Concept of the green spaces system – Belgrade case study



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Contemporary approach to urban development, founded on sustainable development principles, is counting on urban green spaces system as one of the most significant city infrastructure. The term implies integration of multifunctional open spaces – various types of green spaces, water courses and open rural areas, distributed in such a way to contribute to improvement of life and working conditions in the city, to protection of biodiversities of urban sites and to the attractiveness of city vista (Teofilović, Cvejić, et al.; 2009).

The city of Belgrade is the capital of the Republic of Serbia, situated in South-East Europe in Balkan peninsula. According to the population census from 2002, the population of the inner city territory was 1.326.872. The City is situated at the confluence of the two big rivers, Sava and Danube. The surroundings of Belgrade consists of the two different natural entities: Pannonia lowlands in the North and Šumadija upland in the South. The expressed relief plasticity of Belgrade in the South of the Sava and Danube, conditioned the spreading of the City across hilly terrain. In the North of the Sava and Danube are alluvial plains and loess plateau, separated by a steep loess section, to 30 meters high. Due to the position of Belgrade in the contact zone of the two highly contrasted natural entities, a great variety of vegetative biocenosis of flora and fauna exists.

Urban planning in Belgrade have had a long and rich tradition since 1842, when the first plan of the City was adopted. The development of the green spaces system of Belgrade went on side by side with the urban planning of the City. The basic concept of establishment of the green spaces system, by connection of the city center and its housing areas via alleys and corridors of greenery with the City surroundings, has not been substantially modified in the up-to-date urban plans. Nevertheless, that idealistic vision of the integral system of the City green spaces, present in plans, has not been realized up till now. On the contrary, occupations and irregular changes of land use for the spaces marked in plans for greenery are more and more often present. From the point of view which is based on the interests of investors, green spaces of Belgrade are primarily an unbuilt land, meaning potentially available and variously attractive and profitable land resource. This is especially prevailing under condition of a weak control of constructions, inadequate legal regulations and flexible interpretation of the existent plans, enabling multiple manipulations in distribution of construction sites (Djukanović, 1994).

On the other hand, the strategic choice that Belgrade should be planned on sustainability principles, asks for a different relation towards the green spaces system of the City. That was the reason why the Secretariat for Environmental Protection of Belgrade initiated elaboration of the project „Green Regulations of Belgrade“ (Teofilović, Cvejić, et al.; 2003). Three stages of the project has been completed up till now, and its ultimate goal is, besides determining of an adequate legal regulations, design of a special urban plan of the green spaces system of Belgrade (coming stage four). As significant stages of the project „Green regulations of Belgrade“, from the standpoint of the final goal, might be highlighted: Mapping and Evaluation of biotopes of Belgrade (Teofilović, Cvejić, et al.; 2007) and design of the „Program for elaboration of the urban plan of the green spaces system of Belgrade“ (Teofilović, Cvejić, et al.; 2009).

This work is aiming to present the new concept of the green spaces system of Belgrade defined in mentioned projects and based on the detailed and multiannual analysis, estimations and research, as well as on GIS, biotopes of Belgrade data.