Western Balkans municipalities draw inspiration from the Slovak city of Bratislava

Representatives from the Western Balkans came to Bratislava to learn about strategic urban planning, digitization of services, the city transportation, as well as about waste management and its utilization. 

Effective city management plays a key role in driving economic growth and social progress. Nowadays, municipalities face numerous challenges in meeting the diverse needs of their residents. On their quest to improve their work and city development, representatives of municipalities from the Western Balkans came to seek inspiration to the Slovak capital city. 

Bratislava has significantly accelerated its development recently. The way of planning and implementation of municipal services in Bratislava was very inspiring for many of the participants. “We believe that this is an example of good practice, which can be used in programming the development plans of the city of Kraljevo and the nature park Golija,” said the guests from Kraljevo and Golija Nature Park. In the Golija region, a consultation process for piloting joint microregional development planning has already begun, also with the support of Slovakia. 

Introducing the Slovak experience 

During the study visit, the participants gained an insight into how the city deals with waste, both from the point of view of waste collection and its further processing. In particular, the processing of separated plastic waste and its subsequent use was presented. The OLO company collects and sorts waste in a separate collection system. It also presented waste energy utilization facility ZEVO and how it uses the heat generated during the incineration of waste to produce heat and electricity, which it then supplies to Bratislava households.  

The participants also learned about management of city organizations, digital services and digital transformation of the city, as well as financial schemes for municipalities applied in Slovakia. Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava explained how it reflects the needs of city and its residents in broader urban planning through quality architecture and functional solutions.  

The transport company of the city of Bratislava presented the public transport system in the city, its modernization and the expansion of services to citizens. Modernizing trends in Bratislava’s public transport, such as the use of electric or hydrogen engines, aroused great interest. The presentation also gave the participants a clear idea of ​​the financial complexity of such investments and need for long-term planning.  


Bratislava shared best practices in city management and municipal services as part of the study visit that was organized by UNDP on 25-27 September 2023. Slovakia and UNDP support several Western Balkans municipalities in building smart and sustainable cities through the Public and Private Finance for Development and City Experiment Fund projects.