Towards an unsustainable urban development in post-war Sarajevo

Jordi Martin-Diaz, Jordi Nofre, Marc Oliva, Pedro Palma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is located in a karst geomorphological environment. The topographical setting strongly influences the urban geographical distribution and urban development, as well as the sustainability policies implemented in the city. The incorporation of an environmental agenda and the focus on sustainable development have characterised urban planning in cities in Central and Eastern Europe that are transitioning from socialist to capitalist economic systems. Environmental policies in Sarajevo are defined within the Sarajevo Canton Development Strategy developed under the supervision of international experts at the end of the three-and-a-half years of siege in December 1995, and this is expected to last until 2015. This paper argues that, despite the consensus achieved for developing Sarajevo through strategies aligned with European regulations for sustainability, the built environment of the city has moved in an increasingly unsustainable direction as a result of the need to deal with vulnerable groups in the population and the international policies that tend to promote a neoliberal urban development. The first section of analysis focuses on Sarajevo's existing particular geomorphological constraints on the development of a secure and sustainable built environment. The second section examines the increase in the geomorphological risks of new construction developed after the conflict in relation to the post-war and post-socialist urban processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-385
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Sarajevo
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Post-socialist cities
  • Geomorphology
  • Urban sustainability
  • Strategic planning
  • Groundwater Recharge
  • Mediterranean Kartst
  • Nimes
  • Area


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards an unsustainable urban development in post-war Sarajevo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this