Imagine if after you left your apartment you could walk straight into an eco oasis.

This place would be filled with greenery and it would use solar or wind energy to meet its needs for electricity, while the use of innovative solutions and sensors would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve waste management. In this eco oasis you could rest after a busy day or socialize with your neighbors through a game of badminton or tennis. It would be equipped with specially designed amenities suitable for the youth and elderly and accessible for baby strollers and people with disabilities.

In fact, such an oasis could soon be built around the apartment buildings in the Block 19a in New Belgrade. And the most ardent supporter and initiator of this sustainable and inclusive oasis is Srdjan Petrovic, resident at one of the apartment buildings, who is patiently and devotedly designing, advocating and implementing this idea.

Years ago, this Belgrader and economist shaped his wishes and needs as a resident of the apartment block through collaboration with various experts, including the block designer himself, a landscape architect, and an IT expert with whom he formed a non-governmental organization Moj lepi grad (My Beautiful City). Thus, the project entitled Eco Oasis Block 19a was born.

Srdjan's wish is to motivate the residents to spend more time outside of their apartments and to provide them with a better and environmentally friendly alternative. "This oasis framed by an alley and greenery with multifunctional sports courts would provide numerous opportunities for both passive and active rest for people of all ages, for marginalized groups, equally for both men and women. But what makes this oasis stand out are the ecological benefits. The area would be equipped with a solar panel and a wind generator which would produce energy for the needs of residents in Block 19a. Only LED street lights would be used, as well as smart software solutions which would be connected to the devices and sensors that control and adapt the light level intensity. There would also be a waste zone with containers equipped with level fulfillment sensors and connected to a mobile and desktop app. Eco zone would be there as well, with solar elements, free wifi, mobile phone chargers, pollution measuring instruments and a LED display that would provide information about climate change,” says Srdjan.

This project brings obvious benefits to residents, but its potential exceeds the boundaries of one apartment block.

"By tackling the challenges at this location, we could potentially be able to solve the problems of other local communities, especially in New Belgrade, because of its consistent features - the blocks have wide tree alleys and a lot of greenery, but they have remained unfinished and insufficiently maintained. We would develop optimal solutions that could then be then adapted or ‘plugged in’ in another environment like a USB, so to speak. If we applied these solutions to a larger sample, this would lead to a significant reduction in electricity consumption, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increased economic efficiency. "

The Project has the support of the City of Belgrade and competent ministries, but for its realization more funding is needed. Its potential has been recognized and awarded through the Project Climate Smart Urban Development, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and UNDP Serbia and supported by the Global Environment Fund, (GEF) as one of the most innovative solutions in the fight against climate change.

Srdjan and his team from the NGO Moj lepi grad are now developing and testing the idea within the Climate incubator where they have the help of experts.    

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