Planners made the hierarchy of centers, first introduced in 1950, a guid-ing principle of the master plan. The local community was designated as the primary form of social organization. Each local community was served by a center that catered to everyday needs, including self-service supermarkets, which were a relatively new concept in Yugoslavia. Several local communities would be grouped into a rejon, which contained up to one hundred thousand inhabitants and would have its own center, complete with a department store, a movie theater, libraries, and businesses that served occasional needs.
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To connect the inhabitants of this more decentralized, more expansive, mul-tipolar city, the master plan provided for the construction of a rapid-transit rail system. Three lines were planned: two lines that ran from east to west, crossing the Sava River, and one line running north-south. This new public transportation system would allow town planners to redirect a detrimental trend: the skyrocketing rate of automobile ownership, a unique trend in so-cialist Eastern Europe. Planners estimated that half of the population could be convinced to take public transportation to work. Citizens would be encouraged to take public transportation into the city center through a combination of pos-itive and negative incentives. In addition, regional and international highways, which currently ran straight through Belgrade’s city center, would be rerouted around the city. At the same time, new parking structures were planned in the downtown area. 56
The Town Planning Institute invested substantial efforts into familiarizing the public with the proposed master plan. As a result of these efforts, it would claim that it had involved Belgrade’s citizenry in the production of the plan. Borislav Stojkov, a participant in the planning team, highlighted the transpar-ency of the planning process, “beginning with its preliminary studies, through the alternative solutions, to the final ideas. ? He praised the overall framework for including the citizenry as “a significant bridge to our finding a few differ-ent forms for collaborative decision-making with the public. ?57 In actuality, as had been the case in 1950, the public had very little say in the final out-come. To begin with, the general population was not involved in generating or selecting the objectives that were used to test the alternative models of Bel-
Home Design 7.4. Building on Mose Pijada (Decanska) Street in the summer of 1959, which would be de-stroyed to make way for a tunnel entrance. Tanjug news agency, 08605/15. grade’s growth. The city’s planners only consulted the public when they had already developed the master plan proposal. Nonetheless, the Town Planning Institute’s ambitious program for publicizing the proposed plan to a variety of audiences, collecting their impressions, and obtaining their support was unprecedented not only in Yugoslavia but also in the history of state socialism in Eastern Europe. Furthermore, it undertook this program at its own initiative, as the law mandated much more limited public discussion of the master Home Design 7.5. By the early 1970s, such old buildings were no longer obstacles but rather treasures. This cover of the 1972 master plan publication juxtaposes the city’s previously maligned old buildings, bathed in light, with new buildings. Plan draft immediately prior to its consideration by the Municipal Council. 58 Belgrade’s planners saw this effort as a step toward the realization of selfmanagement. As Stojkov explained, the idea that it was necessary to include the public in the creation of the plan “is in line with the way in which socialist relations are developing in our society, that is, in line with the principles of di-rect democracy and deciding for oneself. ? In other words, he added, the public should provide guidance in the decision-making phase. 59
The first phase of public consultations took place in the summer and fall of 1971. During the first month, gatherings were held to familiarize relevant municipal institutions, planning professionals, and political organizations with the preliminary draft of the master plan. The plan was also presented to a group of American students, the director of the Detroit urban planning commission, and a group of American congressmen. An exhibit on the master plan opened at the Town Planning Institute, which could be visited every day between eight in the morning and eight in the evening. Visitors to the exhibit were invited to leave their suggestions in commentary blogs. The plan was also presented at three international urban planning events that took place that summer in Yugoslavia. This high-profile and innovative project made it clear that Belgrade’s Town Planning Institute clearly wished to raise its international profile. 60
Printed matter about the plan was disseminated in a variety of forms: four thousand copies of the “General Report on the Master Plan Proposal” were printed, and a shorter version was published in Komunalne novosti (The communal news), of which two hundred thousand copies were distributed to all tenant households in Belgrade. Additionally, a prospectus was published in Serbian, English, French, and Russian and given to visitors to the master plan exhibit. 61