Avala Studios, the company implementing the controversial Avala Film Park project, which, as many activists and environmentalists have pointed out, includes cutting down about 30 hectares of forest and greenery in Košutnjak, announced yesterday that it would issue a denial of the reports by Kurir warning the public of the problem. The company gave up soon after, having realized that all of it is true and that it could not possibly justify the planned devastation of the green spaces in order to build a commercial-residential complex!
600,000 square meters, no less
In yesterday’s issue, Kurir revealed that, even though Avala Studios said on a number of occasions that there would be no deforestation activities in Košutnjak, the map sent by the company itself clearly indicates that the construction of a commercial-residential complex taking up nearly 600,000 square meters would obliterate large green spaces - a fact verified by experts as well. Moreover, the population density of this urban area, considered by many to be ‘the lungs of Belgrade’, would increase as much as tenfold. All of this would impact on both the quality of life of the area’s residents and, indirectly, on all the inhabitants of the city.
Avala Studios first announced that they would issue a denial of this information, only to go on to say that the text was OK, but that they disliked the choice of the interlocutor, although there were two sides to this – in favour and against. As far as they were concerned, the main problem was the title – they didn’t like it! However, a couple of hours later they abruptly decided to give up. No wonder, given that they practically admit in their reply, published by Kurir yesterday, that they would engage in clearcutting, calling it a ‘reduction’. According to their claims, only seven hectares contain a high-quality forest, which would remain intact, but they would still ‘reduce swampland, allergenic plants, and valueless indigenous trees.’
Dušan Todorović, who is on the Managing Board of the Association of Landscape Architects of Serbia, said for Kurir that, if the intention was to remove low-quality tees, then they ought to have been replaced with other trees. However, it is clear that ‘the intention was different.’
‘Beyond the perimeter’
‘We’re talking about a large area to be used for construction. For this to be possible in the first place, the terrain needs to be cleared up, not just within the future complex, but also beyond the perimeter of this surface area. For such a project, you cannot sufficiently reduce the green space simply by removing the undergrowth or some aesthetically less pleasing trees. There’s going to be some serious cutting there, no question about that.’ Kurir got in touch with Avala Studios but the company did not have a comment.
Kurir.rs/ Photo: Google Maps, Avala studios