The first phase of Belgrade’s new car-free city centre reconstruction is now under way.
The extension of the Knez Mihailo Street pedestrian zone is expected to eventually take in all of the surrounding streets and stretch down to the Sava riverfront. The first phase, expected to take 120 days, covers only one side street, Vuka Karadžića. The remaining phases of this extensive reconstruction will have to wait for the construction of five underground car parks.
The underground car parks will be built under a public-private partnership while the street re-zoning will be covered from the city’s budget and will make use of existing publicly owned companies.
“We have a new strategy to do things using city-owned enterprises. We have Beograd put (the city roads concern), Beogradski vodovod i kanalizacija (water and sanitation), Zelenilo (parks and green spaces) and Javna rasveta (city lighting) and we will use the city budget, we will not raise new debt but will use the city’s savings to rejuvenate Belgrade,” said Belgrade Mayor Siniša Mali.
The first of the underground car parks, at Obilićev venac, is projected to begin next year and will have 220 parking spaces.
The entire reconstruction, including the underground car parks, is expected to take three to four years.