Fourth Belgrade – Four Chapters of Belgrade’s Alternative History
In light of Yugoslavian socialist heritage, the violent transition into capitalism and current developer’s logics, this thesis is using architecture to imagine a path not taken, an alternative outcome and value system which challenges the idea of one-directional progress.
In August of 2018, PKB - a publicly owned cattle and crop production corporation and one of the main food producers in Serbia since 1945, was put on tender. The firm and its 300 sq km big land just north of Belgrade was to be traded for fifty percent of its estimated value with no guarantee that the new owner would continue the food production business. In addition, according to the UN housing expert report, “Serbia’s housing crisis demands immediate action” ; over seventy percent of households in Serbia are heavily burdened with costs of utilities, renting prices or paying off housing depths.
As a response to the housing and food insecurity crises in Serbia, the thesis imagines a new village typology and a way of living on the PKB land, called Fourth Belgrade. Fourth Belgrade preserves the postulates of the right to housing and communal living which led previous Belgrade developments. However, communal living is not only based on nuclear family structures. Rather, it consists of multiple scales of sharing and individual choice. In addition, contemporary conditions brought about communities which are organized around land and food as resources which resist commodification. This new definition of village incorporates the whole society in the sustenance and ultimately culture production processes, as an outcome of the local histories.