Interview with Jasmin Ademović, President of the City Council of Sarajevo: Involvement of Sarajevo in EU Mission “Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities”

Mr. Jasmin Ademović, President of the City Council of the City of Sarajevo shares his experience about Sarajevo with regard to its participation in the EU Mission “Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities” as an associated city.

How far is Sarajevo involved in the mission? Can you give us some examples?

As a city, Sarajevo has been involved in the mission through a joint effort of 17 levels of government – The Canton of Sarajevo, The City of Sarajevo, The City of East Sarajevo and 14 municipalities that are within the Canton of Sarajevo, the City of Sarajevo, and the City of East Sarajevo. The City of Sarajevo is also included in the mission as an associated city to the cities of the European Union, that is, as the capital city of a candidate country for EU membership.

What do you see as the main challenges?

Sarajevo is a city surrounded by mountains, located in a valley, with serious problems regarding air pollution. For this reason, we plan and implement projects related to the energy efficiency of public and residential buildings, the energy efficiency of public transport as well as transport in general. Currently, Sarajevo is completing a project concerning the development of our public transport infrastructure, with the help of electrical energy. The biggest challenge is indeed the implementation of specific projects where all earlier mentioned subjects must be involved, respecting the jurisdiction of every level of government.

What are the next steps to proceed towards the goals of this mission?

The next step that is in process now and that will last for at least a year, is the development of the CCC (Climate City Contract). This Contract will represent an expressed political obligation of Sarajevo towards the European Union, but also towards the national and regional (canton) authorities, as well as citizens. Thanks to this contract, we will pave the way for an inclusive, successful, climate resistant, sustainable future.

How do you see the replication potential in the Western Balkans region?

There are a lot of cities in the region, especially in Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia that share the problems of aging infrastructure and obsolete technologies, notably in the fields of building construction, public transport of passengers, the use of different energy sources etc. Fields that haven’t seen investments in a long period of time, due to recent wars or difficult and complex economic circumstances. Besides that, some of these countries and cities also share a complex authority system (different levels of government). That’s why the experience of Sarajevo will be applicable to a large number of cities in the Western Balkans region.

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