Public Space - Common Space: Presentation of Best Practices in Uzice
On Thursday, April 4th, 2019, in the Town Hall of Uzice, a presentation of good practice on the topic of Citizen Participation in Public Space Creation "Public Space - Common Space" was presented, as part of the Public Administration Development Project in the Interest of Citizens (Rethinking Collaborative Values for Public Services - RECOV), which is financially supported by the European Union through the Europe for Citizens Programme.
Ruža Penezić, a graduate engineer in architecture at JP Uzice Development, spoke about the importance of public spaces as a public good that fosters equity and inclusion and about the public spaces preliminary designs. She emphasized that each of the presented projects must be economically efficient, suitable for the purpose of the location, easily accessible to citizens and in balance with the natural environment, which is in accordance with the principle of sustainable development "a city tailored to the people" and in the interest of the entire local community.
Miodrag Petkovic, a member of the City Council in charge of the field of finance, presented the Local Partnership Program "Let's Join" as an example of best practice in the mentioned area, aimed at improving the process of creating the local budget and encouraging citizen participation in local decision-making. For this purpose, an application called "Together to Good Decisions" was posted on the City's website and, thanks to it, citizens were given insight into draft decisions, as well as direct participation in their creation through giving suggestions on changes and amendments to them.
Within the topic of contemporary local self-government and citizen participation in public-private partnership, the participants were addressed by Gordana Savic, coordinator at the Uzice Center for Human Rights and Democracy, pointing out that citizen participation in public hearings is a legal obligation, both on the basis of positive regulations and under international agreements signed by the Republic of Serbia. Savic also pointed to the necessity of adopting the Investment Plan and developing a questionnaire to collect project ideas on the basis of which the budget will be adopted.