The mission of Urban Development Program (UDP) is introducing contemporary practice in the sphere of governance of urban development through improvement of knowledge and expertise and thus to contribute to balanced, integral and sustainable development of Serbia and the SEE region.

Our activities are geared in the areas of integrated policies of spatial / urban development of cities and territories, among which particularly to those in relation to housing policy.

The goals of UDP are establishment of instruments for permanent education in different areas of urban management, raising of educational capacities, public advocacy for systemic changes in planning and housing, promotion of the role of public in decision making processes, raising awareness and education of citizens, support to public administration in building legal and institutional framework and raising level of governing culture.

In its work, Urban Development Program governs itself with principles of ethics, respect for rules, order, Law and human rights and promotes values of knowledge and permanent education.

Urban development

In the last years in Europe there are more discussions on the topic of managing urban development and emphasizing the need for flexible, innovative and responsible governance, which is accepting the changeable dynamics of global economic relations, together with active participation of the community.

The cities are bearers of economic development and competition. As centers of specialized services of housing, education, health, culture, information technology, they represent main sources of knowledge and innovation. But, the cities aren’t only rich and successful; they are also centers of poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and spatial segregation, low safety level and damaging environmental impacts. City development policies became constitutional part of the European development policies and they refer to enhancement of balancing economic development, social cohesion, environmental protection and improvement of quality of life in urban agglomerations.

Today, the efficient management of urban development implies competent collaborative planning, processes and decision-making mechanisms. In countries of post-socialist transformation, it means essentially new integrated approach in planning and decision-making, linking sustainability and balance of economic development, political attitudes and democratic procedures, social justice and cultural freedoms.

Housing policy

A comprehensive housing policy should be an inseparable part of the scope of activities in managing urban development, which is the case in almost all developed countries. However, majority of countries in post-socialist transformation left engaging in housing policy for a while. The reason for this stems primarily in overall restructuring of the system, converting from state-driven into market economy, i.e. from socialism to capitalism, where were many higher political priorities, than housing needs.

The first privatizations of public property have occurred as a rule on the public housing stock, where the tenants have became owners of dwellings they lived in. The privatization processes haven’t had same pace and were not equally radical in all socialist countries, but consequences were very similar in character. Leaving almost whole population to the just emerging housing market, for the longer forthcoming period set unbridgeable problems in front of many households that haven’t solved their housing needs in the previous socialistic period and in front all the households to be formed in future.

Out of the Eastern European countries, Serbia is among the last states that started housing reforms, being late after almost all countries of former Yugoslavia.

The initiated systemic reforms in the housing sector require a wide grasp of institutional capacity building and creation of human resource potential that will enable conduct of efficient housing policy at state and local levels. Carrying out housing policy is unavoidable function in managing sustainable development of the country and one of the conditions of prosperity of the nation.


Consulting services offered by UDP are about housing policy, institutional reforms and legislative changes. Clients were mainly international organizations and line ministries in the Government of Serbia.

Permanent Activities

• Promotion and acquisition of provision of training, consulting and technical assistance in the processes of formulation of integrated development strategies

• Support to recently established city housing agencies through representation of their interests with the Government, other institutions and public in technical issues, searching for new sources of financing, networking and other.

• Establishing formal strategic partnership with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (based on the long-term cooperation with the Committee for Urban Planning and Housing) and with the Association of Housing Agencies


UDP has initiated a series Guides for Urban Life, a follow up training material along with education and trainings, performed within some of the projects. These brochures - practical guides treat actual topics of housing policy and urban management in Serbia. These are short brochures, written with easy reading language, consisting of basic theoretical and practical information providing guidelines for participants in policy and strategy making at municipal level, for local administration and citizens.