Smart usage of urban space connecting the hillside sections and old core of Sarajevo
Organisation : Association of Engineers of Transportation and Communication in Bosnia and Herzegovina , Bosnia and Herzegovina

Our idea resulted from the fact that the settlements were built on high  hills around Sarajevo through history. We present project that is inovative and the first one which bridges a centuries-old aspiration of connecting two hillsides of the city, but doesn’t violate the appearance of old town. We would improve existing cable car and add component of public transport in hillside settlements to it. This conceptual design represents potential of Sarajevo getting new cable car in the area of hillside on other part of old town, which gives Sarajevo an opportunity to be unique.  

Agendas addressed
DecarbonisationUrban mobilityGreenfield land and natural space
Public spaceSocial inclusion and integrationLocal economies and employment
Pathways followed
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Apply innovative financing approaches
  • Implement sustainable procurement principles
  • Wisely select and apply smart technologies
  • Accelerate sustainability and innovation through public procurement
  • Prepare policies for socio-cultural changes due to innovation
conceptual design - scene 4 - cable car exit station

Most of Sarajevo population lives on surrounding hills which represents one of the main problems in the segment of achieving sustainable urban mobility. The only two available transportation options are ecologicaly unacceptable cars and minibuses. In winter season Sarajevo copes with large amount of snowfall that has complete suspension of motor traffic on slope parts as consequence.Voulnerable category of populations (elderly and kids) in these conditions aren't able to fulfill their everyday obligations and needs. Current strategies of settlement development in slope parts and their mobility are oriented on individual vehicles and difficult movement of public transport (minibus). Sarajevo is getting a plan of sustainable urban mobility for the first time in 2020 which emphasizes approachable sustainable mobility for all the citizens in its assumptions and goals.[1]


[1] SUMP SA_ Plan održive urbane mobilnosti Sarajeva, GIZ ORF-EE

In Action
conceptual design - scene 3

The old part of Sarajevo consists of settlements built in time of Turkish rule with all determinants of that period still remaining untill these days. Level of motorization and increased urban mobility led to problems with moving in this city part. Bearing in mind higher demand for safe, healthy and pleasent living as well as perserving cultural and historical heritage, it is needed to find inovative sustainable and ecologicaly clean solutions of urban mobility.

Two slope parts of the old Sarajevo town Bistrik and Vratnik arose approximately at the same time and there is constant longing of residents for bigger and easier both interconnection and connection with central part of the old town called Baščaršija.

Bearing in mind history of Bistrik, origin of the settlement that goes back to Turkish rule and most important of all structure of the settlement, streats and movement, innovation of urban mobility in 21 century is a big step forward to increased urban mobility of residents. Bistrik is one of the oldest settlements in the city, placed on left coast  of the river Miljacka, that  administratively and historicaly belongs to municipality Stari Grad Sarajevo. Bistrik is located  on the north part of hillly slope part of old town.

Vratnik is located on the south part of old town. Fortified old town Vratnik was built in 18 century ad and it represents a national monument since 2005. Vratnik is tourist attraction especially for its architercture and city view.

These two settlements that are positioned accross each other (north/south) connect only by coming down to the old town center (Baščaršija and City hall Vijećnica) and it is  still the only possible type of communication in between.

For this kind of connecting two slope settlements are interested citizens but also visitors because of big opportunities  that include access to cultural-historical places but also natural picnic areas  located on top of both settlements-Zmajevac beyond Vratnik and Trebević beyond Bistrik with great potentials for mountain climbing, mountain biking and skiing.

Considering space of both settlements as well as center of old town,  besides Canton Sarajevo for this kind of solution are interested City Sarajevo, municipality Stari Grad, municipality Istočno Sarajevo, mountaineering societies and olimpic part of Sarajevo, (on slopes of Trebević is positioned olympic bobsled track that is going under renovation in the coming period).

conceptual design - scene 5

The key achievements of the project are reflected in: 

  • The cable car would connect two settlements in the hilly part of the old part of Sarajevo with the center of the old part of the city without taking up additional space, which would lead to sustainable urban mobility.
  • Connecting the two settlements on the sloping hilly part of the city with the old part of the city by cable car without compromising the urban space, which implies a long-term solution for sustainable urban mobility.
  • Easier and faster environmentally friendly public transport
  • Encourage an innovative way of public transport in the hilly old part of the city of Sarajevo

The implementation of the project will:

  • will reduce emissions from public transport in the old part of the city.
  • Sustainable urban mobility will increase, due to simplicity and easier communication
  • The mobility of the elderly and people with disabilities will be enabled for the purpose of accessibility and location parts of the project itself
  • will increase the number of employees in service activities in the areas where the project is planned.
Challenges and lessons learned
conceptual design - scene 2 - Vijećnica

By presenting the project and communicating with stakeholders to the local community, we encountered mistrust in the success of the project, due to its innovation. Also, resistance was expressed in the segment of public transport and the established way of behavior and communication of local public transport operators, which offered something that partly forces them to change and change the mode of transport.

Pictures of the situation


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