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Flower market Square Redevelopment Plan, Zagreb, Croatia

The citizens and NGOs managed to stop the attempt to the redevelopment of Flower market square in Zagreb after some changes to this public area were already made.


The changes of the Urban Plan of the City of Zagreb from 2007 included changes that allowed for redevelopment of popular historic public square Cvjetni trg (Flower market Square). HOTO Group, owned by developer and real-estate tycoon Tomislav Horvatinčić, signed the contract with the city authority which allowed them construct a business center and underground garage. The construction plan also included construction of access ramps to underground private garage which would destroy the Varšavska Street pedestrian zone which provoked massive reaction of civil society groups among others Zelena Akcija (Green Action- Friends of the Earth Croatia) and Right to a City initiative (Pravo na grad) complaining on economic exploitation and commercialization of public space and exclusion of citizens from decision making processes. These organisations also formed a group of experts in urban planning and organised protests obstructing the construction work in the street, signing petition (around 55,000 people), as well as many small illegal actions and artistic performances. The first big protest with around 5,000 citizens was organised in 2010 during the voting procedure in which the city assembly accepted the plan. The protest resulted in arrests of around 140 protesters. The protests continued for 33 consecutive days, including the street blockade and presence of large number of policemen. The protesters called on the city Mayor and the Minister of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction to resign, as well as have been criticizing the work of the State Attorney (DORH) which previously issued a statement on possible legal irregularities and corruption in the project, but has been holding off the process.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Flower market Square Redevelopment Plan, Zagreb, Croatia
State or province:Zagreb Capital
Location of conflict:Zagreb
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:0.1
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:10,000
Start of the conflict:03/2010
End of the conflict:2011
Company names or state enterprises:HOTO Group (HOTO) from Croatia - Investor and developer of the project
Relevant government actors:The City of Zagreb; The Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction of the Republic of Croatia
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Zelena Akcija (Friends of the Earth Croatia); Right to a City (Pravo na grad) initiative; Croatian musicians and actors among other celebrities
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Air pollution, Noise pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Potential: Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
New legislation
Project cancelled
The Urban Plan of the City of Zagreb was changed to the previous state from 2007
Proposal and development of alternatives:The civil society organisations and citizens demanded cancellation of transformation plan of the Flower Square and the Varšavska Street .
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The changes of the General Urban Planin from March 2013 prevented further destruction of the Cvjetni square and the Varšavska Street, which was applauded by the civil society organisations as the local authority finally responded to their demands.
However, the commercial center and access ramp to underground garage was already built in 2011. Varšavska Street became a symbol of citizens’ revolt on the unilateral decision of the city authorities on the urban development.
Sources & Materials

Cleaning out the rat holes of Zagreb's flower square
[click to view]

Uhićen Milan Bandić
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Sjećanje na Varšavsku – Kako smo se borili protiv Milana Bandića i kumova
[click to view]

"Varšavska Ulica"
[click to view]

[click to view]

Prosvjed protiv krađe Varšavske – srijeda 10.2., Varšavska
[click to view]

"Varšavska Prosvjed"
[click to view]

History of Cvjetni Trg (Flower market Square)
[click to view]

Protests in Varšavska continue
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140 arrested in Zagreb protests against construction in Varšavska pedestrian zone
[click to view]

City council puts a political pressure on FoE Crotia because of Varšavska street
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Zagreb City Council adopted Changes to General Urban Plan Supported by Citizens and Civil Society
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Ovako će izgledati Varšavska kad se dovrši projekt garaže (3D view of access ramps to underground garages)
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Građani, odmah krenite u iskasapljenu Varšavsku!
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"Republic of Coruptia": Aktivisti blokirali ulaz u Horvatinčićevu garažu, jedan priveden
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Darko Rundek & Cargo Live @ Varšavska - Šal od svile
[click to view]

Prosvjed Varšavska 17.05.2010.
[click to view]

TBF Live @ Varšavska - Heroji
[click to view]

VIDEO: Zbog Varšavske uhićeno više od 140 ljudi
[click to view]

Varsavska prosvjed 18/05/10
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Jovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)
Last update18/08/2019
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