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The Bold New Face of Koprivnica

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The Bold New Face of Koprivnica

Croatia How a city in the EU’s newest member state has hardwired sustainable development into its urban planning 

Koprivnica, a city in northern Croatia, is setting new standards for the energy efficiency of its building stock. A new development policy adopted by the city in 2011 requires that all new public buildings be constructed to low-energy or passive building standards. It’s hoped that Koprivnica’s pioneering policies will be replicated across the country. Koprivnica has helped propel the concept of energy-efficiency in a region that, until recently, has had little experience in the field. The city’s new policy is being implemented in two large development projects: a low-emission university campus, for which a library and lecture hall is currently under construction, and the Lanišće East Green Residential Neighbourhood, which will contain seven blocks of flats, a dozen town houses, and a dozen individual houses.

Buyers of Lanišće flats were offered access to a national programme for subsidised housing that guaranteed a low-interest rate on their mortgage over a 30 year payment period. The city provided the land for the buildings, connections to public utilities and reduced the overall cost of the apartments by deducting an amount equivalent to the municipal building tax.

Meanwhile, the city’s newly-acquired construction expertise has been used to convert a former army barracks into a low-energy kindergarten and to construct a new Palace of Justice—the first national ministry-owned building in Croatia built to low energy standards.

In the coming years, a primary school and second kindergarten will be built under the same programme, and all new or renovated buildings will be built to achieve EU 2020 targets for energy efficiency. In addition to energy efficiency construction measures, the Bold New Face of Koprivnica aims to hardwire sustainable development into all aspects of the city’s urban planning and land use; through the use of renewable energy sources, water conservation measures, wastewater management, and sustainable transport.

Lessons learnt

‘Citizens of Koprivnica have accepted sustainability as a way of life’, said Vesna Želježnjak, the city’s mayor. ‘The necessary element of our policy is public participation and the interest and approval of our citizens is proof of our common success. This is the only way to achieve and maintain a high quality of life for all our present and future citizens’.

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