Dispersive style of construction on the coast needs to be stopped

#Frei #BranimirGvozdenović #MinistryOfSustainableDevelopmentAndTourism

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If we want our coast to become a prestigious Mediterranean region, we need to stop certain unsustainable processes that are demonstrated through dispersive construction, over planning, and linear urbanization along the coast, Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Branimir Gvozdenović said in an interview for Weekend Edition of Dnevne Novine daily.

WEDN: Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism is a program organizer of this year Festival of Investments and Real Estate FREI. What is your view of the program?

Gvozdenović: I consider this type of initiatives significant because they enrich our offer and season of conferences, but also because we get an opportunity to see what happened in the period of 365 days, and discuss the context of the subject matter. The state, municipalities and of course investors, architectural, construction, consulting and other companies, law offices, etc get to represent their year at FREI. This year, there are two subjects the Ministry wanted to discuss. One of them are two system solutions for Urbanistic Plan of Special Intention for the coastal area, and the other is about very significant institution of architectural competitions.

WEDN: What is the main objective you wanted to accomplish by speaking of these subjects at FREI 2016 and by implementing architectural competition for objects of general importance?

Gvozdenović: Institution of architectural competition has never been efficiently implemented in Montenegro. This is demonstrated by the fact that solutions that won competitions never saw their implementation, which is the main goal of a competition as a mechanism for achieving quality architecture and urbanism. The goal is, primarily, that public facilities and spaces financed from the capital budget be implemented according to chosen solution from the competition, and this principle needs to be implemented through practice and through law. In this regard, the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction of Facilities has been in works. In this way, architectural scene is encouraged, and value of construction as well. Also, criteria set by the quality of built and implemented competition solutions will influence better thinking during the planning stage of projects, and public’s attitude when it comes to immediate surroundings.

WEDN: What was the manner of implementation of these competitions during 2015?

Gvozdenović: In 2015 Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has published competitions for public facilities, among others: Competition for the idea of architectural solution for “House of Fruits” in Andrijevica and Competition for the idea of architectural solution of adaptation and reconstruction of Dom Revolucije in Nikšić, through and innovative process that combines architectural competition and a process of public call. Competitions for hotel resorts Miločer, Solana, Capital Estate and others were published as well. House of Fruits is a very important project for the development in the North, and its specific offer and needs of its inhabitants. The matter of planning of Dom Revolucije has been active for far too long, and I must emphasize that we have reached a quality and sustainable solution for this facility. In this regard, I must say that it is easier when your starting point is zero, and not if you already have such a big facility, built in another time. There is a need now to reconstruct it in real time frames, but to keep its original value, spatial potentials and architectural significance in the context of modern architecture. Competition for idea of architectural solution of hotel resort “Miločer” in Budva was implemented as well, while the Competition for idea of architectural solution of hotel resort “Capital Estate” in Bečići, Budva Municipality, is underway and we are also expecting a solution that would improve the environment in which it sits, while maintaining quality and standard of a hotel resort of 5 stars. These are competitions done in cooperation with investors, which means that facilities such as resorts of 5 stars get financed by investors who are obligated to implement chosen solution from the competition. We aim to use big investments in tourism to improve the quality of these projects and their relationship with immediate surroundings, in order for Montenegro to be recognized as a destination with projects of high quality tourism. When it comes to competitions, there were things that needed to be better, but this is a given in beginnings of processes. In this moment, we are preparing a few big and significant competitions on different locations in Montenegro that will be implemented by the end of the year.

WEDN: Urbanistic Plan of Special Intentions for the coastal area will have a special segment at FREI. What is its main objective and do you think it has been accomplished?

Gvozdenović: The goal of making it was to offer a strong turn in the trend that reins spatial planning in the coastal area. If we want our coast to become a prestigious Mediterranean region, we need to stop certain unsustainable processes that are demonstrated through dispersive construction, over planning, and linear urbanization along the coast. The task presented for project managers was to introduce simple urbanistic principles for all six coastal municipalities and to coordinate development of local interests with the strategy and policy of state development. This urbanistic solution should provide complete implementation of Protocol of integrated management of coastal area of Mediterranean, to provide high quality development in tourism and to introduce prohibition of new residential buildings in the coastal area of 1000 meters. Also, it is focused on planning quality traffic and other infrastructure that should integrate the coastal area and serve as a basis for not only tourism, but also agriculture, production and other activities. There is also focus on the matters of environment protection and elimination of conflict points between planned intentions and protected areas. This planning document describes the route of Adriatic fast highway that would represent a traffic “artery” for connection local centers, while in the wider context, it would provide interregional and international traffic connections of Montenegro and BiH, Croatia and Albania. Main goals of the plan are mostly accomplished, but we are aware that this document has the complexity that would enable it to achieve its final form only by going through filters of expert and general public. Its results will be satisfactory if they are a result of open dialogue, engaged consultations and dedicated work of complete project team.

WEDN: In what manner is this Plan different, in content and formally, compared to other plans passed so far?

Gvozdenović: This Plan introduces instruments of sustainable planning in the coastal area. It means the regulation of over planned space for construction, through decrease of planned construction areas and reframing construction in sustainable frameworks, with increase in usage of planned construction areas. Following plans in coastal municipalities predict 23.000 hectares of construction land, which is 15% then its area. What is interesting is that only 18% of it is actually built, which clearly demonstrates over planning. Current plans passed by municipalities in past years are based on old spatial plans, and enable the construction of over half a million new residential units in 6 coastal municipalities and additional 270.000 beds. It is needless to elaborate how unsustainable that would be. In numbers, the Plan decreases construction area to 13.000 hectares, from 15% to 9%. The Plan introduces green spaces that disable linear construction along the coast and enable natural connection of the coast and interior. Also, for the first time, planning document for the coast has a line of 100 meters drawn away from the coast. It is a line that marks where it is not allowed to build objects along the coast. Narrow coastal area is of special value, and it is the most attractive area, so the criteria of public interest must have priority when planning its development.

WEDN: What is your way of handling objections of civil sector and municipalities when it comes to this important document?

Gvozdenović: All suggestions that recognize the goal of this plan and that are directed towards its improvement are welcome. It goes for suggestion of civil sector and municipalities. The interest shown from NGO representatives during the public discussion was based on restrictive approach in planning construction area. The meeting with NGO representatives who are interested in matters of environment protection was held in March, and we concluded that this process must be in accordance with high ecological European standards in this area. We are obligated to carefully consider all suggestions of NGO representatives about the Plan, while representatives are invited to submit suggestions. As far as municipalities are concerned, I must say that it is a shame that the point and significance of this document is recognized by municipalities only after public’s reactions during discussions. The exception comes from Tivat, that is normally concerned with planning documentation, which was demonstrated through active participation in drafting of the Plan.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro