Regulating market-led urban expansion in the new master plans of Sofia and Belgrade

  • Aleksandar D. Slaev Varna Free University, Faculty of Architecture, Varna, Bulgaria
  • Slavka Zeković Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Atanas Kovachev Varna Free University, Faculty of Architecture, Varna, Bulgaria; University of Forestry, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Tamara Maričić Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Tanja Bajić Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia, Belgrade
Keywords: Post-socialist development, suburbanisation, urban growth, market-led urban development, market planning relationship


Like most European cities, cities in South-east Europe (SEE) have been growing throughout the 20th century, however, since the end of the 1980s, the mechanisms of urban growth and expansion have changed radically: from development fully determined by central planning to market-led urban development. This paper examines how planning in large SEE cities is coping with the challenge to balance the action of the market and achieve planning goals relating to the form of urban growth and expansion. As case studies we analyse the master plans of Sofia and Belgrade and their implementation. We have two research questions: first, whether planning in the two cities has considered the role of the market when defining its objectives, measures and solutions regarding the forms of urban growth and the development of in suburban areas, and, second, whether planning has been able to influence the market or cooperate with it in order to achieve its objectives in suburban development. [Project of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Grant no. III 47014 and Grant no. TR 36036]


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