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Project aimed at revitalization of a rural area in Montenegro

The revitalization of the Vrmac Peninsula, a dividing line between the Bay of Kotor and the Tivat Bay, is a project aimed at developing the concept of reruralization, which would ensure a revival and valorization of this natural sight, traditionally used mainly for agricultural purposes, and currently under threat of urbanization.


Apart from preserving one of the most beautiful sights at the Montenegrin coast, the project would also contribute to creating job opportunities in the sector of sustainable development, which would mainly concern local young people, who would thus benefit from being given an opportunity to stay in their homeland.


What constitutes a specificity of the project is the use of innovative technologies for treatment of sewage waste in the territory of Kotor and Tivat, the two most visited tourist destinations in Montenegro, which become densely crowded in the peak summer season. As a consequence, this peak of tourism greatly endangers the coastal area, flora and fauna. Taking all this into consideration, the project aims to create a synergy between the urban and rural areas, thus providing a model to be followed by not only other places in Montenegro, but also in the Southeast of Europe, a region in transition with plenty of underdeveloped environmental potential. For these reasons, the project strives to promote new territorial strategies which would contribute to establishing links between rural areas undergoing an ecological transition, particularly useful in the fight against global warming.

The area is located in an agricultural and protected natural sight which includes a few abandoned villages. The project includes establishment of permanent and seasonal settlements, organic agriculture, food production, handicraft and light industry. Moreover, it is envisaged that energetic autonomy is to be achieved through renewable energy sources, along with local waste treatment and their valorization/use.


Various aspects of the project have been incorporated into all of its development phases: social, economic, legal aspects, as well as aspects related to environmental protection.


The intention is to develop a project which can be used as a model to be replicated and used worldwide, demonstrating an example of a good combination of ecology, social issues and profitability.


The two municipalities, Kotor and Tivat, their associations of owners and local people jointly take part in the project.


The project includes the protection and revaluation of rural areas:

  • Create synergy among local stakeholders ;
  • Valorize agricultural land and traditional production ;
  • Develop handicraft/crafts and tourist-oriented activities ;
  • Develop and reinforce biodynamic methods – permaculture, agroforestry.


The Vrmac Peninsula that stretches between two bays, the bay of Kotor and bay of Tivat, is an extraordinary place in the coastal area, which has not been affected by the recent process of urbanization.

The difference in elevation between sea level and the top of the Vrmac hill (700m), on the one side and two-fold orientation of the slopes stretching to the south and the north, on the other side creates a healthy environment with different types of vegetation that deserve to be recognized and valorised.

Specific projects

Individual projects

Installation of waste management plants

Installation of a plant for treatment of mud, waste and biomass pyrolysis of cogeneration with electric energy, coldness and heat…

Installation of a plant intended for plant waste and forestry residues, as well as agricultural waste (grape vine, olives, nuts) to create an autonomous site in terms of energy.

Pilot farm

Restoration of an abandoned farm which is to be used for agricultural purposes and exploitation of detached and leased land.

Vrmac House

Monitoring and maintenance of the natural area

Workroom for manufacture and promotion of homemade products – olive oil- pomegranate juice- aromatic herbsplants – essential oils production.


Ecotourism agency

Country cottages, mountaineering, workshops, cultural events.

Workshops dedicated to heritage

A workshop dedicated to heritage, to be organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro and Austria, aimed at restoring Austro-Hungarian ruins and reviving rural heritage.

Activities, cooperatives, labels

Support to production activities – olive oil, honey, wine, herbal products, different kinds of cheese, flowers, essential oils, cosmetics, woodworking (olive wood).

Quality of products guaranteed by AOC label (controlled designation of origin).

Components of the project

« Since 2002 I have attended numerous architecture and urban planning workshops together with professionals and students from various French universities. I have also attended botanical workshops, but also the workshops on traditional drywall construction.

In 2015, a more systematic study on economic valorization of Vrmac was funded by the EU through a crossborder IPA project. The study was conducted by a group of Croatian and Montenegrin experts, me among them, in partnership with the Municipality of Tivat and numerous local associations : NGO Napredak Gornja Lastva (local people and defenders of the village)- NGO Expeditio (the architectural association headquartered in Kotor). These two NGOs participate in the project. »

– Prince Nikola Petrović Njegoš, President of Foundation Petrović Njegoš.

  • Rural and economic exodus : a part of the population has left the village to settle in urban area, while others moved abroad two or three generations ago.
  • Problem with ownership rights : Cadastre – Inheritance
  • Derelict cultures and uncultivated land – invasive plant species
  • Neglected forests and fire risk
  • Water shortage despite a lot of precipitation (calcareous ground)
  • Derelict construction heritage, in poor condition
  • Unsupervised flocks of goats- vegetation degradation and acid soils.
  • Illegal construction and continuation of urbanization process

The designers: – Petrović Njegoš Foundation; Anthos Air Power Normandy

Institutions-local-national-international ;

Local people-owners- diaspora ;

Associations-cooperatives ;

Partners-experts-sponsors-cultural workers-economists.

  • Tivat Municipality ;
  • Kotor Municipality ;
  • Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism ;
  • Ministry of Agriculture ;
  • Representatives of owners (ownership rights) ;
  • Active local associations: Gornja Lastva- Expeditio- Mountaineering Club ’’Veverice’’;
  • Regional experts recruited through the IPA project ;
  • Foundation R20, EGIS ;
  • Technology partners ( Set Ennergy, Airpower, WMI).

Workshop R20 Vrmac

The workshop jointly initiated by the Foundation R20, Foundation Petrović Njegoš and NGO Napredak, Gornja Lastva, with the purpose of undertaking a feasibility study on protection and valorization of the Vrmac massif and its heritage. The project aims to create a model of eco-development of an area which can later potentially be replicated (implemented in other areas).

The workshop is aimed at monitoring implementation of different project phases and its funding.

The project will be in collaboration with the municipal services of the cities of Tivat and Kotor. Moreover, it will bring together local and regional experts already familiar with this area, as well as international experts from different disciplines. The various stakeholders will participate in the development of the project, they will be regularly consulted during the different phases of the project in order to carry out the test and development phases of the project.

Prince Nicolas Petrovitch Njegosh Président de la Fondation PN

“The VRMAC Peninsula is a unique site and landscape not only in Montenegro but throughout the Adriatic coast.

Miraculously preserved despite the real estate fever that has trivialized the coast for the past 20 years, it deserves to be the subject of all care and to be not only protected but also valued, for himself and in that he values all tourist facilities in the region.

The choice of the Municipality of Trivat to make this protected natural area in the extension of the part of Vrmac in the municipality of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a wise and useful choice for all municipalities Trivat and Kotor but it also enriches Montenegro’s tourism offer. This project can become a laboratory and a model of sustainable development that will strengthen the image of the Ecological State of our country.

Personally, I am attached to this site through the village of Gornja Lastva and the small team that courageously protects and animates it.

Since 2002, we have been studying together, through several summer workshops, the possibilities of revitalizing the village and the territories to which it is connected.

Under the anarchic vegetation and behind the remains of stones is hidden a small Mediterranean paradise in which and thanks to which could live generations of farmers, craftsmen, sailors, and intellectuals who contributed through a turbulent history to the quality and cultural diversity of Montenegro.

Revive this territory, revitalize its activities, make its resources grow, reveal to the local inhabitants and visitors the beauty and natural wealth of the site, allow them to relax, to discover a culture and a way of life , to familiarize their children with nature and a healthy way of life, to offer places of reintegration for people with disabilities or in difficulty …. And to start this great adventure in 2016 just after the COP 21, which I hope will be the year of historic decisions to save our planet, this makes our ecological commitments meaningful and we will participate in this global mobilization.

These are the magnificent stakes of this project which must be able to mobilize the institutions as the citizens of this country. This beautiful collective story that we propose and that reconnects with the generations that preceded us, beyond the financial interests of a few, can bring to all more prosperity and a better quality of life.”

Prince Nikola Petrovich Njegosh.

Zero emission, is the goal of Smart City!