In addition to the artistic and programme concept, the involvement of the scene and citizens and European themes and artists, a key role in the implementation of the Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture project has a transparent investment in space and programme capacities during and after the title year.
According to the Bid Book of the project, on the basis of which Novi Sad gained the title of ECoC, it is planned that the City, Province and Republic, along with other sources of funding (European funds, sponsors, etc.) for operational costs allocate a total of about EUR 25 million until the end of the project (Novi Sad received the title of ECoC in October 2016). This amount was not deviated despite the postponement of the title year to 2022.
When it comes to infrastructure investments, the amount provided in the Bid Book is far exceeded. For capital projects (infrastructure projects), the Bid Book envisages an investment in the total amount of EUR 34.3 million, while so far more than 60 million have been invested in the renovation, construction and development of spaces for culture, which is one of the largest investments in culture in history of Novi Sad, and remain as its permanent legacy even after the title year. Capital investments include:
- Construction and equipping of the Music and Ballet School with the first city concert hall – EUR 30 million;
- Reconstruction of the Creative District – As an infrastructure project that will contribute to the development of creative industries in the City the most, and become a central hub for the culture of the City, significant funds have been invested in the reconstruction of the Creative District in the last 4 years. Until 2017, it was a completely devastated space, without infrastructure, and working conditions. So far, more than RSD 800 million have been invested in the construction of infrastructure in CD (EUR 6.8 million), while almost EUR 7.3 million have been invested in the facilities and their renovation. In the period 2021 and 2022, the renovation of the remaining facilities is planned;
- Arrangement of ‘New Places’ – small public spaces in Novi Sad, selected at urban-architectural calls, as well as public calls for the implementation of ideas of citizens (through the activities of housing communities), carried out in cooperation with professional associates – Association of Architects of Novi Sad, and implemented (built) by the City Administration for Construction Land and Investments. So far, CACLI has allocated a total of RSD 270 million (EUR 2.3 million) for New Places (Urban Pockets);
- Revitalization, construction and launch of eight cultural stations in Novi Sad and Zone 021. Considering that one of the main goals of the ECoC is decentralisation of culture, the number of facilities and programmes that have reached all parts of the city has been exceeded in relation to the plan according to the Bid Book. Instead of planning two cultural stations in the city according to the Bid Book: Novo Naselje and Klisa and one in Sremski Karlovci, the City gained eight cultural stations (Svilara, Egység, Barka, Mlin, Rumenka, CS Liman, Bukovac), with the annex of the Museum of the City of Novi Now in Sremski Karlovci (Ilion), in which more than RSD 300 million (EUR 2.5 million) have been invested so far. The unique concept of managing cultural stations and the functioning of culture, where culture becomes a way of life, and accessible to each individual, has enabled all citizens to visit cultural events in their neighbourhood through the network of cultural stations;
- Renovation and reconstruction of several city cultural institutions in order to prepare for the title year (Novi Sad Theatre, Museum of the City of Novi Sad, Kisač Cultural Centre, City Library and others) – a total of EUR 600,000;
- In order to set up the main exhibition within the Heroines programme arch in Museum of the City of Novi Sad, an additional EUR 880,000 are being invested in the reconstruction of the space;
- So far, over RSD 450 million (EUR 3.8 million) have been invested in the Suburbium of the Petrovaradin Fortress and the renovation of the façades in the old town core;
- More than EUR 3 million have been invested in the old core of the city and the renovation of the Theatre Square with a memorial plaque;
- For the first time since their construction, EUR 660,000 were invested in the renovation of the façades of the Serbian National Theatre and the building of the Provincial Government, the venue of the opening ceremony.
- The city will be branded according to a unique concept of visual communications in which more than EUR 2 million are invested, according to which Novi Sad will become the first city in Serbia and the region with a unique concept of marking the city.
Through all these investments, the City, i.e. the Republic of Serbia, has shown the national importance of the ECoC project.
Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Vladimir Veličković