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MINIPART – Improving participation in spatial planning of mining areas (2024-2027)

Principal investigator: Dr Tamara Maričić (IAUS)

Researchers: Dr.  Marijana Pantić (IAUS), Dr. Milena Toković (Faculty of Geography, University of Belgrade), Prof. Dr. Milovan Vuković (Faculty of Technology in Bor, University of Belgrade), and PhD student Dušanka Milosavljević (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory).

External collaborators: Dr. Ana Perić Momčilović (School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University of Dublin) and Dr. Juha Kotilainen (Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, University of Eastern Finland).

Development in large-scale mineral extraction regions creates substantial changes to the local community and environment, dominantly negative ones (monofunctional economy; environmental degradation; health issues; resettlement). Opposition from communities and experts against mining in Serbia has intensified since the 2000s, which increases the significance of meaningful public participation in the planning of mining areas. Contrarily, the local population’s opinion in post-socialist Serbia is often neglected.

MINIPART is designed as an exploratory study that combines qualitative and quantitative research methods. Its objective is to find the most appropriate participation methods, tested and tailored to stakeholders in mining regions, including vulnerable groups. A database of participatory methods will be created from a literature review, lessons learned in a study visit to a mining region abroad and discussion with external collaborators. Best-tailored methods will be selected through a survey in the case study mining area – Bor and Majdanpek, interviews with stakeholders and testing with focus groups. Primary data collected via the survey will be analysed in SPSS software, whereas the grounded theory approach will be applied in the case of collected audio data (interviews and focus groups).

The novelty of this project is the active involvement of different stakeholders in the creation of the best suitable participatory methods.

The methods defined in such a manner will secure meaningful stakeholders’ participation in planning, decrease conflicts and enable balancing needs of citizens, industry and government, not only in mining regions but elsewhere.

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