The Bartlett School of Planning


Aleksandra Milentijevic

Research subject

Democratisation of the Serbian urban planning system

Primary supervisor: Dr Ben Clifford
Secondary supervisor: Dr Jessica Ferm
Starting date: September 2019
Projected completion date: September 2024 

Countries with post-socialist legacies face many issues including democratic reforms, privatisation, a rapid influx of the free market, and the adaptation to the neoliberal realities. As a former Yugoslav state and with only 20 years since the first democratic elections, Serbia is still finding its way through the complex environment of transitional democracy. When it comes to urban planning, this includes the explosion of the so-called ‘investor urbanism’ in which investors and developers benefit from powerful positions, as do the political elites while citizens have limited opportunities and influence in the planning processes.

The research question is focused on the analysis of the current public participation approaches in the urban planning system in Belgrade and how people raise their concerns in post-socialist environments. The research also aims to focus on the power relations between various actors in the governance processes.


Aleks is a part-time PhD student at the Bartlett School of Planning. Born and raised in Montenegro, she completed her BSc degree in Architecture and Urban Planning in Belgrade and MSc degree in Spatial Planning at the Oxford Brookes University.

Aleks has worked in the local government in London since November 2016, and her experience includes leading on a variety of projects relating to policy-making and implementation of plans. Throughout her professional planning work, Aleks developed a particular interest in the participation of local communities and the general public in planning processes. Her interest lies in the social and historical development of spaces, democracy and post-socialist environments.