Text topic: Critical History of Transforming Belgrade Public Spaces - from the End of the 18th Century to the Beginning of the 21st Century
Text author: Бојана Илић
Role of the army in the development of Belgrade was not directly but rather indirectly linked to the development of urban and regulatory planning. Namely, the cartographic work of army-hired officers and experts represents an important legacy in the urban planning history. In addition to this role, military skills were greatly appreciated in the first institutions that regulated the construction and architectural projects in Serbia. Military barracks in Belgrade from the time of Prince Miloš served as inspiration for the construction of other public buildings. Military facilities, which were not separated from buildings for civilian use, had been built in the vicinity of the Great Barrack. There was no plan for creating a separate military district but the idea was to have military facilities located close to each other, so as to ensure efficient functioning of the army. Therefore, the locations chosen for certain military facilities had not always been optimal solutions when it came to their function and meaning. Many of them were built as representative buildings in order to emphasize the important role of the Serbian army in the realization of the objectives of national policy. After gaining independence in 1878, military facilities progressively occupied the surroundings of Belgrade in addition to the central parts of the city. On the one hand, this came as a result of the development of Belgrade and the new needs of its residents, and also due to the growing army and its subsequently increased demands for modern training which needed to be conducted in a free and uninhabited area. These challenges were resolved spontaneously, leading to solutions that failed to fulfil all military requirements and needs which were also at the expense of the needs of the municipality of Belgrade.