Zagreb Blog

A Walk to Save Črnomerec Creek Held in Zagreb

By 30 March 2019

The walk to save Črnomerec creek took place today, amid plans to fully cover it in order to create a road on top of it.

If you ever find yourself walking a bit further from the center of the city of Zagreb, for instance to the Jarun lake or somewhere up Medvednica hill located just North of the city, you will be able to see that there are numerous creeks and streams around the city. Even one of the most notable tourist streets in Zagreb, the famous Tkalčićeva ulica, actually has a creek running under it, and even used to be called Potok Street (Creek Street). There are monuments in the city, reminding everyone of the bond the inhabitants used to have to their waterways, of which there are many.

Today, most of those creeks have been covered, built over, hidden and turned into streets for the cars and other traffic. But, there are still some sections of those creeks visible around the town, if you know where to look you will be able to find those green oasis of water, grass, even ducks who live there. The process of covering those natural areas is not unique to Zagreb, as it has been happening in other towns in the world, but recently other towns and cities have invested large sums of money to remove the urban infrastructure and bring the creeks back to life, to bring more greenery into the urban environment, to let their citizens enjoy the nature within cities as much as possible, the city of Zagreb has decided to go the other way: the latest zoning plan includes the closure of almost the entire length of the Črnomerec creek, to create a road which would connect Ilica and Horvaćanska road (see map for some details).

Črnomerec is still the longest "free" creek in Zagreb, with over 11 kilometers of freedom within the urban area. Some bits of it have, obviously, been covered over, but still it's an impressive urban oasis of green, and there are many people, citizens, and activists opposed to the plan which would end its status as a green axis of the western part of the city of Zagreb. So, today, a protest was organized against the plan which would rob people living in several neighborhoods, who are gravitating toward the greenery of the creek, of their destination for walks, dog walks, sitting on the benches along the creek which have been put in the past, generally, spending time in an environment which is less-than-fully-urban and more peaceful than most.

The walk was organized as part of the citizen initiative "Let's Save the Črnomerec Creek", which aims not only to oppose the plan to build the road, but also to create a public walkway along the creek, all the way from the Medvednica to the Sava River, creating a "Green Coridor" through Zagreb. Several hundred people participated in the walk, which also featured a well-known Croatian singer-songwriter Darko Rundek, who has become a public face of the fight to save the Črnomerec creek.