Center for the environment on the occasion of world’s day of city planning warned about the increasingly common trend of unplanned construction in Banja Luka. In fact, over the past few years, more and more city officials are allowing investors to start the construction without the necessary documentation obtained previously.
„The authorities allowed the investor to start demolition and constructing on the area of the former Radio Banja Luka without previously obtaining permits for demolition and construction, as well as no allowed changes to the amendments to the regulatory plan on the basis which the mentioned license was issued for. Another example is the construction of tourist-catering complex „Ada“ where the investors started construction without a building permit. In case of „Ada“ trough the inspection organs we have managed to temporarily stop the construction, however, this location is still not covered by adequate spatial-panning documentation, and this worthy natural and public well and the largest habitat of the grey heron in this part of BiH is mostly destroyed, „ said Jelena Brkić, coordinator of the Initiative Our space in the Center for the environment.
We would like to note that the city of Banja Luka has no urban plan adopted, as a basic document for the planning and regulation of the city. Companies that produced spatial-planning documentation at the city level, are calling by the book on the Urban plan from 1975, whose vision and planning solutions got way too old more than ten years ago.
„We believe that the city authorities urgently need to get serious when it comes to the future spatial development of Banja Luka and that regulations which now favor investors adjust to the needs of citizens. Especially alarming is the fact that during the creating of a spatial planning documentation, the construction of a building itself is done primarily, without checking the balancing on the terms of traffic, parking space, water, sewer, and heating networks. This affected the traffic congestion, narrow sidewalks, the lack of bike paths, lacking parking spaces, green areas and insufficient pressure in the water and heating networks“, said Jelena Brkić.
We urge city officials to get familiar with Habitat III policies that were adopted by the United Nations in October this year as soon as possible. Habitat III represents a 20-year framework for the planning and regulation of cities that advocates „city for all“ approach, which would have implied the plan based on social and environmental needs of the citizens, promoting the involvement of citizens in the planning process, gender equality, sustainable and participatory economic growth, sustainable and integrated urban and territorial development, sustainable, safe and accessible transportation system. Special attention should be paid to the reducing the risk of natural and other disasters, as well as climate change and sustainable use of natural resources.