|Location:||Mostar, Bosnia Herzegowina
|Year Design:||June 2000
|Size:||30 hectares (62 acres)
Suncana Dolina is a 30-hectare (about 62 acres) site being developed for war refugees in
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The new neighborhood will be bounded on the north by
civic, residential, and industrial uses; on the east by the city’s bypass highway; on the south
by the boundary line of the city and by a NATO camp across the boundary; and on the west
by the Neretva River. The undeveloped land across the river is zoned industrial.
The site served as a military camp during the recent war and contains some 1940s military
barracks that will be demolished because of their association with World War Two. An existing
stone wall runs diagonally across the site for unspecified reasons. There are some trees in
the vicinity of the existing buildings. As is the case in the rest of this city built along the river,
mountain ranges form the views to the east and west.
Prior to the recent war, the city of Mostar had a population of 140,000. During the war, housing
for 80,000 people was completely destroyed or rendered uninhabitable. In addition, many
people were displaced because opposition forces occupied their homes. The population that
fled the city for the countryside and other countries during the war is now beginning to return,
further exacerbating the demand for housing.
The most significant natural feature of Suncana Dolina is the Neretva River, which defines
the southern boundary of the site. The Riverfront Park runs alongside the river, forming part
of the greenway system that defines the edge of the new neighborhood. The western edge of
the neighborhood consists of allotment fields and gardens for agricultural use, a school
and play fields, an outdoor amphitheater, a swimming pool, and a boulevard terminating in
an existing hospital. The edge is easily a five-minute walk to the center.
The center of the neighborhood contains a square that runs perpendicular to the river and
towards a plaza in the physical center of the site. The spatial connection of the river to the
center, which provides commercial and civic activities, allows the river to likewise be part of
the town’s everyday social life. At the intersection of the park and the existing north-south
road is one of three transit stops in the neighborhood, the other two being at the hospital
and the school.