Serbia’s cities are vital to national economic growth. However, for these cities to become drivers of regional development and poverty reduction, they need to be better managed to increase their livability and their citizens’ quality of life. Improved strategic urban development and management can help cities in Serbia fully capitalize on their potential and play a crucial role in supporting the country’s green transition.
The Government of Serbia recognizes the importance of cities for the national economy. In 2019, it approved the Sustainable Urban Development Strategy (SUDS) and followed up with an action plan in March 2021, establishing a comprehensive and integrated program for the next-stage development of Serbian cities.
This program offers Serbia a unique opportunity to make progress toward a green transition at the sub-national/municipal level, envisaged under the EU’s Green Deal. It also fits the World Bank’s strategic direction for the post COVID-19 recovery in line with the World Bank’s Green, Resilient Inclusive Development (GRID) approach.
About the Program
In June 2021, the World Bank initiated the Green, Livable, Resilient Cities in Serbia Program, together with the Ministry of Construction, Transport, and Infrastructure, to strengthen sustainable and resilient urban development of select cities in the country. This activity is part of the World Bank Sustainable and Regional Development (SURGE) Global Umbrella Program and supported by the Swiss Confederation through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
This four-year technical assistance is expected to commence in early 2022 and over time support selected cities in Serbia with planning and implementing sustainable, low-carbon and resilient urban development programs, while providing the national government with policy recommendations and suggested actions to facilitate the implementation of SUDS. A deep-dive analysis will also help identify challenges in the municipal solid waste management sector.
The Program aims to address existing knowledge gaps at the national level, and to support chosen cities boost their capacities:
- To better plan, prepare, and carry out high-impact city-level investments that promote sustainable, low-carbon urban development and urban resilience, and
- To deepen knowledge base and policy dialog toward more inclusive, sustainable, resilient and green urban development, including in lagging regions.
For more information about World Bank’s activity in urban development, please visit: