The Kalemegdan gondola project is back on track

The discussion surrounding the construction of the cable car on Kalemegdan has become current again.

The controversial project was halted by a court decision last year, and the capital’s new mayor Aleksandar Šapić says the city will implement it if it is assessed that the project ‘does not threaten the cultural and historical heritage of Kalemegdan’.

No city government in the past eight years has given up on the construction of the Kalemegdan -Ušće cable car, despite opposition from both the experts and the public.

The fact that no mayor has been against the project since 2016 is evidenced by the fact that the gondola has been a part of the urban planning documents since 2018, when a detailed master plan had been adopted, and the costs of constructing one have been included in the municipal budget again this year.

“That project is not so expensive that it should be abandoned if it can be implemented,” Šapić said. Although, there are incomparably more expensive projects that the city government plans to implement than the cable car across the Sava River, which is supposed to connect the Belgrade Fortress or Kalemegdan Park with Novi Beograd, there are also infrastructure projects that are much more urgent than the gondola.

The Regional Administrative Court cancelled the building permit for the gondola’s construction in April 2021, which allowed the preparatory work to be carried out in spring 2019.

A coalition of professional associations, scientific institutes, and departments for the preservation of cultural heritage in Serbia have been demanding the suspension of activities related to the construction of the gondola in spring 2019, asking the authorities to stop the project, claiming that the gondola goes against professional standards, international obligations, and the laws of Serbia that regulate cultural heritage preservation, and would irreversibly threaten the Belgrade Fortress as a cultural asset of the utmost importance to Serbia.

The Belgrade authorities responded by claiming that the objections were unfounded, just like those made back in the day regarding the Belgrade Waterfront project, stating that similar buildings within cultural monuments are being constructed in other foreign cities, that the walls of the fortress under which the Belgrade cable car would be built have no historical value, that not that many trees on the fortress would not be cut down, and that the cable car would be another tourist attraction in the capital.

(Politika, 08.09.2022)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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