Heritage and Urban Design Competitions: Global Challenges and Local Experiences from Serbia

Conference: ECTP-CEU Young Planners 2020 Online Workshop: Heritage in a planning context

This research aims to open up a discussion about urban design competitions as a tool for collecting in-depth considerations and solutions for sites relevant to the local government unit. Research starts from the hypothesis that competitions are used as a part of an institutional and professional effort to maintain and provide sustainable use of heritage. The challenges that are set ahead planners are how to assure unique and site-specific solutions and still protect tangible and intangible heritage yet answer to the demands of sustainable urban development and reduce negative effects of globalization and neoliberal pressures perceivable in heritage degradation through marginalization, inadequate use, gradual decline due to unresolved ownership statuses and even overshadowing by and multiplication of identical patterns and forms. The paper will briefly review the Serbian planning context in relation to urban design competitions and consider its impact on urban development practice. The focus of the paper will be on researching the practice of initiation, evaluation, presentation, and implementation of several urban design competitions carried out for small and medium sized cities. Analysis of the above-stated stages of urban design competition could provide comprehensive insights into understanding the way how heritage is treated in different stages of planning and urban development process by different actors and institutions. This paper will argue for the value of urban competitions for a wider understanding of urban heritage, faced with various social and political pressures by recognizing specific values, their interpretation and providing a new lifespan for the inherited elements.

Author: Aleksandra Đorđević
Teaching Assistant, University of Belgrade - Faculty of Architecture

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Author: Mladen Pešić
Teaching Assistant, University of Belgrade - Faculty of Architecture

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Author: Aleksandra Milovanović
Research Assistant, University of Belgrade - Faculty of Architecture

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