Through a diagnosis, a global benchmark, and workshops with key stakeholders, we assisted Belgrade in defining an integrated path towards a more efficient urban management, global competitiveness and improved quality of life — in collaboration with the World Bank.
Capital cities such as Belgrade have the capacity to lead national advancement by initiating ambitious plans, establishing connections with other urban centers, and sharing knowledge along with effective strategies. Belgrade’s significance is already notable within Serbia, as it is home to almost 25% of the nation’s population. Nonetheless, the city acknowledges the need to augment its global competitiveness while tackling urgent urban challenges, including issues related to mobility and air quality. Within that context, Belgrade prioritized the identification of existing gaps and the design of a roadmap to address them through innovation and technology.
This drive for progress aligned seamlessly with our expertise and the World Bank’s Global Smart City Partnership Program (GSCP). As a result, in 2019, the city of Belgrade sought support from both parties to craft their new Smart City strategy—a holistic endeavor designed to confront the aforementioned challenges and enhance the overall quality of life for its citizens.
Anteverti partnered with the World Bank to deeply explore Belgrade’s potential as a Smart City. This collaborative project involved meticulous research, interviews, and engagements with city officials and stakeholders, yielding a comprehensive narrative. The effort encompassed several dimensions:
- City Structure and Governance Challenges: We delved into the intricacies of Belgrade’s organizational structure, characterized by 17 municipalities, and addressed emerging demographic trends such as an aging population and increased life expectancy.
- Smart Belgrade Overview: An analysis was conducted on the city’s journey towards becoming smarter, covering five key dimensions prioritized by the local government: Governance, Data and ICT; Mobility and Urban Planning; Sustainability and Urban Environment; Economic Development, Innovation, and Education; Health, Welfare, and Inclusion.
- Learning from Global Leaders: We drew inspiration from successful practices in eight leading Smart Cities, including Barcelona, Helsinki, and Curitiba. These experiences served as a source of inspiration for Belgrade’s future endeavors.
The collaboration between Anteverti and the World Bank yielded a tangible outcome: the formulation of a proposal for a new Smart Belgrade strategy. Notable outcomes from this partnership include:
- Strategic Framework Necessity: The recommendation to establish a Smart City Strategy Framework emerged as a paramount step. This framework would unite key stakeholders, enhance the impact of ongoing initiatives, and create a pathway for innovative solutions.
- Holistic City Progress: The emphasis on a cohesive approach found resonance, underscoring the synchronization of secretariats, shared missions, and collective vision as guiding forces for Belgrade’s transformational journey.
- Priority Recommendations: Over 30 specific priority recommendations were identified, shaping Belgrade’s growth across short, medium, and long-term horizons. These encompassed governance models, data master plans, communication strategies, internationalization efforts, technology park collaborations, and initiatives addressing the digital divide.
In summary, the collaboration between Anteverti and the World Bank acted as a catalyst for Belgrade’s potential, empowering the city to comprehensively address urban challenges. This partnership aligned Belgrade with the global narrative of intelligent urban development, rooted in insights, experiences, and a forward-looking roadmap for a smarter, more sustainable future.