A few days ago I read a very interesting article in „Vijesti Online“: the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has made up a Draft National Strategy of Integrated Coastal Management, which clearly points at the danger of irrational urban planning on the Montenegrin Coast. I could not believe my eyes when I read that the area of planned building land would be sufficient for the construction of apartments for another 600,000 to 800,000 inhabitants and tourist capacities for at least 270,000 new beds (photo 1).
Can you imagine that the number of overnights in the best period of Montenegrin tourism (1985-1988) was higher than today? That more than 50,000 people were employed in tourism and catering at that time? And that tourists from Western Europe realized even three times more overnights in 1986 than in 2013?
Yes, I can imagine that, as I lived and worked in Budva in the seventies of the last century. I remember very well how the Montenegrin Coast looked like in that period: authentic, clean, with charming old towns and villages, magnificent natural beauties and transparent clean sea water.
What has happened in the meantime? First of all, it seems to be impossible to stop illegal building. The authorities don’t even know how many buildings have illegally been erected along the coast, but also many legally built structures have a negative impact on the landscape and cause pollution of the sea water.
During the last few years, I have discovered many new „projects“ and, in my opinion, none of them has contributed to the attractiveness and authenticity of the Montenegrin Coast. Let’s take Zavala or Dukley Gardens (photo 2). The beautiful green peninsula between Slovenska Plaža and Bečići has now become one big construction site. Such a pity!
Some new apartment buildings simply look ridiculous. I even discovered an eight-storey building along the highway through Budva, which is less than 3 meters wide!!! (photo 3). What a difference with the Slovenska Plaža hotel settlement that was built on the spot where the former hotels were totally destroyed by the 1979 earthquake (photo 4). It has a true Mediterranean look! Or is this hotel settlement, which is now in a rather neglected state, also planned to be demolished like the Adriatic Fair, so that a new skyscraper can be built here?
But there is still one beach left … Jaz is not completely spoilt yet, although various (illegal?) buildings have already taken a position directly behind the beach (photo 5). I remember that a large tourist settlement was already planned here around fourty years ago, as I did translation work for the developer at that time. But nothing happened, as the private land owners were not willing to sell their land. And I don’t know anything about the future of this area – except for the famous music festivals that are organized here.
But the biggest disappointment for me is Petrovac. I thought that there was an agreement about the prohibition of constructing high-rise buildings in this charming village. And when I saw what is happening now, I was completely shocked (photo 6). The beautiful skyline disappeared and the view is blocked by several huge buildings. Will all those future guests and tourists in Petrovac have enough space available on the beach? I really doubt it!
I am glad that a public debate will be held on the above mentioned strategic document. If accepted, many urgent measures will be taken to protect our wonderful coast. Deadline? 2020! But don’t you think that it is already too late?