Spatial and urban planning in Serbia: A look through the lens of deliberative approach

  • Ana Perić ETH Zurich, Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development, Zurich, Switzerland University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Milutin Miljuš University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade, Serbia
Keywords: deliberative democracy, deliberation, rationality, spatial and urban planning, Serbia


In planning, the deliberative process is most commonly present in the form of a structured public discussion. The main idea behind such an approach is to improve communication among different participants by informing them about a local problem before any stakeholders’ preference is adopted, agreement reached and, finally, the problem solved. With the help of a mediator, an independent third party, the participants are considered equal, rational and free to give their opinion. Such a deliberative approach is an integral part of most planning procedures in developed countries. However, the enhancement of the planning process in the post-socialist context is delayed due to institutional rigidities, public mistrust towards the initiators of spatial development, and the lack of mediation procedures in the planning process. Previous features are also specific to Serbia, as a transitional state, which, nevertheless, experienced a somewhat different social context in comparison to other Eastern Bloc countries during the second half of the previous century. To understand the contemporary situation better, the paper provides an overview of spatial and urban planning in Serbia since the Second World War, observed from the deliberative stand, in an attempt to define the basic guidelines for the transformation of the planning approach in Serbia.


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