Who Builds the City (Ko Gradi Grad / KGG) was established in 2010 in response to the urban developments in Belgrade, characterized by corrupt and mismanaged privatisation of public resources, and clientalistic government behaviour, creating ground for monopolistic private sector actors.
2010-12: KGG starts driven by the belief that a dialogue about the desired development of the city must be inclusive for all those who make up the city. KGG brings together civil society activists, architects and urban planners, researchers and quickly find a specific focus on fostering visibility and exchange among various citizens’ initiatives. This line of activities continues along activist research on major urban projects exploring the intersection of decision-making procedures, the influence of professionals and the articulation of public interest.
2012: KGG decides to address one of the most urgent social issues in Serbia: access to housing. 98% of housing in Serbia is private, while only 0.8% is social housing; 70% of inhabitants struggle to cover living costs, with limited affordable housing options forcing many into long-term debt, financial and energy poverty, and increased gender-based dependence.
2013-14: KGG launches the Pametnija Zgrada (Smarter Building) project, with a series of workshops and working groups to develop a prototype for a low-impact collective housing that can serve as a model to address housing issues in their wider social and economic context, and aim to provide a larger degree of financial independence and mutual solidarity.
2015: KGG co-organised the So-Called Housing Issue event in Belgrade, bringing together a range of activist groups related to housing in Serbia. KGG becomes a member of the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and Right to the City, and will host the 2017 coalition meeting in Belgrade, a four-day event that will gather housing activists from across Europe and Serbia.
2016: KGG ran a series of workshops to explore alternative financial models for communities, including the possibility of setting up an ethical bank, crowdfunding capital for housing construction, and establishing complementary currencies for community empowerment. In the end of the year, we launched Welcome to Housing Hell, an awareness raising campaign around housing conditions in Serbia, partly in response to the new Law on Housing which provides no ground for more affordable living.
KO GRADI GRAD is an association based in Belgrade, Serbia. From 2010-2015 it functioned as a platform initiated by Marko Aksentijević, STEALTH.unlimited, Cultural Center REX / Fund B92 and Heinrich Böll Foundation.
All our texts and many of our images appear under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License (CC BY-SA). All our content is written and edited by our community.