Country Listing

Yugoslavia Table of Contents


Urban Problems

Yugoslav cities grew without adequate planning. Regardless of region, people with tenure in socially owned apartments lived mostly in the city centers, while privately owned homes were located farther out. The chronic housing shortage resulted in the development of sizeable unplanned settlements on the periphery of large cities. These settlements often lacked paved streets, running water, or sewer lines. Gypsy shantytowns also surrounded many urban areas. City inspectors were reluctant to evict the inhabitants of these areas because eviction would cause a public outcry and appear to be discrimination against the poor.

Yugoslavia's speedy urbanization brought many problems associated in the West with life in big cities. Drug use, although still relatively uncommon, grew steadily in the 1980s. Drug traffickers frequented Yugoslavia's main roadways, carrying heroin and other drugs to Western Europe from sources in the Middle East. Some of these drugs found their way into Yugoslavia's drug underground. Urban treatment facilities registered about 2,000 drug addicts, but the total number of drug abusers was estimated at 10,000 in 1988. The Yugoslav government's antidrug program consisted of a campaign to interdict drug shipments, treat drug abusers, and prevent drug abuse.

Data as of December 1990