Belgrade,Serbia The Story of Urban Renewal and Community Transformation


Robert Eduard Antal » Urban Innovation » Innovation and Sustainability

Belgrade’s Contributions and Roles in the Eurocities Network

Innovation and Sustainability

Belgrade is committed to sustainability and innovation, aligning with the Eurocities network’s objectives. The city actively works towards reducing CO2 emissions and promoting green technology across various sectors.

Goals and Initiatives

Belgrade has set ambitious goals to reduce its carbon footprint by:

  • Increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
  • Implementing extensive recycling programs.
  • Encouraging sustainable transportation, including electric vehicles and cycling.

Smart City Initiatives

Leveraging advanced technology, Belgrade improves urban life through various smart city initiatives. These projects focus on enhancing public services, improving infrastructure, and ensuring sustainable growth.

Official City Website:

Examples of Smart City Projects

  • Smart Water Management: Implementing IoT systems to monitor and clean the city’s waterways.
  • Telemedicine Services: Enhancing healthcare access through telemedicine programs and smart medical devices.
  • Intelligent Traffic Management: Utilizing AI-based traffic signal systems to reduce congestion and emissions.

Cultural and Social Projects

Belgrade actively engages in cultural and social projects, providing support for vulnerable groups and promoting cultural diversity. The city’s initiatives foster community spirit and social cohesion.

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives

  • Inclusive Art Programs: Offering art workshops and events for people of all abilities.
  • Community Support Centers: Providing resources and assistance for homeless individuals and low-income families.
  • Cultural Festivals: Organizing annual multicultural festivals to celebrate and promote diversity.

Urban Planning and Development

Belgrade focuses on significant urban development projects aimed at enhancing livability and addressing climate change. The city’s planning strategies integrate sustainable practices and modernize infrastructure.

Examples of Urban Development Projects

  • Green Belgrade Initiative: Developing new green spaces, parks, and urban forests.
  • Eco-Friendly Housing Projects: Constructing energy-efficient residential buildings.
  • Public Transportation Expansion: Extending metro lines and improving public transit connectivity.

Youth and Education

Creating vibrant environments for students and young professionals is a priority for Belgrade. The city fosters educational excellence and provides opportunities for youth development.

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives

  • STEM Education Programs: Offering coding and robotics workshops in schools.
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Hubs: Establishing spaces for young entrepreneurs to innovate and collaborate.
  • University-Industry Partnerships: Promoting collaboration between universities and industries to boost career opportunities.

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

Belgrade’s participation in the Eurocities network brings numerous benefits, including:

  • Access to a broad network of cities sharing best practices.
  • Opportunities to collaborate on international projects and initiatives.
  • Enhanced funding opportunities for urban development and sustainability projects.
  • Increased visibility on a global platform, promoting the city’s innovation and growth.

Belgrade, Serbia


Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia, situated at the confluence of the River Sava and the Danube. It is located in the central part of the Balkans, in Southeast Europe. The city lies in the geographic region known as the Pannonian Plain, bordered by the Dinaric Alps to the west and the Carpathians to the east.


Belgrade has a population of approximately 1.7 million people, making it one of the largest cities in Southeast Europe. The city is diverse, with a mix of ethnic groups, including Serbs, Montenegrins, Roma, and others. The population density and urban sprawl reflect its status as a major metropolitan center.

Economic Overview

Belgrade’s economy is diverse, with key industries including information technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, finance, and trade. The city’s GDP is a significant portion of Serbia’s overall economic output. The IT sector, in particular, has seen rapid growth in recent years, making Belgrade a regional tech hub.

Historical Significance

Belgrade’s history spans more than 7,000 years, having been influenced by various civilizations, including the Celts, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and Austro-Hungarians. Key historical events include its establishment as the capital of the Kingdom of Serbia in the 12th century, its role in the Ottoman Empire, and its strategic importance during both World Wars. The city has been destroyed and rebuilt more than 40 times, each period adding layers to its rich cultural tapestry.

Cultural Attractions

  • Kalemegdan Fortress: A historic fortress offering panoramic views of the city and the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.
  • National Museum of Serbia: The oldest and largest museum in Serbia, housing an extensive collection of art and historical artifacts.
  • Sava Center: A major conference, concert, and cultural venue hosting numerous events throughout the year.
  • Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra: One of the leading orchestras in the region, with performances held at Kolarac National University.
  • Skadarlija: A historic bohemian quarter known for its cobblestone streets, traditional restaurants, and artistic atmosphere.

Education System

Belgrade boasts a robust education system that includes numerous primary and secondary schools, both public and private. Higher education is anchored by the University of Belgrade, one of the largest and oldest universities in the Balkans, offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Other notable institutions include the University of Arts in Belgrade and the Belgrade Business School.

Transportation Infrastructure

Belgrade’s transportation network is extensive, featuring a comprehensive public transit system that includes buses, trams, and trolleybuses. The city’s primary airport, Nikola Tesla Airport, serves as a major hub for international and domestic flights. Additionally, the Belgrade Main Railway Station connects the city with regional and European destinations, while the highway network facilitates easy travel by road.

Urban Development Projects

  • Belgrade Waterfront: An ambitious mixed-use development project aimed at revitalizing the Sava River banks with residential, commercial, and recreational spaces.
  • New Belgrade Urban Regeneration: Initiatives focused on modernizing infrastructure and enhancing public spaces in the New Belgrade area.
  • Green City Project: Efforts to increase green spaces, improve public parks, and promote sustainable urban living.

Environmental Initiatives

Belgrade is committed to environmental sustainability through various initiatives, including expanding renewable energy sources, promoting public transportation, and reducing air pollution. Recycling programs have been introduced to encourage waste reduction, and efforts are underway to preserve natural habitats and biodiversity within and around the city.

Quality of Living

Belgrade offers a high quality of living, with accessible healthcare services, a broad array of amenities, and a vibrant cultural scene. The city is considered relatively safe, with ongoing efforts to enhance public safety and community well-being. Additionally, a range of recreational facilities and green spaces contribute to a balanced lifestyle for residents.

Quality of Life Indexes

  • Livability Ranking: Belgrade is frequently cited in global livability rankings, reflecting its economic, cultural, and environmental resilience.
  • Health Index: The city benefits from a well-developed healthcare system and numerous medical facilities, contributing to a high health index score.
  • Environmental Quality Score: Ongoing environmental initiatives have helped improve the city’s air and water quality, contributing to a positive environmental quality score.

Mayor Profile: Aleksandar Šapić


Aleksandar Šapić

Current Position:

Mayor of Belgrade, Serbia

Political Affiliation:

Serbian Progressive Party (SNS)


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Management, Megatrend University
  • Master’s Degree in Management, Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade
  • PhD in Management, Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade

Professional Background:

  • Professional Water Polo Career: Renowned water polo player, winning multiple championships and Olympic medals.
  • Deputy Mayor of New Belgrade: Overseeing urban development and municipal affairs.
  • President of New Belgrade Municipality: Focused on improving local infrastructure and services.
  • Private Sector: Founded several businesses, primarily in sports management and marketing.

Achievements as Mayor:

  • Sustainability Initiatives: Implemented comprehensive recycling programs and increased green spaces.
  • Urban Development: Led the redevelopment of historic districts and the construction of new public spaces.
  • Technological Advancements: Promoted digital governance and introduced smart city technologies for traffic management and public safety.

Vision for the Future:

Aleksandar Šapić envisions Belgrade as a leading smart city in Europe, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and community engagement. Key elements of his vision include:

  • Smart City Initiatives: Expansion of the city’s digital infrastructure, improved public transportation systems, and the integration of IoT technologies to enhance urban living.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Continued investment in renewable energy sources, reduction of carbon emissions, and promotion of green architecture.
  • Community Engagement: Encouraging citizen participation in governance through digital platforms and fostering community-driven projects.

Personal Life:

Outside of his professional duties, Aleksandar Šapić is an avid sports enthusiast, particularly in water polo. He enjoys spending time with his family, engaging in community activities, and advocating for environmental conservation. He is also involved in various charitable organizations focused on youth development and sports education.

Awards and Honors:

  • Olympic Medals in Water Polo: Silver (2008) and Bronze (2000, 2004)
  • Named Best Athlete of Serbia (2000)
  • Recognition for Excellence in Public Service by the Serbian Government (2022)
  • Award for Outstanding Contribution to Urban Development by the European Urban Planning Council (2023)

Belgrade: A Vibrant City with Balanced Living

Quality of Life


Belgrade, the bustling capital city of Serbia, scores a safety index of 44.45, according to Numbeo. While specific areas may require vigilance, the city generally maintains a satisfactory safety level, ensuring that residents and visitors can experience the city’s vibrant life with relative peace of mind.


The healthcare quality index in Belgrade stands at 56.03. The city is equipped with numerous hospitals and clinics that provide reasonable medical services. This index reflects a decent healthcare infrastructure that caters to the needs of the population, although there is room for improvement.


Belgrade’s pollution index is 66.64, highlighting a significant concern in terms of environmental cleanliness. Efforts are being made to address pollution issues, indicating a positive direction toward a cleaner and healthier urban environment for its residents.


The city’s transportation index is 37.32, encompassing a comprehensive public transportation system. Buses, trams, and trolleys provide extensive coverage throughout Belgrade, making it easy for residents to commute efficiently and economically across the city.


Belgrade is home to notable educational institutions, including the prestigious University of Belgrade, which upholds high academic standards. The city offers a range of educational opportunities, contributing to the intellectual and professional growth of its population.

Cost of Living


The cost of housing in Belgrade is relatively affordable. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately €381.74, providing an economical option for individuals and families looking to reside in the heart of the city.

Groceries and Dining

  • Monthly grocery costs for a single person: €145.42
  • Cost of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant: €5.73

Grocery prices and dining out expenses are budget-friendly, making Belgrade an attractive city for those looking to manage their living expenses efficiently.


The monthly utility costs for an 85m2 apartment in Belgrade are estimated at €135.08. This includes essential services such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, ensuring residents have access to necessary amenities at a reasonable cost.


The cost of a monthly public transport pass in Belgrade is about €29.17, allowing residents to benefit from the city’s extensive public transportation network at a modest price.


  • Gym membership (monthly): €25.37
  • Cinema ticket: €4

Quality leisure activities are also affordable, with fitness clubs and cinemas offering accessible recreation options for residents.

Belgrade in the Eurocities Network

As a notable member of the Eurocities network, Belgrade plays a crucial role in fostering cooperation among European cities in various fields including culture, social affairs, economy, environment, and mobility. The city’s active participation in this network highlights its commitment to collaborative urban development and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. Belgrade’s strategic position within this network facilitates exchange and implementation of innovative practices, further solidifying its status as a vibrant and progressive European city.

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