Touristic development of Muzil peninsula, Croatia

"The Civil Initiative for Muzil" opposes the exclusive touristic plan of giving under concessions or selling public areas in the Adriatic sea coastal zone and call for public participation in defining tourism planning.


Muzil is a small peninsula of 180 ha located at the south of the City of Pula. Until 2007 Muzil had been a military area after which it became the property of the city of Pula. After the military left the peninsula, the state put it under the control of armed soldiers to prevent its use by the citizens of Pula. The authorities decided to merge works at Muzil with large national tourist development project “Brijuni Revijera”; the project would have changed the concept of tourism in Croatia. The main idea is the development of exclusive touristic destination by giving under concessions or selling public areas in the Adriatic sea coastal zone. The urban plan proposed by the City of Pula included building of touristic resorts with 2500 beds, golf course and a small harbor on Muzil. According to the plan, the greatest share of the peninsula would be covered by a private golf course, closed for general public. The public green areas are planned on hilly parts of the peninsula, covered with dense vegetation, and therefore not easily accessible to the citizens. In 2009 the citizens of Pula organized "The Civil Initiative for Muzil" to oppose the urban plan. The initiative organized several debates and protests, and participated at the public hearing. They argued that the development of Muzil should be gradual and in accordance to the citizens’ needs, and asked to be involved in decision-making process. In August 2014, a survey on development of the peninsula was conducted among 400 participants as a part of the EU financed project “Public voices against corruption in the management of space and natural resources”. According to the survey results, the majority of citizens of Pula were against building of a golf course and demanded a referendum to decide about development of Muzil. In 2014 the State agency for management of state property (DUUDI) published a call for ideas for use of various ex-military locations and among them of Muzil. The citizens’ initiative demanded opening the area to public use, currently still under military control. They have been lobbying for political, economic and spatial autonomy of Muzil. In 2014 the citizen initiatives presented the “Muzil starter” project providing ideas on how to make temporary use of Muzil infrastructure in order to prevent its further deterioration and before a permanent optimal solution is found. "Muzil starter" was largely ignored by the local authorities and DUUDI. In 2015, the City Council of Pula presented “Spatial Plan of the County of Istria with accompanying strategic study of the environmental impact” which did not include changes demanded by the citizen of Pula. Announcement of a public call for investors has followed. There are two interested investors, American Forbes Real Estate LLC and French Boygues Batiment International, whose offers will be evaluated by the Croatian government.  

Basic Data
NameTouristic development of Muzil peninsula, Croatia
ProvinceIstria County
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Military installations
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Muzil development plan include building of: two hotels, two ports, aqua park, cinema, shopping mall, and golf course.
Project Area (in hectares)170
Level of Investment (in USD)224,000,000
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population60,000
Start Date2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesBrijuni Rivijera ltd. (BR) from Croatia - Investor and leader of the Development Programme “Brijuni Rivijera”
Relevant government actorsThe City of Pula; The Ministry of Tourism, the County of Istra; The State agency for management of state property (DUUDI)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersThe Initiative for Muzil (Volim Pulu – za Muzil); Zelena Istra; Centar za mirovne studije; Praksa zadruga Pula
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Recreational users
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
State agency's public call for ideas
Development of AlternativesThe majority of citizens and "The citizen initiative for Muzil" were against the tourism development plan and demanded organizing a referendum to decide about development of Muzil. They also demanded opening the peninsula for public use.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The City Council of Pula did not include changes in “Spatial Plan of the County of Istria" as it was demanded by the citizens initiatives. In addition, the authorities have ignored the civil initiative's project "Muzil starter" and currently revise the foreign investors' offers.
Sources and Materials

Prostorno programska studija Muzil, Pula
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Projekt Muzil, Pula
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Novine Građanske inicijative za Muzil broj 1., godina I, siječanj 2009.
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Fort Muzil | An Inhabited Military Area in Croacia
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Građani okupirali gradsku vijećnicu - rasprava o Muzilu odgođena
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Velika većina anketiranih protiv golfa na Muzilu
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Gradska vlast onemogućila pravo govora građanima- građani odlučili napustiti javnu raspravu
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Muzil po mjeri čovjeka
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Projekt Muzil Starter
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Velika rasprodaja Istre
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Prostorno planiranje koristi politici i investitorima, ne građanima Istre
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Muzil bi tebao služiti i građanima i zaradi, monofunkcionalnost je štetna
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Američki i francuski investitori zainteresirani za Muzi
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Pula će osim ‘sunca i mora’, razvijati kulturni turizam i aktivni odmor
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Država traži ulagače u projekt Muzil vrijedan do 200 milijuna eura
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Prvi potezi novog ministra turizma Antona Klimana
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Projekt "Brijuni Rivijera" ide dalje
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Javni natječaj za Muzil: Traže se investitori za turistička naselja, golf i marinu na 170 hektara
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Prostorni plan Uz golf i polo, u Istri i lov na lisice
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Infrastruktura preduvjet za transformaciju Pule
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Javni poziv investitorima za iskazivanje interesa za realizaciju razvojnog projekta MUZIL
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Media Links

Muzil starter
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Inicijativa za Muzil "Volim Pulu" - Nenad Popović - TV NOVA
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Konferencija za novinare Inicijative "Volim Pulu" 03.11.2013.
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Muzil građanima! - VIDEO
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To je Pula kakvu volim! + VIDEO!
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Public hearing on the urban plan of Pula
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VIDEO: Vijećnici 'bježali' kućama kroz prozor
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Privatnom poduzetniku 'najljepši dio Pule' na 99 godina
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Other Documents

The survey results on the use of Muzil were made public The billboard reads: "72% of Pula’s citizens think that they should decide on the use of the peninsula Muzil instead of the city or state authorities"
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Detail from the protest against the development plan of Muzil The sign reads:"Brijuni Rivijera is mother, corruption is father"
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Protest organised by the civil initiative for Muzil The protesters blocked the entrance of the city hall in Pula to attract the attention by the local authorities
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Meta Information
ContributorJovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)
Last update28/05/2016