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Urban Development Model of a Post-socialist City in a Transitional Country: Case Study of Savamala Neighbourhood, Belgrade, Serbia

English title Urban Development Model of a Post-socialist City in a Transitional Country: Case Study of Savamala Neighbourhood, Belgrade, Serbia
Applicant Bolay Jean-Claude
Number 152572
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution VPAI - Coopération EPFL
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Architecture and Social urban science
Start/End 01.04.2014 - 30.09.2017
Approved amount 208'952.00
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Keywords (7)

Urban Transformations; Participatory Urban Design; Urban Planning; Transitional countries; MAS-ANT methodology; Social Participation; Post-socialist city

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le monde globalisé représente aujourd’hui une scène internationale, économiquement et politiquement très compétitive. Les pays en transition en subissent des difficultés, par manque d’expérience dans ce contexte, nouveau pour eux, d’économie de marché, de décentralisation des pouvoirs politiques et administratifs, de rareté des ressources, et de manque d’financement et investissements. La complexité de la réalité urbaine dans les villes postsocialistes sera introduite dans la recherche par l’analyse d’un réseau d’interactions entre: les acteurs urbains et les divers intervenants, les institutions publiques et privées et leurs différents programmes d'action, et l’espace, l'environnement bâti et les infrastructures. Un modèle de développement urbain du Savamala quartier à Belgrade, capitale de la Serbie, sera progressivement mis en place, intégrant les changements indispensables à tous les niveaux de l’organisation sociale, ainsi que les transformations requises au plan spatial.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectif du travail de recherché

L’étude de cas du quartier de Savamala et le modèle de développement qui s’y appliquera portera son regard sur les acteurs urbains, le cadre réglementaire et le territoire à propos de : la planification urbaine ; le marché foncier et immobilier, ainsi que les différents modes de conception participative de la ville. La compréhension de ces différents secteurs de prises de décision, engendre différents scénarios urbains. Un modèle servira de référence au système de prise de décisions à mettre en place dans le quartier historique mais dévasté de Savamala, au centre-ville de Belgrade.

Dans un premier temps, le projet de recherche analysera quels sont les différents facteurs urbains en jeu, leurs positionnements spécifiques sur le développement social et spatial de la ville, ainsi que les relations entre eux. Dans un deuxième temps, on travaillera de manière itérative entre les acteurs urbains, le cadre réglementaire et le territoire de façon à mettre en cohérence leurs influences spécifiques et réguler leurs relations dans l’action. Au final nous obtiendrons un modèle de développement urbain composé d’éléments clairement identifiés, de processus dûment répertoriés, et d’intervenant dont l’action est définie et connue de tous.

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

Les circonstances dans une ville postsocialiste se caractérisent par des méthodes et des actions de planification urbaine déficientes et inadéquates dans la résolution des principaux problèmes d’intégration sociale et d’aménagement harmonieux du territoire, ainsi que des tensions existant entre les approches top down et bottom up. En réponse à la situation qui prévaut, le modèle de développement urbain que nous élaborons par cette recherche vise à générer un nouveau type d’intelligence urbaine qui permettra de mieux maîtriser la fonctionnalité des structures et services urbains et de contribuer à l'amélioration de la qualité de vie des habitants

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.04.2014

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
1. In this highly competitive international economic and political arena, transitional countries experience a range of difficulties within this new context of: market economy, decentralized political and administrative powers, a lack of resources, a scarcity of general international investment and scant interest in dramatic shifts in all aspects of social organization and spatial transformations. Such a multifaceted urban reality in post-socialist cities is examined through the analysis of interactions among urban actors and stakeholders, institutions and policy agenda, and the issues of space, built environment and infrastructure. The aim is to build an urban development model of Savamala, a historical yet deteriorating quarter of central Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.
Lay summary

2. The case study and model of Savamala neighbourhood first breaks down and then recomposes the urban development process in transitional countries through a set of analyses that encompasses urban planning, real estate fluctuations, social participation and participatory design. Urban actors and stakeholders, the regulatory framework and spatial issues are assumed to be equal factors in the continuous process of dealing with urban conflicts and stimulating the diversity of social practices in Savamala. The resulting urban development model overlaps urban scenarios and tracks all factors in this post-socialist urban context.

This research project begins with the theoretical and practical examination of urban key factors in an urban environment and relations among them. Then, an iterative pattern is identified to illustrate how urban planning, real estate fluctuations, social participation and participatory design all address urban actors and stakeholders, the regulatory framework and spatial issues, both stimulating and regulating relations and influences among them. Finally, an urban development model connects these factors, processes and modes of representation within the system of decision making through the example of the Savamala neighbourhood in Belgrade.

3. Within a framework of deficient and inadequate urban planning methods and actions, this urban development model aims to contribute to improving life and the functionality of urban structures and systems, and effectively address the tensions between top-down and bottom-up urban planning in a post-socialist city. The potential result aspires to reinvent a more inclusive and flexible approach to urban issues that targets sustainable urban development. This can be carried out through structural analysis and logical argumentation to be found in both the case study and the model building methodological approaches. The methodology applied for this research is a combination of multi-agent system and actor-network theory (MAS-ANT).

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.04.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Decoding Urban Development Dynamics through Actor-Network Methodological Approach
Cvetinovic Marija, Nedovic-Budic Zorica, Bolay Jean-Claude (2017), Decoding Urban Development Dynamics through Actor-Network Methodological Approach, in Geoforum, 82, 141-157.
Participatory urban transformations in Savamala, Belgrade – capacities and limitations
Cvetinovic Marija, Maričić Tamara, Bolay Jean-Claude (2016), Participatory urban transformations in Savamala, Belgrade – capacities and limitations, in Spatium, 36, 15-23.
Instrumental Participation in Serbia: Online Platform for the Dialogue about Public Spaces. Their Availability and Public Usage
Cvetinovic Marija, Veselinovic Dobrica (2014), Instrumental Participation in Serbia: Online Platform for the Dialogue about Public Spaces. Their Availability and Public Usage, in Hostettler Silvia, Bolay Jean-Claude, Hazboun Eileen (ed.), Springer, Switzerland, 159-170.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
The Faculty of Architecture, the University of Belgrade Serbien (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia (IAUS) Serbien (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
IVMC5 2017: Visualizing the City Talk given at a conference Urban development processes in post-socialist cities: Methodological cross-pollination through infographics 16.08.2017 Singapore, Singapore Cvetinovic Marija;
RC21- The transgressive city Talk given at a conference Is the Economy of Social Exchange in Service of Bottom-up Urban Development? Savamala Civic District in Belgrade, Serbia 21.07.2016 Mexico City, Mexico Cvetinovic Marija;
RSA 2nd North America Conference Cities and Regions Talk given at a conference Guidelines to Reinterpret Decision Making Complexity for Multifaceted Urban Governance in Belgrade, Serbia 14.06.2016 Atlanta, United States of America Cvetinovic Marija;
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference Talk given at a conference Urban development model of an ordinary city in the constant state of change - the MAS-ANT methodological approach 02.09.2015 Exeter, Switzerland Cvetinovic Marija;
Local Government and Urban Governance: Citizen Responsive Innovations in Europe And In Africa Talk given at a conference Unfolding governance practices for top-down management of urban conflicts in a post-socialist neighbourhood in Belgrade 09.04.2015 Lisbon, Portugal Cvetinovic Marija;
Urban and Landscape Days: the 11th Conference - Socialist and Post-socialist Urbanizations, Architecture, Land and Property Rights Talk given at a conference Unfolding Urban Planning Model for Top-down Management of Urban Conflicts in a Post-socialist City: Case Study of Savamala Neighbourhood in Belgrade 08.05.2014 Tallin, Estonia Cvetinovic Marija;


Knowledge transfer events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Workshop for PhD students "Post-socialist urban development in Serbia – the role of public participation and evaluation of plans and programmes" 23.02.2016 Belgrade, Serbien
Workshop for Master students "Bottom-up Actor-networks in Savamala" 12.11.2015 Belgrade, Serbien
International workshop for experts "URBAN PLANNING METHODS AND INSTRUMENTS: Lessons and Application in Post-socialist Cities" 27.10.2015 Belgrade, Serbien

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
160503 Support to Process of Urban Development in Serbia (SPUDS) 01.04.2015 SCOPES
160503 Support to Process of Urban Development in Serbia (SPUDS) 01.04.2015 SCOPES

Abstract

The overall objective of this research project is to critically address, break down and recompose the urban development process in transitional countries through a set of analyses that encompasses top-down urban planning strategies, tactical urban transformations, and bottom-up participatory urban design operations.In this highly competitive international economic and political arena, transitional countries experience grave consequences due to the paucity of practical experience within this new context of market economy, decentralized political and administrative powers, a lack of resources, the scarcity of general international investment and scant interest for dramatic shifts in all aspects of social organization and spatial transformations. In this way, urban reality in post-socialist cities is seen as a complex, multi-layered network of causes and effects that evidence production and also the challenge of urban conflict through interaction and interconnections among people (urban actors and stakeholders), objects (built environment), territories (space), institutions (regulatory framework), infrastructure and social practices. All these urban key agents are assumed to be equal agents in the work-in-progress process of dealing with urban conflicts and harnessing contextual resources within the space-time compression of a contemporary urban context.The conceptual framework explained herein examines the urban key agents and numerous urban conflicts and contextual resources in Savamala, a historical but deteriorating city quarter in Belgrade, where a set of bottom-up urban transformations and participatory spatial interventions intent in this respect to make these environments, in their incompleteness, plurality and informality, dynamic and diverse arenas of contemporary urban life, experience and theory. Through the lack of successful urban planning models and actions, it is this economy of social exchange that could, if carefully broken down into detail and adequately analysed, continually contribute to an improvement of life and functionality of urban structures and systems, and effectively address the tensions between top-down and bottom-up urban planning in a post-socialist city.The possible result is belayed in an urban development model which processes all the interconnections and networks of the urban key agents incited by different levels of decision making (urban planning strategies, tactical urban transformations, and participatory urban design operations) and better corresponds to the socio-spatial patterns of post-socialist cities in transitional countries. This can be carried out through a multi-agent system and actor-network theory (MAS-ANT) methodological approach in order to overlap urban scenarios from different levels of decision making and track cultural identities, requirements and needs of all urban actors. This urban development model therefore aims to master the process of intensifying urban functionality, generating urbanity and producing urban intelligence in order to justify these hypotheses:H1: Specificities of socio-spatial patterns in a post-socialist city emerge from the blurred and askew interconnections and interrelations of different levels of decision making (urban planning strategies, tactical urban transformations, and participatory urban design operations) and set the conditions for specifying the level of urbanity in a post-socialist city.H2: Urban development in a post-socialist city is determined by upgrading the level of urbanity. Breaking down the morphology of influences among different decision-making levels through mapping a multi-layered network of interactions and interconnections among urban key agents (urban actors, built environment, space, regulatory framework, infrastructure, social practices) clarifies a dynamic urban development model in a post-socialist city.H3: A dynamic urban development model set as an iterative procedure of merging different levels of decision-making in a post-socialist city reinterprets a multi-layered network of interactions and interconnections among urban key agents by applying the Multi-agent system (MAS) and Actor-network theory (ANT) methodological approach.The methodology of this research breaks down the building of an urban development model, and addresses its corresponding terminology and its elements identified in three hypotheses. In order to test them, we propose a phased work:(1) Case study: Structural analysis of the key elements of the MAS-ANT methodological approach and an investigation of relations among these key agents; how they address to the levels of decision making and how they constitute the level of urbanity in the neighbourhood of Savamala in Belgrade, Serbia.(2) Model building: Logical argumentation on how the interaction between the levels of decision-making and the levels of urbanity (MAS-ANT methodological approach) contribute to build a dynamic urban development model.This research is based on currently in-progress Pre-study conducted by CODEV/EPFL that encompasses discourse analysis of urban transformation factors and operationalization of urban planning and urban development in Belgrade.
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