Urban development consequences of the riverine floods in the Western Balkans: Analysing Belgrade
Abstract: Rapid urbanisation coupled with unplanned development create the perfect recipe for a disaster, the risk of which has increased with climate change-related uncertainties. Belgrade’s high population growth rate and exposure to riverine flooding presents such a case. This study aims to provide insight into the relationship between urban development and riverine flooding in Belgrade and thereby induce a raised level of resilience in relation to riverine flood risk. To achieve this aim, this thesis seeks to answer: What are the effects of urban development in Belgrade on the riverine flood hazard? In this context, urban development is seen as a combination of urbanisation and spatial planning. The research question is answered using three different methods: (1) a literature study to understand the effects of urban development on flooding, (2) a secondary data analysis to guide the description of Belgrade’s riverine flood risk and urban development situation, and (3) semi-structured interviews with open questions. The results show that urban development processes undoubtedly produce both positive and negative environmental changes. The effects are found to be mixed in Belgrade: Urban development plans have been poorly implemented in Serbia, but signs of improvement have been visible over the past few years. For instance, the Serbian Government has designed hazard-based land use plans and a new strategy for disaster risk management.
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