Dutch solutions for greener cities in Serbia

Partners in International Business: Green Cities

Venlo city hall
Beeld: ©.
City hall at Venlo

The world is becoming increasingly urbanized. The urban share worldwide is rising with more than half of the global population living in urban areas. Serbia is no different. Its cities are more than doubled in their sizes over the last 25 years. With this growth the necessity to pay attention to the urban environment has become significantly more important as well.

The growth is also seen in Serbian economy that has been developing dynamically over the past four years. Strategic reforms have improved the business environment and fast completion of major infrastructure projects. Favorable investment conditions, have facilitated high growth rates of construction in recent years. The construction sector recorded the share of 19,6% in the first quarter of 2020 with currently 61.303 active construction sites.

This growing market is driving a strong demand for innovative high-end solutions. This is where the partnership between the Dutch government and a consortium of best-in-class Dutch companies will step in and contribute to developing green cities in Serbia.

The project “Serbia Green Cities” officially started on December 15, 2020 , when all involved parties signed the cooperation agreement. The project, which is part of the “Partners for International Business”(PIB) program, will last for 3 years.

Through the partnership of this PIB project “Green Cities”, the Dutch vast expertise on how green cities improve the environment, ensure rich biodiversity, reduce air pollution, ensure water storage, dampen noise will be shared with the Serbian counterparts.

The booming sector of concrete and iron will be enriched with environmental aspects of how to cool down the urban surroundings in warm periods of the year and how to positively influence climate-proof and sustainable development.

The consortium partners

GreenMax https://www.greenmax.eu/nl/
JUB Holland https://www.jubholland.nl/nl 
Kennis Plants https://kennisplants.nl/en/
Nophadrain B.V. https://www.nophadrain.com/


Van den Berk https://www.vdberk.nl/
with the support of the branch organization : Anthos https://www.anthos.org/for-and-by-the-trade

The positive effects on the health and social connections of people living, working, and recreating in a greener environment will be a valuable addition to urban living.

Inside community space at Wageningen university
Beeld: ©.
Indoors communal space at Wageningen University

The overall aim of this partnership is for the Dutch government, companies, and educational institutions to form strong relations with the respective Serbian institutions and leave a legacy by impacting Serbian cities via the Dutch approach of the “golden triangle”: commercial, governmental, and educational initiatives.

  • Business to Business (B2B)

The Netherlands is known for its horticultural competence. Dutch companies have developed different areas of expertise and will apply their know-how in Serbia by helping improve the overall standard of greenery construction in cities. Also, implementation of modern and sustainable solutions, as well as innovative technology is the goal of the collaboration of business entities from both countries.

  • Knowledge to Knowledge (K2K) 

This is an important component of the project because the goal is to contribute to the new generations’ education and to help them continue this project way beyond 3 years’ time. 

Students and faculties will be an active participants in the program and numerous interactive workshops, student competitions, guest lectures, and university networking events are planned to be organized. The impact of green solutions on the city and its inhabitants will be researched.

  • Government to Government (G2G)

The two governments uphold great relations and this project will contribute to enhancing that cooperation by initiating activities, such as help in simplifying import/export procedures and  phytosanitary procedures. Work on developing specific regulations that will support “green” initiatives will be in focus.

The Government of Serbia and the City of Belgrade have embarked on an ambitious rejuvenation journey committing to have 25% of green space planting one million trees in its urban area by 2025, while currently 15% of Belgrade consists of  green space. This is an “open door” for cooperation between the Dutch and Serbian cities on green city topics; cooperation between chief urbanists and other stakeholders in the field of green cities.

Big plans for the coming period!

We are happy that there will be enough time to not only develop great ideas but to actively implement a lot of projects and bring a positive “green” change.

The main goal is to make a difference.