BLOCK 45 Unblocking a sustainable future for new Belgrade

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been agreed upon and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) has been signed. In Serbia this policies led to the formulation of a national „sustainable and integrated urban development strategy“. But how are these policies translated into action on the ground?
What does it mean for the local context and how do we as professionals guide the implementation process?

This international project takes its starting point in the global SDGs and ask questions of how to localize the SDGs, especially goal 11 on “making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”.

Our case is the highly dynamic neighbourhood „Block 45“ at the Sava riverfront in Novi Belgrade, Serbia. Novi Belgrade is a city extension that was designed after WW II according to the modernist ideas of the Athens Charter. In its first stage of development it was the administrative centre of the socialist Yugoslavia and then developed into a sleeping city. After the collapse of the Yugoslavian federation large companies invested into Novi Belgrade and partially turned it into an economic centre.

Within Novi Belgrade, Block 45 is a neighbourhood, that is well known for it’s active and well organized community that strongly articulates its demands. Located directly at the waterfront of the Sava river, it is also facing some severe challenges like an informal growth of floating homes, that block the access to the river, environmental issues, risk of flooding or a rather poor condition of public spaces.

The aim of this project is to develop strategies for the neighbourhood in a joint studio with students from Belgrade University, Faculty of Architecture (trip 24.10. – 03.11.). The scope is to further develop individual or group projects that deal with the modernist block heritage addressing different topics, e.g. mobility, environmental issues, social mix or infrastructure. This way the project aims to illustrate how the SDGs can be localized in this neighborhood.

Faculty of Architecture at the University of Belgrade and local partners in Block 45.