT analyses and needs assessment was presented and followed by a discussion. The facilitation of the discussion at the round tables was provided by the GIZ/AMBERO project.

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In addition to keeping the problem in perspective by the means of discussion, the importance of insufficiently used potentials has also been pointed out. From the perspective of experiences from the practice, the participants of the round tables have emphasized dealing with problems of illegal construction, settlement sprawl, irrational land use, urban-rural linkage, insufficient capacities and low level of maintenance of technical infrastructure, condition of environment protection (contaminated sites in particular) and citizen protection, low level of transparency of decision making and public participation, lack of implementation of information technologies, problems and range of socially vulnerable groups in conditions of impoverishment as necessary.

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In addition to that, examples from the practice have been presented where improvements are being encouraged and further work needed on developing brownfield locations, urban renewal of settlements and parts with specific typological characteristics and historical values of urban structures from the socialistic heritage (industrial tourism), development of spas, overview of available financing sources , implementation of different instruments for development management, a more significant support on the local community and their better positioning, implementation of monitoring and evaluation indicators, better information on the examples of good practice (intermunicipal cooperation in waste management, tested methods and techniques of participation in urban development planning), supporting academic institutions, as well as establishing a professional platform. The significance of introducing innovations was also pointed out with examples in the field of urban mobility, healthy lifestyle and culture.

In the discussion, the hypothesis of the analysis were confirmed to the largest extent, but also new proposals have emerged-the introduction of the topic of development management, participation and transparency, gender equality, digitalization and GIS implementation, available financing sources, the necessity of developing institutional capacities, as well as adequate term use (creative economy, resilience etc).

After the correction of the materials according to the received suggestions, the next workshop with the members of the Working group is planned for the end of April 2018.