Climate Resilient Urban Development in Southeast Europe

Connective Cities’ Virtual Project Planning Workshop


From October 26th until November 6th 2020 around 30 urban practitioners from 11 Southeast European cities (from 8 different countries Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Belarus, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Germany) came together virtually to exchange their experiences and expertise in the field of Urban Mobility and Green Urban Infrastructure. Especially challenges in waste management, transportation and public lighting system and water revitalization were discussed intensively, as they represent pressing issues for many Southeast European cities.

The aim of the workshop was to jointly work out comprehensive project plans which can be the basis for technical and financial proposals for funding. The workshop focused on the following topics:

  1. Green Infrastructure - based on the notion that protecting and enhancing nature and natural processes are consciously taken into consideration in the context of spatial planning and territorial development.
  2. Urban Mobility - developing and implementing sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMP) including private as well as public transportation.

The event was a follow-up to the virtual dialogue event conducted in June 2020 with representatives of 24 municipalities as well as international experts. Where, based on innovative methodologies such as Design Thinking, participants from 9 countries worked on their first project ideas.

These two weeks of synchronous and asynchronous workshops were participated by the officials from institutions, representatives from urban networks that share the project’s objectives, and experienced professional from the civil society and the private sector, who work in the thematic areas as well as academia in the field of urbanism, spatial planning, geography, climate change and other disciplines. During the workshop, also donor organizations were invited to get to know the projects, to answer questions of the municipalities and to support financial proposals and grant applications written in a professional way.


The virtual project planning workshop started with an introductory session on October 26th and included four additional web-seminars on Wednesday, Friday, Tuesday and Thursday between the 28th of October and 5th of November 2020 - each seminar lasted about 2 to 2.5 hours and included plenary sessions as well as group work in breakout-rooms.

The program included a short overview of each participating project idea as well as the presentation of seven thematically relevant practical examples including a discussion round with donor organizations to create a knowledge transfer. In addition to the peer-to-peer consultation, elements and tools of the Design Thinking method were presented and applied in group work. These tools were then used by the project representatives to further develop the project ideas outside the online session.


Ljublijana - EU Green Capital 2016. Simona Berden - M.Sc., Member of Ljubljana – European Green Capital 2016 Team.

Cities Development Initiative for Asia. Brian Capati – Civil Engineer and Urban Development Specialist

"City of short distances" - the main vision of Lviv Integrated Urban Development Concept and a good combination of green infrastructure and sustainable urban mobility. Anton Kolomyeytsev - City of Lviv Chief Architect.

Lessons Learned: Implementing Integrated Urban Development Projects. Dr. Haris Piplas – Zurich-based experienced urban development specialist.

Mobility Hubs. Stefan Gabi - Project Leader Mobility Planning at Vectos.

Sustainable Mobility in Bremen: Clear Strategies and Careful Implementation. Rebecca Karbaumer -Sustainable Mobility and EU Project Coordinator, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

The Challenge of Sustainable Urban Development-Challenges, instruments and lessons learnt. Nicolai Dörr - Senior Consultant, Civity Management Consultants GmbH & Co.


Project: Introduction of integrated ticket and installing the equipment that pays for the received plastics bottles / City: Krusevac, Serbia

Project: Kutaisi, City of Future - Discussion and Research of Possibilities for Urban Planning in Kutaisi / City: Kutaisi, Georgia

Project: Integrative plan of green/car free zones and bicycle lanes / City: Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project: E-mobility Hub / City: Lviv, Ukraine

Project: Development of transportation system of Marneuli / Municiplaity: Marneuli, Georgia

Project: Creation of a climatic-neutral recreation zone in natural reserve “Svityazyansky” / Municipality: Novogrudok, Belarus

Project: The Municipality of Mionica - Green Intelligent Destination / Municipality: Mionica, Serbia

Project: Reconstruction of the public lighting system and construction of public lighting in the settlements of the municipality of Čitluk / Municipality: Citluk, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project: Small rivers revitalization in the city of Vinnitsya / Municipality: Vinnitsya, Ukraine

Project: Spatial and development planning of the coastal flows of Tara and Morača / City: Kolasin, Montenegro


By bringing together various project ideas and experts in the field of Urban Mobility and Green Urban Infrastructure, the representatives of each project idea were able to reflect on practical examples and challenges experienced by their peers. The strategic approaches of the project ideas were revised and the action planning concretized with the peer support. 

By using the Connective Cities peer-to-peer methodology with selected elements of Design Thinking, participants were encouraged to think in new directions and focused their attention on the effects/outcomes for the citizens most affected by the project. Together with input from financial experts and donor organizations this led to more structured and concrete action plans. As is typical for Connective Cities events, most of the workshop took place in working groups but also offered the opportunity to present results in the plenum in order to obtain feedback.

Despite some differences at the technical level, the exchange of experiences and ideas between countries and between continents worked out well. The offer, both synchronous and asynchronous, was well received by all participants - digital tools were used well and made it possible to work on the worksheets collaboratively.

In order to fill the face-to-face physical interaction gap during the event, the virtual fire-side chat option has been introduced to the participants promoting a fully informal gathering that actually replaced the hotel lobby’s meetings. During these informal gatherings, loaded with different interesting topics presented by the urban scientists and development cooperation workers, all the participants had the great opportunity to ask open questions, discuss, analyze, find innovative solutions to the problems and exchange their experience or expertise.


Coming soon!


Categories: Connective Cities Integrated urban development Sustainable mobility Public space Municipal services Solid waste management and recycling Power supply Urban mobility and public transport
Regions: Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Georgia Monte Negro Serbia Slovenia Ukraine

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