Red and yellow connecting green and blue - Bicycle boulevard Črnomerec
City/Region : City of Zagreb , Croatia

Stream reclamation
Smaller watercourses, like Črnomerec stream, are important for 3 reasons:
- hydraulic risk - connect the hydraulic system of the mountain to the course of the river by limiting the intubated sections, reopening stream course as much as possible and creating areas that can accommodate temporary flooding;
- ecological connection - penetrate the dense urban fabric with an ecological continuity useful to the percolation of biodiversity;
- public space - making walking and cycling enjoyable activities, thus protecting cyclists and pedestrians from air pollution. Črnomerec stream used as a case study to demonstrate possible actions on other streams 

Agendas addressed
DecarbonisationUrban mobilityBiodiversity
Water resources and air qualityClimate changePublic space
Pathways followed
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Implement sustainable procurement principles
  • Accelerate sustainability and innovation through public procurement
  • Support open data standards
North part(Ilica street) - existing condition

Ecological connection 
The ecological structure of Zagreb consists of two main elements: the Medvednica mountain (green) and the Sava river (blue). In the last thirty years, the city has been densified and it has almost totally filled up its empty spaces, even if the abandoned buildings are numerous. This process of densification occupied many streams and the general tendency was to transform the space of the streams in roads. Črnomerec stream is one of the few streams that are still visible. In addition to the hydraulic and ecological functions, Črnomerec stream could also perform the function of a linear park, offering an alternative to pedestrians (yellow) and cyclists (red) in north-south movements.
The City of Zagreb has Traffic Master plan and the intervention should support achieving the KPI:$FILE/04%20Plan%20Master%20plan.pdf 

In Action
The northernmost part - existing condition

In the second half of 20'th century, the number of cars has extremely increased and at that time the approach was to build more roads to reduce the negative impact of motorized traffic (noise, reduce time, fewer pollutions in jams,...), which nowadays seems as counterproductive action and needs to change and take more sustainable approach which require the change of paradigm in planning and implementing  towards more resilient and sustainable approaches. In the main strategic document for the City, Zagreb Development Strategy the goal is to improve cycling and pedestrian condition and following various international initiative specially NBS solution the idea was to preserve and save natural areas/corridors. As a potential for high quality public green space, the sketch of Črnomerec stream as a bicycle and pedestrian corridor with quality green areas for public was drawn.
The City of Zagreb has Traffic Master plan and the intervention should support achieving the KPI:$FILE/04%20Plan%20Master%20plan.pdf 
Zagreb Development Strategy: source 
The main 
The main stakeholders involved:
City Offices:
- City Office for Physical Planning, Construction of the City, Utility Services and Transport
- City Office for Economy, Energetics and Environment protection
- Public transport operator: ZET
- President of the local Self-government Trešnjevka Sjever 
- NGO representatives: Sindikat biciklista
- Institutions: Zagreb architecture Society  
- International cooperation: Office 2012_Alvise Pagnacco architetto And Pool Landscape S.r.l.

There were few public gatherings to preserve the natural heritage of Črnomerec stream
“Walking trail along the Črnomerec stream is the only public green area in the neighbourhood serving for public purpose as a green park. Instead of highway street, it should be green public space for dwellers” source: representative of the initiative “save the Črnomerec stream”
At this moment the concept for the revitalization of Črnomerec Street is in place and the documentation for the construction of Črnomerec stream as pedestrian and bicycle corridor with quality green spaces is being prepared.

South part- existing condition

The “new” ecological connection has been divided into 7 parts. 
Starting from south to north we find:
- Connection with Sava river - ecological park; rich green surfaces and vegetable gardens.
- Central park; a large green area with a great spatial potential to become an attractive park.
- Culvert creek: along with the tram deposit; this space must assume the role of a connection between the south part - wider Črnomerec - and the most compressed part to the north.
- Green corridor towards the railway; a limited width, but can be re-designed to allow the coexistence of pedestrian and bike flows.
- From the railway to Ilica street the linear park becomes an opportunity to create a new space for aggregation.
- Črnomerec valley - the north part of Ilica - needs to enhance the stream, giving it back its role of structuring urban element.

Overall achievements could be:

- Improved air and water quality
- Improved biodiversity
- Reduced atmospheric CO2
- Reduced ambient noise
- Reduced urban heat island effect 
- Reduced flood risk
- Enhanced urban microclimate
- Improved visual amenity
- Green landmark
- Improved environmental resilience

- Encourages physical activity
- Provides more opportunities and places for children to play
- Improved mental health
- Creates and improves spaces for socialising, interaction and events
- Improved workplace productivity
- Creates opportunities for community participation and volunteering
- Improved childhood development
- Ease of access to social, recreation and sporting activities
- Increased social cohesion and sense of community

- Reduced energy costs via microclimate regulation
- Encourages inward investment
- Improved tourist and recreation facilities
- Lower healthcare costs
- Boosting property values
- Faster property sales


A strategic vision needs to be created and the Črnomerec stream is an ideal candidate. It needs to be shared among the different stakeholders, in order to have a common goal according to the objectives of the city. Quality spatial planning aims to create conditions for further improvement of the urban aspects of settlements, with a high degree of preservation of natural resources. In that landscape, the strategies become the tools for building the vision and create a safer and a nicer environment for all the citizens and at the same time fight against the effects of the climate change and air pollution. The main materials of this projects are paths for slow mobility, which means fewer cars and less pollution, and vegetation which means purifying the air and will make the soil more resistant. 

The number of cyclists is well known after the implementation the bicycle counter can be installed and measure the number of cyclists, and the increased number could support KPI of the Traffic master plan of the City of Zagreb, Zagrebačka and Krapinsko Zagorska County. 

Challenges and lessons learned
Pliva factory part - existing condition

- urban plans - aligning masterplans with new ideas
- stakeholders coordination – city and public departments, NGOs and citizens
- cycling as a lifestyle - changing mindset through education, incorporation in the public transport system
- property-rights status - solving complicated legal relations
- implementation of new technologies - contemporary building materials, e-bikes, mobile apps

Lessons learned:
- citizen participation is the most powerful tool to achieve intended goals. Citizens are the most important stakeholder and a guarantee that the government, the City of Zagreb, as an enforcer of the project is on the track.

Abacus of vegetation
Abacus of materials


ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19



Legal Notice / Impressum


Data Protection Policy / Datenschutzerklärung