EBRD Expeditio - print screenKrajem januara 2023. na sajtu Evropske banke za rekonstrukciju i razvoj (EBRD) i FB stranici ove institucije, objavljen je članak o aktivnostina NVO Expeditio pod nazivom "Reimagining sustainable Western Balkans cities" koji možete pročitati u nastavku.


Reimagining sustainable Western Balkans cities

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Cities are more than just economic powerhouses. They are places of public life, cultural exchanges and creativity that unite us with an invisible bond of shared experiences. They form the basis of our commutes, work and lives, but have we ever stopped to think about what it takes for a city to excel?

This question has been the preoccupation of sustainability enthusiast Biljana Gligorić, who co-founded Expeditio Architects, an organisation based in Kotor, Montenegro. Expeditio promotes sustainable spatial development projects spanning architecture, urban planning, energy efficiency and cultural heritage, with an emphasis on civil society.

With support from Sweden, we helped Expeditio bring to market Archylab, an innovative and interactive portal designed to educate architects about the principles of green building construction.

During the late 1990s, demonstrations against the war in the former Yugoslavia brought together a passionate assembly of university students in Belgrade, driven by a fervent desire for change and a determination to make an impact.

“That energy stayed with us, and we channelled it towards the Club of Young Architects, whose work we helped revive with new projects,” says Biljana. “We organised a walking marathon and culture trip to Fruška Gora, and soon after we self-financed our first architecture workshop in Perast, a small town on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. We cooperated with locals, drawing up plans for buildings, and published our first report, which received an award,” she explains.

Over time, membership of the student-led group waned, leaving only the trio of Biljana, Tatjana and Aleksandra who, with their shared vision for quality space, founded Expeditio Architects.

Now with approximately 400 members, the organisation implements an array of educational, research and cultural projects Iinked to sustainable architecture and spatial development.

Biljana and her co-founders realised that social participation in urban planning and architecture was essential to fostering more vibrant and resilient cities. If cities are to be liveable, resilient and inclusive, people must have a say in their future. Expeditio’s activities reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of urban planning, combining education with civic engagement to encourage citizens to think creatively about their urban and rural surroundings and create a better space for themselves.

Through summer schools, research projects, workshops, focus groups and other participatory approaches, Expeditio is helping to find solutions for preserving cultural heritage sites and promoting ecological building.

As the company matured, it turned its focus towards sustainability, with Biljana obtaining a license to audit the energy performance of buildings.

“Our main aim is to contribute to the quality of our surroundings through our various activities. We realised that Environmental, Social and Governance standards were a way to include the private sector in discussions on climate change and the future of our planet,” adds Biljana.

To capitalise on their strengths and continue their growth, the Expeditio team embarked on a new project to develop a global online platform for educating professionals on the principles of sustainable development. They reached out to the EBRD to help develop a business plan and map out funding sources.

Since the start of the advisory project, supported by Sweden, Expeditio has attracted grants for developing its first online modules and testing them with a focus group.

Amid the spatial and social transformations of our surroundings, Biljana aims to re-examine the values of society. Her focus is on fostering a society that encourages shared participation and empowers everyone to question the ecological, social and cultural directions of their environments. Expeditio's journey reflects a strong commitment to sustainability, education, and community engagement in creating better spaces for all.

logo expeditio EXPEDITIO je nevladina organizacija čija je misija podsticanje održivog prostornog razvoja u Crnoj Gori i regionu Jugoistočne Evrope kroz djelovanje u oblasti održive arhitekture, kulturnog nasljeđa, planiranja prostora, kao i kroz aktivnosti koje doprinose ukupnom razvoju civilnog društva. EXPEDITIO je osnovan 1997. godine.

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