Transforming Illegal Buildings and Informal Settlements into Legal and Sustainable Urban Developing Areas in the Southeast Europe and Balkans RegionSide Events Venue: R7
- Center Structure.
- Balkan Urban Realities,
- FORA Architects,
- Zoric Urban Re.Organization.
One of the significant urban phenomenon in Southeast Europe, the Balkans region and in the Republic of Serbia over the past thirty years has been the rapid and widespread growth of informal housing building. Illegal and informal housing development in countries like Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in almost all larger cities of the Republic of Serbia, by its scale, genesis, form and effects, represents a regional urban phenome non. It is partially a consequence of economic and planning system crises, but much more, it is a consequence of the turbulent transition trends in the region. Changing political and socio-economic conditions in the past three decades in Serbia created a number of reasons for the sprawling of informal and illegal building. Attempts and efforts to legalize and upgrade informal buildings and settlements and to integrate them into the urban structure of cities are still underway today. For the local authorities, it requires a great deal of effort to update urban plans and property database, provide an adequate budget for local infrastructure, and create spatial planning and survey instruments. It is necessary to make efforts to secure political commitment for sustainable urban development but also find ways to reduce negative impact of recent economic crisis, globalization and demographic changes on development of sustainable housing. At the same time it is necessary to find ways to boost positive impact of housing through application of principles such as: environmental protection, economic growth, social inclusion, citizen participation and cultural adequacy. Citizen participation is one of the key elements to success of the sustainable development. No matter the political and economic context, a decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing should be available for everyone.