Architects Urge Delay to ‘Zagreb Manhattan’ Development Project

Members of professional associations from the fields of architecture and urban planning called on Monday for the postponement of the decision on amendments to Zagreb's general urban plan due to a number of procedural errors, non-compliance with democratic procedures and an absence of public discussions about the Zagrebacki Manhattan (Zagreb Manhattan) project.

In March, Zagreb's mayor Milan Bandic signed a memorandum of understanding with Emirati businessman Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Eagle Hills, the developers behind the three-billion-euro revitalisation of a huge swathe of riverfront land in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

Bandic has a similar plan for the Croatian capital, a 500-million-euro 'city within the city' dubbed Zagreb Manhattan.

The veteran mayor, currently serving his sixth term, unveiled his plan at the start of the year, pledging to turn 1.1 million square metres of city-owned land between the River Sava and the Veceslav Holjevac and Dubrovnik boulevards into a "new, innovative urban area, with mixed and diverse complementary services".

It would include residential and business buildings, promenades, parks, shopping centres, catering facilities, as well as a number of public spaces and a skyscraper.

The area is currently occupied by the Zagreb Fair, parts of which are protected as cultural monuments, the city Hippodrome and a football complex used by the Lokomotiva Football Club.

Last week, several civic groups and NGOs, such a Right to the City and Green Action, called on Zagreb City Assembly members to oppose the amendments to the urban plan at a council session on Wednesday.

They also asked Zagreb residents to join them at protest in front of the City Assembly on Wednesday.

They argued that the...

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