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UNDA Project 1819AE: Serbia - Air Quality Plan for the city of Kraljevo

About Serbia

The third Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Serbia in 2015 noted air quality monitoring as a priority area for the country. Whilst outdoor air quality has been addressed to some extent, air pollution still persists, especially in urban areas. In Serbia, air quality is usually affected by fuel combustion in households; heating plants; individual boiling rooms and fireboxes; traffic; construction; inadequate storage of raw materials; inadequate landfills; and poor hygiene of public spaces in cities.

As a response to this assessment and to improve air quality in line with both EC Directives and Serbia’s own laws on monitoring the environment and air quality, Serbia has developed and adopted an Air Quality Plan for the city of Kraljevo with the assistance of the UNECE.

Kraljevo is located in central Serbia and is an area of many contrasts, with four mountains and three valleys distributed over the territory. The population of Kraljevo is around 130,000 in the city administrative area, of which around 70,000 inhabitants live in the city’s urban area. According to reports of the Environmental Protection Agency of the Republic of Serbia, between 2017 and 2018, the city of Kraljevo was excessively polluted. The degree of air pollution is influenced by a number of issues, though is primarily caused by the traffic sector and industrial activity. The Air Quality Plan for Kraljevo for the period 2020-2025 will seek to address these issues, with the overall aims of protecting the health of the population and informing the public about the results of measurements and measures taken to reduce pollution.

Several measures have been taken under the Air Quality Plan to reduce air pollution. For instance, the Plan includes measures such as the development of an urban plan for public areas and routes along roads, pollution reduction plans, and regular cleaning of public areas. Another measure includes the development of a local database of air pollutants, in order to collect data to enable spatial and temporal prediction of air pollution levels. Since the traffic sector is a primary contributor to air pollution, changing the traffic regime is seen as imperative, featuring an improved traffic management system, planning and expanding zones with traffic restrictions, and expanding the number of pedestrian zones and bicycle paths. In both residential and industrial buildings, applying energy efficiency measures and using more renewable energy sources are also part of the Plan. Finally, the Plan also includes the promotion of the population’s knowledge and awareness of reducing air pollution to get citizens involved. Recognising the wide range of issues and the need for a multidisciplinary approach and cross-sectoral cooperation under the Air Quality Plan, an Action Plan was also developed with specific goals, measures and activities, whilst also noting the body responsible for delivering the goal, which will help the city to implement its desired targets.

With the success of developing this plan for Kraljevo, subsequent air quality plans could be developed for other cities across Serbia. By creating an Air Quality Plan with a mix of short- and long-term goals, the measures taken in the city of Kraljevo are expected to abate the most polluting sources and improve air quality in the territory.