Green Living Concept
Organisation : Green Roof Association Serbia , Serbia

The biggest challenge that we faced was the lack of a system to lead the city towards a solution. Therefore, we decided to make an independent system in residential buildings that is called: Green Living Concept. Our guiding principle, is to bring people and nature closer together.

EU Green Deal Policy Areas Addressed
BiodiversityClean energyBuilding and renovating
Pathways followed
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Pursue a shift towards a circular economy
  • Accelerate sustainability and innovation through public procurement

Due to an increase in migration that started in the 1990s, the city of Novi Sad has become the second largest city in Serbia, with infrastructure that doesn't support its population.

Since the '90s, there has been a large reduction in green areas in the city of Novi Sad from 30 percent down to only 5 percent nowadays, due to excessive building. This is one of the main issues that provoked our thoughts about Green Living Concept development for residential buildings. 


In Action

The Green Living Concept consists of three different segments, while each segment refers to one of the main environmental issues in the city of Novi Sad.

1. Green roofs

  • Issue: Green areas cover only 5 percent of the city.
  • Solution: A beautiful park created on the top of the building, providing benefits for residents, the building, and the city.

2. Green balconies

  • Issue: High traffic is causing low air quality and noise.
  • Solution: Sensor-operated and specially-selected plants installed on balconies, and varied depending on the balcony orientation.

3. “ECO POINT” waste sorting system:

  • Issue: The city of Novi Sad only has unregulated landfills surrounding the city, and no system-level solution.
  • Solution: A designated area where residents can sort waste for recycling. In return, they receive financial compensation and also lower the amount of waste that ends up in the unregulated landfill.

1. “ECO POINT” waste sorting system: Residents receive financial compensation for waste sorting, and lower the amount of waste that ends up in an unregulated landfill.

2. Green balconies: The specially-selected plants on balconies are creating a green sound barrier, and are purifying the air. They are sensor-operated and specially-selected depending on the balcony orientation. 

3. Green roofs:

  • Green roofs provide common space for residents. With grass and trees, they create a higly valuable piece of nature in the heart of the city. They provide thermal insulation and thus reduce heating costs by up to 20 percent. They also absorb sound, reduce noise and extend roof lifespan by protecting it from UV radiation. The greenery acts as an air filter and creates a better quality microclimate.
  • Green roofs are one of the leading Nature Based Solutions when it comes to creating a strategy for city resilience.
  • On the city level, the importance of green roofs increases even more, since they directly affect the main challenges that our cities are facing today. Namely:
    • If strategically planned and positioned, they directly impact the urban heat island, lowering temperatures up to 5-7 degrees. They also retain atmospheric water up to 70 percent, decreasing pressure on the drainage system, and thus directly lowering the frequent floods that occur after heavy rain. Despite the fact that they are designed for people, they can provide important ‘garden’ habitats in our towns and cities, and should also be planned and designed for biodiversity.

Over the last five years, we have focused on raising awareness of the high importance of different approaches and solutions. The Green Living Concept is a crown of past efforts, developed and implemented with the hope that we can inspire citizens, investors and city authorities to rethink their approaches – both as citizens and as professionals – so we can all contribute to living in cities in a more humane way.

Challenges and lessons learned

The biggest challenge that we faced was the lack of a system to lead the city towards a solution. We therefore decided to make an independent system in residential buildings, which can and should be applied widely as a systematic solution for this type of buildings.



ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
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