What is Savamala?

Savamala – a city-quarter reinvents itself


Savamala is situated on the right river bank of River Sava and was, in the 19th century, the first Belgrade city quarter to be erected outside the fortress of Kalemegdan along the lines of a European city. The name of the quarter is ambiguous and refers to the multi-cultural history of Belgrade: It is composed of the river name Sava and the Turkish word Mahale which means neighbourhood or city quarter. In Serbian, Savamala translates into “Little Sava”.

Savamala is only half a mile from Belgrade´s city center. It looks back to a colorful history as port and center for trade and commerce and once was the most modern and urbane city quarter. Until today, it shows a rich heritage of valuable historical buildings from the 19th and early 20th century and some very few relics from the Ottoman Empire. Many historical buildings were lost in the Second World War when Savamala, in 1941 and 1944, suffered from air raids – first by the German and later by the allied forces.

Savamala also hosts major city infrastructure, the nearby main station, the bus terminal and two main bridges connecting the city center to the other side of the River Sava. However, Savamala is economically underdeveloped and socially disadvantaged, and has a bad reputation to house the outcasts, the prostitutes, and the criminals of the city. Many buildings are vacated and in a state of dilapidation. The former Sava port is used as a cemetery for abandoned hulks. Karadjodjeva Street, in former times of glory one of Belgrade´s most glamourous streets, today serves as the main traffic artery used by heavy trucks on their way to the new Danube port, a constant source of heavy noise pollution

The reasons for the bad shape of Savamala reach back into the era of socialist Yugoslavia disregarding the quarter as the legacy of feudal and capitalist times.

Suffering of systematic neglect, Savamala dilapidated while on the other side of the River Sava, New Belgrade was built – the biggest and most prestigious of all urban developments in the former Yugoslavia. Therefore, in Savamala testimonies to socialist avant-garde architecture are only rarely to be found.

Until today, even more than thirty years after the former socialist Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito and more than ten years after the Balkan wars of the ´90ies ended, the sad state of Savamala has hardly improved. However, the city authorities and private investors alike are aware of the untapped potential of Savamala. The prospect of a future “creative quarter” of Belgrade as a business and tourist attraction has exited the imagination of planners and decision-makers alike. Cultural Initiatives such as the Cultural Center Grad (KC GRAD), Mikser Festival, or the Design Incubator Nova Iskra are forerunners of this new direction.

However, due to economic and political circumstances, the promising future of new masterplans seems a distant prospect. Many property issues are still unsolved through difficult legal procedures. Due to limited public resources, urgent investments into infrastructure and public spaces are put on hold. This and the current financial crisis have basically resulted in a collapse of the real estate market and investors economy.

Savamala´s future prospects seem unclear. Post-war experience, however, shows that a combination of weak public authorities and influential, powerful tycoons would leave very little room for socially and culturally sustainable development in Savamala. But perhaps, the times of crises are times of opportunities, too. Liberated from the economic and bureaucratic restraints of a prospering real estate market, Savamala currently offers ideal conditions to put alternative forms and approaches to a city quarter development to a test.

(Source: Goethe-Institut Belgrade)

Explore Savamala  and watch this short video (English subtitles are available).









Images: Goethe-Guerilla Belgrad ©

Oakland A’s incorporate yoga into their daily routine

The Oakland Athletics do yoga exercises as the A’s hold spring training in Phoenix, Ariz., Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)It won’t be a memento of the Cactus League. The DVD will be a baseball specific wholesale nhl jerseys program of yoga stretches put together by wholesale jerseys Phoenix based yoga instructor Katherine Roberts.

“It’s not your mom’s yoga,” said Roberts, who is in her third spring training cheap nhl jerseys china leading the A’s in yoga stretches.

It’s not typical for baseball teams to go in heavily for yoga, Roberts said, although some players do it on their own. But a handful of teams have incorporated yoga into their pregame stretching program, and many of the A’s players swear by it.

“Yoga is awesome,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “And the way Katherine helps us use it is great. As a catcher, I have to squat and get into all kinds of compromising positions during a game. With yoga, it’s easier for me to get loose and Cheap Jerseys to stay flexible. I tried it a little three years ago when I was with Tampa Bay, but after doing it here, it’s something I do all the time.”

Even manager Bob Melvin is a fan. He was an active participant last year, and cheap nfl jerseys “I would be out there now,” he said, but for his ongoing back pain.

Reliever Sean Doolittle said the A’s use of yoga the last few seasons was one of the things that made his move from hitter to pitcher go as flawlessly and quickly as it did.”I love it all; it’s all about getting to know your body,” Doolittle said. “I probably don’t need the DVD, though. Katherine’s been with us for a few years now, and I know a lot of the exercises by heart.”

Doolittle says he practices some form of yoga a couple days a week in the offseason and does some form of it most days during the baseball calendar.

That’s not to say the A’s have Wholesale Jerseys China personal yoga mats and are styling yoga wear. That’s not the way Roberts wants them to approach an exercise for which she is an advocate in over 30 countries through her company, Yoga For Golfers.

The A’s line up in rows of six or eight, and the no nonsense Roberts walks up and down alternating the stretches in an encouraging voice. Before and after the sessions, she sips coffee and talks with the players about their specific needs.

“These guys are athletes; they don’t need to do everything yoga,” she said. “I’m one of the spokes in the wheel for them to getting their conditioning right. I believe that they are looser and more flexible because of what we do, and I think it cuts down on injuries.”

Doolittle and Vogt agree that yoga cuts down on injuries, but the evidence is more anecdotal than statistical.

“My object in working with them is to create as much body symmetry and balance as I can,” Roberts said. “When you look at pitchers, throwing a baseball the way they do is one Wholesale Custom Jerseys of the least symmetrical things an athlete can do. But with the balance that they can get from yoga, they build strength.”

Roberts has worked with many pro golfers, as her company’s name suggests, as well as NBA players and coaches. She also worked with the San Diego Padres before being recruited to the A’s by the Wholesale NFL Jerseys team’s strength and conditioning coach, Mike Henriques.

Not all the A’s completely buy into yoga. Center fielder Coco Crisp says, “It’s fine; I don’t see how it could hurt anything. But I’m flexible enough for a ballplayer.”

More are like Doolittle and starter Jesse Chavez, who work together on yoga during the season and in the winter. Chavez has the Roberts’ DVD on his iPad.

Starter Dan Straily was doing yoga before he ever joined the A’s organization.

“It’s like anything else, you get as much or as little as you want out of it,” Straily said. “For me, I think it’s a useful tool, especially with all the time that pitchers are expected to spend in the weight room.”

Straily’s concern with lifting weights is that getting too muscular would take away from the flexibility a pitcher needs. His time with yoga has allowed him to add the strength while keeping the flexibility.

“Katherine is real good about knowing what we each need as pitchers and players,” Straily said. “Not every exercise is relevant to what we do. But she helps us understands the ones that are.”

Roberts said that the spirituality normally connected with yoga practitioners can be incorporated by the players if they want it, but that’s not the goal.

“It’s not about the lotus position and mats with these guys,” she said. “But yoga does help baseball players, and these guys know what helps makes them better players.”

The A’s claimed outfielder Ken Matthes off waivers from the Rockies on Thursday afternoon and assigned him to their Triple A Sacramento roster.

To make room on the roster for Matthes, the A’s put starting pitcher Jarrod Parker on the disabled list. Parker is out for the season and is scheduled to undergo a second Tommy John style ligament cheap jerseys china replacement surgery in his right arm Monday in Florida.

The A’s cheap nhl jerseys had the day off Thursday, their last one before March 30, the day before the season opens with a home game against the Cleveland Indians. Some members of the roster were in action. Starter Tommy Milone threw in a minor league game, and outfielder Craig Gentry, out most of the spring with back pain, got some at bats, also in a minor league game.Articles Connexes:

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