Expert Discussion on Decline of Sarajevo’s Public Spaces Held in Sarajevo


Hotel Europe, Atrijum, Sarajevo, Bosna i Hercegovina

On 17 July 2013, Analitika organized the expert discussion “A City’s Decline: How to Prevent the Deterioration of Public Spaces in Sarajevo Neighborhoods?”in Hotel Europe. Some 25 representatives of competent authorities, public enterprises, international organizations and the NGO sector took part in the event.

One of the reasons for the discussion was to present the results of the research conducted by Analitika in 2012 and 2013 on the management of public spaces in Sarajevo neighborhoods. As part of the research, inter alia, an analysis of the competences and legal framework, the planning of the relevant communal services and service oversight, mechanisms of coordination between competent authorities and service providers, as well as the mechanisms of interaction between citizens, competent authorities and service providers was done. The report and policy brief that were published as a result contain recommendations for representatives of local and cantonal authorities with the aim of preventing the further decline of public spaces in Sarajevo neighborhoods.

In the introductory part of the panel, Mirna Jusić, the report’s author, presented the main research findings and recommendations, and especially reflected upon the shortcomings of the legal framework in this area, as well as the issue of unsolved competences between different levels of government in relation to the relevant communal services. Razija Kuduz, Chief Cantonal Inspector for Urbanism, Construction, Communal Services and Ecology of Canton Sarajevo, acquainted the participants with the main challenges to the sanctioning of offences in the areas of communal services and communal cleanliness, and especially emphasized that the sanctioning of offences is difficult due to the imprecise and outdated legislation in these areas.  Snežana Mišić – Mihajlović, a representative of MDP Initiatives from Doboj, emphasized that mechanisms that citizens have at their disposal to interact with authorities and service providers are inadequate, which reflects upon their individual and collective action, and that citizens have to be better informed regarding who is competent for the problems they face in their local communities.

In the discussion that followed after the panel, participants shared their opinions, experiences but also proposals for the prevention of further deterioration of public spaces. In addition to the shortcomings of the legal framework, the participants pointed out that the system of sanctioning must be changed and adapted to contemporary practices, and that it is necessary to establish better communication between citizens and authorities in order to prevent a further decline of public spaces. Moreover, citizens need to be informed on how the problems they face in their communities can be solved, as well as their rights and duties in general. it was also emphasized that the question of managing public spaces currently isn’t on the agenda of the responsible authorities, and that it is important to establish better cooperation between  representatives of the government and the non-governmental sector to bring this issue to the fore.

The discussion was organized as part of the project  “Fixing Broken Windows: Managing Public Spaces at the Neighborhood Level through Greater Citizen Engagement”, supported by the Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The research report “A City’s Decline: Reasons for the Deterioration of Public Spaces in Sarajevo Neighborhoods and Proposed Solutions," is available in local languages HERE.

The accompanying policy brief in English language is available HERE.

The brief in local language is available HERE.

Themes: Uprava i uslugeParticipatory Decision Making
Programmes: Javna uprava