The City of Skopje has already established itself as the country’s reference standard for urban climate resilience. By joining the Cities4Forests family, Skopje is set to gain many valuable partners to help us accelerate our transition to a green metropolis. Skopje is fully committed to engaging on all three levels of Cities4Forests: inner, nearby and faraway forests. This work is fully supported by the SkopjeLab – an Innovation Lab in the City of Skopje, functioning as a space and a set of protocols that will enable a coming together of citizens, the public administration, the private sector and civil society to come together brainstorm, develop and test ideas, experiment and learn from each other.
“Our priority is essentially a strategic approach, to nurture our city’s green areas along with the values and needs of our society, its citizens and its economic opportunities. In this way, the natural harmony of our urban environment is again restored – this is the goal towards which we strive and for which we will work in the coming period.”
Mayor, City of Skopje
The City of Skopje has produced a Greenery Study, which includes recommendations for creating an interconnected system and network of urban green areas and green corridors in the city and its surroundings, and guidelines for providing land for open public spaces. We are working to expand the ‘inner forest’ by greening public areas, boulevards and city blocks, as well as in residential areas with the help of local authorities. Along the city’s boulevards are many coppice woody plants.
To prevent rapid urbanization from encroaching on green areas, we maintain that urban vegetation, such as trees, grasslands/parks, forests and cultivated land, provides the basis for holding the necessary balance in nature.
The City of Skopje is eager to share its own good practices and solutions, such as Green Cadaster, SkopjeLab and Urban Heat Islands. Skopje is also keen to learn of new tools, local policies, voluntary programs, investments and public procurement decisions in areas such as reducing stormwater runoff, biodiversity protection, establishing green corridors along the riversides, introduce green bonds and recreational/awareness-raising efforts.
The Vodno Mountain is located at the southern border of the urban area of the city of Skopje. It has been declared a protected area since 1976. Vegetation on the Vodno mountain includes deciduous (for example, wild chestnut, lime tree and oak) and evergreen plants (pine, juniperus and boxwood).
Skopje is close by – it is only a 10 minute drive or 2 hour walk to Mount Vodno. From the mountain top, visitors can enjoy the 360-degree view. From one side, all of Skopje and from the other the village of Sonje. Vodno is a perfect place for taking a deep breath and recharging one’s energy after days of hard work in the city.
Alongside those working in faraway forests, the City of Skopje is working to protect many species of birds (Neophron percnopterus; Ciconia nigra, Alectoris graeca, Otus scops, Caprimulgus europaeus, Lullula arborea, Picus viridis, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Oenanthe hispanica, Lanius senator, Carduelis cannabina, Miliaria calandra). According to the IUCN Global Red List of threatened species (2010), only Neophron percnopterus is categorized and falls into the category of endangered species.