Urban development

Urban Development is our most recently added area of focus, which initially came about as a result of a general dissatisfaction with the quality of life offered to the citizens of Skopje.

Urban Development is an issue that had largely been ignored by civil society in Macedonia, so the Reactor team initially wanted to draw attention to the fact that as Macedonia is moving forward on the path towards EU integration, the urban development of its capital is hardly following suit. The issue, however, managed to get a lot more attention than we had initially anticipated with the recent building boom that has taken over the capital.

While these attempts to revamp the center of the city was received by many of Skopje’s citizens with outrage, what is striking from a public policy perspective was that on the one hand the process of planning was not transparent and did not include a public debate to consult experts, citizens and the civil society sector and on the other hand, once the project had been announced, it was clear that the counter arguments made by those who opposed the project did not provide adequate solutions for the problem.

In this sense, these new developments are an illustration of the non-transparent and non-participative nature of the government’s decision-making process, but also of lack of expert analysis that would provide more than just an outcry of opposition. The Reactor team will therefore attempt to add to the debate by working with urban planning experts and producing policy briefs with recommendations on both improving urban life the capital and on improving the process of decision-making in urban development issues, with a strong focus of participative strategic planning.

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