Knowledge From Sarajevo Becomes the Development Potential of the Region

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About 300 km from Belgrade, there is one city which I love a lot. Sarajevo is located on the coast of the Miljacka – which would perform a miracle indeed if it demolished bridges as said in a famous folk song. There, I learned about the relevance of making a difference between a pie and a burek (traditional meat pie) and the irrelevance of making a difference between people. In Sarajevo, I discovered an enterprise who makes lives and environment of its present and future residents more comfortable and healthier as well. The company in question is Enova, the leading provider of energy, environmental and security services in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Already in its name and slogan “Inspired by the future”, it shows a commitment to innovative ideas. I had the opportunity to speak with a young, curious and ambitious team of Enova experts who have been implementing projects in their country and region for ten years to transform knowledge into development potential.

Their success is established on the most valuable resource – people, and they base their business on integrity, a culture of collaboration, commitment, excellence, willingness to learn and adaptability. They believe that if they want to be useful to society, they should not only do better or more but work differently.

Photo: Enova

Enova’s business portfolio includes major international institutions, for instance, the European Commission, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. With this in mind, it is not surprising that the City of Sarajevo and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have entrusted them to design smart urban planning andpublic opinion analysis tools through the Sarajevo – Smart City initiative funded by the Swedish Government.

The smart urban planning tool is a numerical simulation of airflow and is based on computational fluid dynamics. The software enables the dynamic calculation of air currents and the dispersion of pollutants in space and time in real orography. It includes details of urban amenities in critical meteorological conditions such as temperature inversions or wind-free situations, they explained to me in Enova, noting that the simulations would show how urban amenities also affect airflow and pollutant concentrations.

No matter how complex the process of obtaining this information seemed to me as a layman, Enova’s team assured me that the results would be easy to understand for decision-makers and citizens alike. Besides, they are also developing an easy-to-use tool that will enable the analysis of civic expectations when it comes to urban amenities, such as recreation zones, changes in modes of transport, construction of facilities, parks and the like. Citizens will be
able to download the application through social networks, or they will be able to express their opinions on screens placed in public places. Enova’s intention is to encourage citizens to think and get involved in the decision-making process. The ultimate goal, in order to encourage the city’s inventiveness and thoughtfulness, is to implement sustainability into urban planning. They also hope to expand it to other cities.

Focusing on Enova’s inspiration, Sarajevo seeks to green its surfaces and enrich biodiversity and to use geothermal energy and energy-from-waste.

Hydropower is a fairly represented renewable source in our neighbour’s energy mix, so I was interested in the public’s perspective on small hydropower plants. In all likelihood, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are concerned

A smart city also requires transportation with the same epithet, and members of Enova notified me that the Sarajevo Cantonal Government recently signed a loan arrangement for the procurement of low-emission vehicles for public transport. Enova has been involved in the development of the Green Action Plan that involves a series of proposed sustainable mobility measures. These include the extension of bicycle lanes, the creation of pedestrian corridors, multimodal (combined) transport with suburban connectivity, and more.

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

According to company representatives, a comprehensive strategic approach is needed to raise awareness of the effects of air pollution. First of all, it involves identifying the target groups. Enova advises that youth should be motivated to turn bike pedals more instead of a steering wheel but draws attention to the need for time and dedication to educating the population, as well as monitoring technological progress and change in the community.

The company believes that there are several challenges on the path of Bosnia and Herzegovina towards more innovation, more extensive use of renewable energy sources and higher levels of energy efficiency. These include outdated technology, a lack of funding, insufficient cooperation between government, industry and the scientific sphere, and the associated lack of technology parks and hubs that would “build” a bond between stakeholders, all for the welfare of the community that would be achieved strengthening energy security.

Prepared by: Jelena Kozbasic

This article was published in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine  GRINNOVATIONS, December 2019 – February 2020.