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					                     49 th IFHP World Congress, Rome, Italy, 2005.
                               Scenarios of Urban Mobility

       Continuity-Discontinuity in City Development, Case Study of Belgrade

                           Marina Bozic, BSc in Architecture
            Natasa Danilovic Hristic, MSc in Architecture and Urban Planning
                    TOWN PLANNING INSTITUTE OF BELGRADE
                       Palmoticeva 30, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
                     tel. +381113345102 fax. +381113345602
                Marina.Bozic@urbel.com , Natasa.Danilovic@urbel.com


It is real, but rear happiness for a city to be developed in continuity. Although Belgrade is
an ancient city, two millenniums old and existing more than 800 years with same name,
its experience, due to the geo-political location within numerous Balkan’s cities, it seams
that it is more related with discontinuity, even in physical sense (only in 20 century this
city was four times bombarded), than with continuity of building and creating. The task is
to find and use in future more continuity references, specially those connected with
movements and needs of citizens.

Case study gives us opportunity to overlook clear examples of:
1. Continuity of development, which could be seen in spatial, time, memory or action
aspect:
• Part of Belgrade by Danube river, Vinca, is a vivid settlement
   existing in continuity for 9000 years, representing unique culture
   from period of neolith. Today it is a place for research, education
   and pleasure, best reachable by tourist boat during summer
   period.
• Ruins and parts of roman castrum was changed by medieval
   fortress and castle on beautiful spot upon two rivers conduction.
   From place of clashes it became place of recreation, but for sure
   it stayed a place of contemplation. Among South-East European
   fortifications Belgrade's fortress is unique. It was built on
   extremely convenient strategic location, above mouth of river, on
   crossing of important Europeans roads to east and with a
   beautiful view to the valley across the rivers. For two millenniums it was a witness of
   history, influencing the fate of many states and nations. In ancient times it was
   founded as a castrum Singidunum, and Slav conquers with admiration gave it a new
   name: Belgrade, meaning "white city".
   As a very composite complex,
   with several historical layers,
   Belgrade's      fortification     is
   significant for researching
   development        of      building
   techniques. It is easy to track
   all changes and improvements
   in military architecture from the
   ancient       ages,        through
  medieval centuries to the modern artillery bastion. Destroyed and rebuilt for many
  times, only in period of 17th and 18th century, the fortress was represented on more
  than 200 plans and engravings.
  In early 1950 started a new era of
  old fortress and castle. After the
  defense role became unimportant,
  the     voluminous      archeological
  researches started, followed by
  measures for heritage conservation.
  Renovation and reconstruction led
  to integration with the city core.
  Historical museum on open, the
  favorite place of local citizens and
  tourists was created. Its walls and
  towers became a frame for new
  uses: park with all urban design elements, museums and galleries spaces, churches,
  zoo garden, spaces for leisure time, sport and recreation facilities... Periodically,
  depending on whether conditions, its magnificent scenery is used for music, film or
  theatric happenings. The plans for the future are predicting improving and
  enrichment of contents.
• Urban plans covering great deal of the city since coming closer to European city
  style in 19. century to contemporary times. Celebration of 200 years since First
  Serbian Revolution against Turkish occupation and final liberation and creation of
  modern state was opportunity to remind all of us on historical facts that led to
  cotemporary Belgrade’s urban experience. First Serbian urban planer Emilijan
  Josimovic (1823-1897), 135 years ago gave his “Proposition for Regulation of
  Belgrade in Trench1“. By this plan Belgrade lost the spirit of casaba and became
  modern city. Using Europe, as personification of higher standard is still actual today.




• Traditional land use as a part of memory, could be traced in continuity of general –
  strategic plans for City of Belgrade, from 1932, 1956, 1972, till 2000 and last one till
  2021.




1
    Trench refers to ditch filled with water, in front of surrounding fortification walls and gates.
    Today this is city core.
• Low mobility of autochthonous dwellers is connected with traditional life in wider
  family organization and deep roots with some city part identity. It could be explained
  by economical reasons, but it is evident that some families create and stay in
  community for generations.
• Keeping of traditional events, celebrations and manifestations related with city
  history, culture or even religion are very important for continuity.


2. Discontinuity of development which could be very strong sometimes could erase
efforts to keep “strait” line of going forward. Negative factors from outside became crucial
in city (un)development:
• Political instability in close surrounding, is not
   new thing for this city. This part of Europe was
   always unstable territory, on crossing of
   European roads. The last shock was during 90’s
   of 20 century.
• Uneven         and        discontinued       economic
   development, with consequences in financial
   sector is part of         geopolitical position and
   situation. Rear example is so called stable period
   from 60’s to 80’s when enormous number of
   housing, commercial and administrative buildings
  as transportation and infrastructure lines were erected, mostly in new surrounding city
  areas.
• But city still suffers form destruction, specially two last bombarding, during SWW
  1941-1945 and NATO action in spring 1999. In first one among many lost lives and
  destruction of other buildings, city lost National Library with all treasures and rear
  books. In more resent, the selected aims were mostly structures used by military or
  police and infrastructure facilities (bridges, industry, water or electricity supplies).
  Most of damaged or destroyed buildings in Belgrade were represents of the modern
  architecture, marked as a masterpieces and protected by the Institute for Building
  Heritage Preservation. Majority of them are located in very attractive sites, nearby
  central city core. Almost six years after the air attack, some of these structures are
  still in very poor condition, waiting for rebuilding. Several buildings, as "the most fresh
  wounds" in Europe, already became a tourist attraction, usually photographed in
  memory of visit.
  In February 2002. the meeting named "Face of the City" was held in Belgrade.
  Members of professional associations gathered to discuss future destiny of the
  listed buildings which were seriously damaged. There are three variants:
  1. to clean building sites and erect new structures,
  2. to reconstruct, keep the facades and basics of interior organization, with optional
         change of use and
  3. to keep buildings in a present condition, as specific monuments.
  The conclusion was undivided, reconstruction of these city marks is possible in
  technical sense, but the problem lays in high level of investment. The public is
  divided in its opinion, but aware that for this reason some of Belgrade's architectural
  and identity symbols, as a Television Tower on Avala for example, are gone forever.
  The local and international markets are interested for the bombed military
  headquarters, specially those situated in the Kneza Milosa Street, hoping to
  reconstruct them in the luxury hotels and business offices. Could this unfortunate
  occasion be a challenge and chance to improve and redevelop attractive city
  locations? Should plans follow examples from Berlin, Warsaw or Beirut?




• High mechanical demographic increase (mobility from other parts of Serbia to the
  capital city and specially refugees during 1990’s), causing illegal development, stress
  of infrastructural and transport utilities and public facilities. City was not prepared in
  organizational and financial way to be a host for thousands of new citizens with
  housing demands. Because of that they were forced to solve their fundamental needs
  by themselves, and that made unplanned spreading of the city. The question is:
  Could any European city would be ready to act in such short period and with very
  limited budget to solve this kind of problem?
  The category of illegal ("wild") building is extremely negative phenomenon in the
  rigid and inefficient administrative systems of urban planning. It is almost unknown in
  the western societies, because the wide sets of instruments, from the legislation to
  the market conditions, don't leave any free space for this kind of speculation. The
  characteristics of transition countries, with aspirations to the West Europe's model,
  are the questions of democratization, pluralism, economical and political stability,
  process of the decentralization and as soon as possible capability for connecting in
  pan-European current.
  There is increasing demand for solving this long-term problem. The issue of illegal
  development is connected with topics such as legislative, politics, economy, sociology
  and demography, or on the lower level: urban growth, land use, urban reconstruction,
  sustainable development and building standards. "The architecture without
  architects", assumed ugly face in many senses: from obstructing of basic urban
  functions, usurpation of public goods to the questions of safety and esthetics. The
  illegal buildings overflow the city area and the settlements encircled it. Wide housing
  appeared in almost all city districts, from exclusive residential areas, to the
  settlements of the urban poverty.
   In this moment the process is stopped, but the problem of illegal buildings and even
  settlements still exist. The solution is balancing between destruction and reforming,
  and becomes a significant political question. We aspect the new Law for urban
  planning and building, which will encourage efficient land use and growing
  development rate.




• Neglecting of urban plans and real demands led to enormous problems. Physical
  ruining of single buildings or whole city areas, have base in spatial and planning
  discontinuity, neglecting central city zones in one period and giving bigger chance to
  developing satellite settlements and leaving empty areas between. The profession,
  fettered by rigid system of planning and making decisions, in the first moment wasn't
  prepared to answer to the challenge. But when it became aware of the seriousness of
  the situation, it was too late. The urban plans of the past period, proclaimed
  "collective buildings" in the new, modern settlements and ignored parceling for
  individual housing or reconstruction of the existing housing fond. When the rate of
  collective development decreased, the illegal housing became "valve" for unsolved
  needs of the inhabitants. They started to buy the agricultural land in the outskirts of
  the city and to erect their houses. Very soon the biggest illegal settlement in Europe -
  Kaluderica, with more than 70.000 inhabitants, without basic technical and social
  infrastructures, "spring up" in the Belgrade's periphery.
  Meanwhile the political frame changed, the leaders already calculated own benefits
  and loses. The so called "valve" was very convenient for social calming down in the
  hard times and excellent mask for corruption. The evident ignoring was really support.
  Many new luxuriant closely connected with political top, or private developers,
  utilized this situation, and achieved benefits or extremely large profits. The plans for
  improvement and numerous appeals for action were useless, the Establishment
  wasn't interested in. The usual excuse was that this is the question of the population
  mentality. The builders who ignored legal procedure were in some sense privileged
  than those who were trying to get permissions (the procedure usually lasted from 1-3
  years, with complications of obtain from 15-30 different documents).
  Period of transition brought conditions for comeback of fundaments of ownership,
  market planning and rational land use.

Conclusions:
Possible solutions for overcoming of negative trends of discontinuity of Belgrade’s
development lays in efficient urban plans, developing and renewal of neglected areas
and traffic and infrastructural lines, integration of historical places and heritage in
contemporary uses, arising mobility, starting educational process for new citizens and
introducing behavior of strong city identity. Financial aid for future policies, strategies
and projects, is essential. As the end, parole used during protests during 90’s
BELGRADE IS A WORLD, give best impression about filing of its citizens and strong
national and moundial identity.

				
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