On 19 June 2014, Mikro Art, a SBPPF grantee from Serbia, held a press conference and presented their Policy Paper “Citizens in City Development”. This analysis of citizens’ participation in urban development in Serbia shows discrepancy between official strategic documents which proclaim the need for transparent and participatory urban and spatial planning and actual legal framework. This policy document also brings recommendations for better and more effective participation of citizens in urban planning.
Given that Draft of Law on Planning and Constructing will soon be on public discussion, participants of the conference agreed that changes that should be most advocated for are those related to the transparency of the process (proper announcing, accessibility of all relevant documents in all phases of the process and online inquiry). Besides the authors of the policy document, speakers on the conference were Rade Djuric from Transparency Serbia and Vladimir Martinovic from group Protect Zvezdara forest.
Around 20 participants attended the conference, as well as the national news agency TANJUG who made a report which was taken by various media (this is the text) and some made articles out of the document (like this one). Mikro Art were also approached by two planners interested in further advocacy activities, especially in the light of upcoming new Draft of Law on Planning and Constructing.
The Policy Paper (in local language) is available for download at the following link.