Support to spatial planning


Floods in Montenegro in 2010
Floods in Montenegro in 2010. Photo: UNDP in Montenegro/ Milos Vujovic, Mediabox

In the transition process with rapid urban development and progress of private entrepreneurship, Montenegro’s spatial planning system proved to have a number of weaknesses. Changes in land use regardless of valid plans, illegal construction and uncontrolled urbanization without adequate infrastructure, jeopardize the quality of nature and life in urban areas. Capacities for spatial planning and sustainable development remain especially limited in small municipalities, and are amplified by regional differences. Additional hurdle is the lack of institutions responsible to execute state competences in this domain.

Hence, the UNDP’s ‘Spatial Planning Support Project’ aims to integrate sustainable development principles into processes of spatial planning, to legalize informal settlements and to improve the enforcement of the relevant legislation. The aim is to establish a clear link between economic growth, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability in Montenegro.

What is the project about?

Project activities are focused on four main objectives:

Goal 1: Finalize the obligatory Spatial Urban Plans (SUPs). The goal is to continue supporting the 12 partner Municipalities in finalizing the obligatory Spatial Urban Plans (SUP), while working on building their capacities at the same time.

Goal 2: Improve the spatial planning legislation. In close cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, the aim is to improve the spatial planning legislation by providing technical assistance in drafting relevant bylaws, creating the template terms of reference for municipal use, a Guide for implementation of the Law on Development and Construction. 

Goal 3: Promote participation of non-governmental organizations and civil sector and strengthen their cooperation with the Government. The project will continue to support active participation of the NGOs in spatial planning issues, and encourage more active cooperation between the central and local government and the civil sector.  In addition, the aim is to ensure more active role of the Faculty of Architecture in the project activities.

Goal 4: Further build the capacity of municipalities for spatial planning and related activities. In order to secure the sustainability in strengthening municipal capacities in this domain, the project aims to initiate the necessary support services, such as a web based municipal spatial information system for Northern Montenegro. If applicable, these services will be developed through a regional planning centre to be established by the municipalities themselves with the technical assistance of the project.

What have we accomplished so far?

Over the past 7 years, UNDP supported Montenegro in the development of spatial planning documentation and processes, as the main precondition for socio economic development and investment attraction, i.e.:

  • Supported development of Spatial Urban Plans in 12 municipalities, out of which 7 are finalized; Supported and finalized Detailed Urban Plans in 8 northern municipalities; and assisted in development of one Spatial Plan of Special Purpose in Zabljak;
  • Assisted in preparation of bylaws related to the Law on Development and Construction and conducted workshops to improve its implementation; Developed adequate templates and tendering procedure for municipalities;
  • Identified alternative solutions for legalization of informal settlements, i.e. energy efficient based formalization and piloted this solution through a prototype – energy efficient retrofitting of 4 households in informal settlements in Bijelo Polje;
  • Developed an initial study on the level of seismic risk in existing informal settlements and proposed recommendations for future solutions;
  • Developed pilot projects for feasibility studies of formalization of informal settlements in Montenegro (conducted energy audits for 25 households in three northern Municipalities);
  • Organized 3 trainings for the municipality staff, 5 best practice exchange meetings and 2 study tours for representatives of 12 Montenegrin municipalities;
  • Helped finalize six NGO projects related to the spatial planning issues; and
  • Organized two student competitions on urban development.

Who finances it?

Donor Name                 

Amount contributed

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA 

USD 2,630,000

Government of Montenegro

USD    100,000

Government of Norway

USD      43,000


USD    293,000


USD 3,066,000

Delivery in previous fiscal years

December 2013 USD   23,700

December 2012

USD 129,000

December 2011

USD 415,850

December 2010

USD 880,596

December 2009

USD 498,004

December 2008

USD 554,371

December 2007

USD 368,120

Project Overview
Project Start Date:
January 2007
Estimated End Date:
June 2014
Geographic Coverage:
Nationwide/Montenegro, with focus on the northern region
Focus Area:
Economy and Environment
Project Officer:
Ms. Jelena Janjušević
Tel. +382 20 22 30 38
Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, 12 Northern Municipalities
Illegal settlements in Montenegro
  • Study on Illegal Development in Montenegro English
  • Presentation of the Study on Illegal Development English
  • Energy efficiency based legalization of informal settlements in Montenegro English