Sonja Dragovic has an MSc in Urban Studies from the Free University of Brussels (ULB). She is a PhD researcher at the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), supported by the Fellowship of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. Her interests include analyzing practices of urban activism and working with local communities toward improving participatory methods, public policies, and shared spaces. She is a member of several activist and research collectives, which are based in Montenegro and Portugal and dedicated to studying the current approaches to policy and practice of urban development. Works in the areas of social sciences with emphasis on economic and social geography, architecture, and urban studies.

Personal identification

Full name
Sonja Dragovic

Citation names

  • Dragovic, Sonja

Author identifiers

Ciência ID


Knowledge fields

  • Social Sciences - Economic and Social Geography - Urban Studies
  • Social Sciences - Economics and Business - Economics


Language Speaking Reading Writing Listening Peer-review
Serbo-Croatian (Mother tongue)
English Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2)
Russian Elementary (A2) Upper intermediate (B2) Elementary (A2) Intermediate (B1) Elementary (A2)
Spanish; Castilian Intermediate (B1) Intermediate (B1) Elementary (A2) Intermediate (B1) Elementary (A2)
Portuguese Beginner (A1) Intermediate (B1) Beginner (A1) Intermediate (B1) Beginner (A1)
Degree Classification
2020/09 - 2024/09
Architecture of Contemporary Metropolitan Territories (Doutoramento)
ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal
2013/09/10 - 2015/09/26
Urban Studies (Master)
Major in Urban Studies
Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Great Distinction
2007/09/01 - 2012/07/10
Economics (Bachelor)
Major in Economics
Univerzitet Crne Gore Ekonomski Fakultet, Montenegro
2008/08/20 - 2009/05/09
Economics (Bachelor)
Major in Economics
The University of Maine, United States


Host institution
2019/10 - Current Researcher and editor Architectuul Publishing Platform, Germany
2016/10 - 2020/04/30 Researcher Expeditio - Center for Sustainable Spatial Development , Montenegro
2019/01 - 2019/12 Fellow Future Architecture Platform, Slovenia
2016/09 - 2019/09 Program Director NGO Biciklo.me, Montenegro
2016/07/01 - 2017/12/31 Project Coordinator ArchCommune – Center for Architecture and Culture , Montenegro


Designation Funders
2019/11/01 - 2020/07/31 Sustainable Urban Mobility in High Schools in Podgorica
NGO Biciklo.me, Montenegro
Regional programme on local democracy in the Western Balkans (ReLOaD)
2018/04/01 - 2018/09/30 Better Traffic, Better City
NGO Biciklo.me, Montenegro
ActionSEE - Accountability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in South East Europe
2016/07/01 - 2017/12/31 Our City, Our Stage
ArchCommune – Center for Architecture and Culture , Montenegro
European Cultural Foundation – ECF


Designation Funders
2020/12/01 - 2021/07/01 Future Ecologies
British Council Montenegro


  1. Cukic, Iva; Timotijevic, Jovana; Dragovic, Sonja; Stojic, Bozena; Dragusha, Njomza; Rexha, Orbis; Rajic, Tatjana. Spaces of Commoning: Urban Commons in the Ex-YU Region. Belgrade, Serbia: Ministry of Space / Institute for Urban Politics. 2020.
  2. Dragovic, Sonja. Getting from Home to School: High School Students in Podgorica Traffic (Original title: Od kuce do skole: srednjoskolci u podgorickom saobracaju). Podgorica, Montenegro: NVO Biciklo.me. 2020.
  3. Dragovic, Sonja. Better Traffic, Better City (Original title: Bolji saobracaj, bolji grad). Podgorica, Montenegro: NVO Biciklo.me. 2018.
  4. Vujosevic, Milica; Rabrenovic, Jelena; Dragovic, Sonja. Urban Planning Approach: Public participation in planning Blok 5 in Podgorica (Original title: Pristup izradi planskog dokumenta: ucesce javnosti u planiranju Bloka 5 u Podgorici). Podgorica, Montenegro: NGO KANA / Ko ako ne arhitekt. 2017.
    Published • 10.5281/zenodo.1068525
  5. Dragovic, Sonja; Sabeljic, Slobodan. Women's Chronicles (Original title: Zenske hronike). Kolasin, Montenegro: NVO Fenomeni. 2014.
Book chapter
  1. Sonja Dragovic; Dragovic, Sonja. "The Volatile Policy Framework of Spatial Planning in Montenegro: Will the Centre Hold?". In Governing Territorial Development in the Western Balkans - Challenges and Prospects of Regional Cooperation, edited by Erblin Berisha; Giancarlo Cotella; Alys Solly. Springer International Publishing, 2021.
    In press • 10.1007/978-3-030-72124-4_7
Conference paper
  1. Vujosevic, Milica; Dragovic, Sonja. "Cypress Revolution: The Importance of Public Participation in Urban Planning Decision-making Process in Montenegro". Paper presented in International scientific conference Environmental impact of illegal construction, poor planning and design IMPEDE 2019, Belgrade, 2019.
  2. Dragovic, Sonja. "From block to city, and back: post-1989 transformation of residential neighbourhoods in Podgorica". Paper presented in International Conference on Cities and Change "Three Decades of Post-socialist Transition", Darmstadt, 2019.
  3. Dragovic, Sonja. "When Government Takes All the Space: Centralization of Urban Planning in Montenegro". Paper presented in Third International Conference of Young Urban Researchers, Lisbon, 2018.
Journal article
  1. Sonja Dragovic. "Common action: Can grassroots initiatives propel territorial governance in Montenegro?". European Spatial Research and Policy (2021): https://doi.org/10.18778/1231-1952.28.2.05.
  2. Carolina Neto Henriques; Sonja Dragovic; Christine Auer; Irina Gomes; Henriques, Carolina; Dragovic, Sonja; Gomes, Irina; Auer, Christine. "The Territorial Agenda 2030: Towards a common language? A review of a conceptual framework". Europa XXI 38 (2020): 157-174. https://doi.org/10.7163/Eu21.2020.38.8.
    Accepted • 10.7163/Eu21.2020.38.8
  3. Dragovic, Sonja. "Tailors Turned Activists: Surviving the Demise of the Croatian Textile Industry". Intersections 2 1 (2016): 32-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.17356/ieejsp.v2i1.146.
    Open access • Published • 10.17356/ieejsp.v2i1.146
Magazine article
  1. Dragovic, Sonja. "What Fundamentals? Revisiting Treasures in Disguise: The Ominous Ruins of Montenegrin Modernism", Architectuul, 2021, https://blog.architectuul.com/post/642897738107895808/what-fundamentals-revisiting-treasures-in?.
  2. Dragovic, Sonja. "Saving Hotel Podgorica: Who, if not Architects?", Architectuul, 2020, https://blog.architectuul.com/post/635912889909264384/saving-hotel-podgorica-who-if-not-architects.
  3. Dragovic, Sonja. "Everything Could Always be Different: Women of IBA 1984/87", Architectuul, 2020, https://blog.architectuul.com/post/611819314199314432/working-title-women-of-iba-198487.
  4. Dragovic, Sonja. "Agriculture and Architecture: Saving Spaceship Earth", Architectuul, 2020, https://blog.architectuul.com/post/190435855747/agriculture-and-architecture-saving-spaceship.
  5. Dragovic, Sonja. "Women Who Built Yugoslavia", Architectuul, 2019, https://blog.architectuul.com/post/184123642247/women-who-built-yugoslavia.
Newspaper article
  1. Dragovic, Sonja. "Space to Talk (Original title: Prostor je za razgovor!)", Vijesti, 2019, https://www.vijesti.me/vijesti/drustvo/prostor-je-za-razgovor.
Online resource
  1. Dragovic, Sonja. Jan Gehl in Podgorica: A City's Best Protection is its Citizens. 2018. https://www.4cities.eu/jan-gehl-in-podgorica-a-citys-best-protection-is-its-citizens/.
  2. Dragovic, Sonja. Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible! Podgorica's Blok 5. 2018. https://lefteast.org/bojovic-blok5/.
  3. Dragovic, Sonja. European cycling tradition: Rediscovering the bicycle in the struggle for a better city (Original title: Biciklisticka tradicija u Evropi: novo otkrivanje bicikla u borbi za bolji grad). 2017. http://www.cdtmn.org/2017/12/06/biciklisticka-tradicija-u-evropi-novo-otkrivanje-bicikla-u-borbi-za-bolji-grad/.
Thesis / Dissertation
  1. Dragovic, Sonja. "Workers and Their Factories: Resilient Communities behind Ruined Localities". Master, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2015.

Artistic / Performance

  1. Adrijana Gvozdenovic; Dragovic, Sonja; Lenka Djorojevic; Matej Stupica; Ivan Markovic; Natalija Vujosevic. Future Ecologies: Future in debris. 2021.


Other output
  1. System: Collapse (Original title: Sistem: rusenje). An entry for the 41st art salon "November 13th" in Cetinje, Montenegro. The pavilion includes a photo collage titled "System: Collapse" and a retrospective of the activities of KANA/Ko ako ne arhitekt (KANA/Who if not architect) group.. 2019. Dragovic, Sonja; Vujosevic, Milica; Rabrenovic, Jelena; Draganic, Ruzica.
  2. Five Figures. Competition entry for architectural intervention in the Fužine Castle (Ljubljana, Slovenia), presented at the exhibition "We're Renovating!!!" at MAO Museum of Architecture and Design.. 2019. Dragovic, Sonja; Dragovic, Srdja. http://www.mao.si/Exhibition/We-re-Renovating.aspx.
  3. KANA/Who if not architect (Original name: KANA/Ko ako ne arhitekt). Group of architects and urban researchers dedicated to studying and preservation of the modernist architectural heritage of Montenegro.. 2016. Dragovic, Sonja; Vujosevic, Milica; Rabrenovic, Jelena; Draganic, Ruzica. https://www.facebook.com/koakonearhitekt/.

Oral presentation

Presentation title Event name
Host (Event location)
2021/07/15 'The Weight That Brings Us Together': Spomen Dom as the Space of Community Construction, Reflection, and Change RC21 Conference: Sensing the City
University of Antwerp, Belgium (Antwerp)
2020/11/20 Reaching out for a Place in the City: Urban Struggles for Public Space amid Multiple Crises Online Open Forum: Right to the City in COVID-19 Pandemic
GO2 Albania - Sustainable Urban Planning Organization (Shkodër, Albania)
2020/10/09 The Territorial Agenda 2030: Towards a common language? A review of a conceptual framework. New Borders in Europe? Annual meeting in the Danish European Community Studies Association, 8-9 October 2020.
Centre for Border Region Studies, Department of Political Science and Public Management, in Alsion in Sønderborg, SDU (Sønderborg, Denmark)
2019/09/20 "The Weight that Brings us Together": Spomen Dom in Kolasin as the Space of Community Construction, Reflection, and Change Symbolic Materiality and Atmospheres of Space in Southeastern Europe
Department of History, University of Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany)
2019/04/24 Whose tree is this tree: the lessons from web-based citizen participation in greening the city 4th International Conference Urban E-planning
Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon (Lisbon, Portugal)
2019/02/14 The Beautiful Ruins We're Made Of Future Architecture Creative Exchange
Future Architecture Platform, Museum of Architecture and Design (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
2018/06/02 First comes the neighborhood: initial steps towards strengthening urban social movements in Podgorica, Montenegro Urban Struggles in the Mediterranean Cities: The right to the city and the common space Unconference.
School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens (Athens, Greece)
2018/03/16 Urban planning and city government: historical overview, current European practice, and comment on the new Montenegrin Law on Spatial Planning and Construction (Original title: Urbanisticko planiranje i gradska uprava: istorijski pregled, savremene evropske prakse i osvrt na novi crnogorski Zakon o planiranju prostora i izgradnji objekata) Strengthening the rights of access to housing in Montenegro
ADP-ZID (Podgorica, Montenegro)
2017/06/02 Preserving the XX century Architectural Heritage in Montenegro: A New Fight for the City 4th Heritage Forum of Central Europe: Heritage and Society
International Cultural Centre (Krakow, Poland)
2017/04/25 (In)visible? Cycling as a method of transportation in Podgorica FLUID Design Forum
FLUID Design Forum (Podgorica, Montenegro)

Event organisation

Event name
Type of event (Role)
Institution / Organization
2017/09/21 - 2017/09/21 September Salon 2017: Discovering Calvino's "Invisible Cities" in Brussels. The workshop involved around 50 students and alumni of 4Cities master program in urban studies and was centered around urban exploration inspired by the city visions from Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities". The resulting online exhibition can be seen here: http://www.4cities.eu/discovering-calvinos-invisible-cities-in-brussels-september-salon-2017-part-i/ (2017/09/21 - 2017/09/21)
Workshop (Co-organisor)
4Cities Master Program in Urban Studies , Belgium

Event participation

Activity description
Type of event
Event name
Institution / Organization
2019/05/30 - 2019/05/31 Workshop on the challenges of regional development in the Western Balkans, with reference to best practices deriving from EU territorial and development framework scenarios.
Challenges of Regional Development in Western Balkans – Visioning for Territorial Futures
Western Balkans Network on Territorial Governance, Albania
2019/05/07 - 2019/05/07 Moderating the debate titled "Good News! Transforming People's Lives", as part of the award ceremony for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe. Participants of the debate were architects and clients of the finalist and winner works.
EU Mies Award Day
Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Spain
2018/05/17 - 2018/05/18 Workshop to initiate the creation of Western Balkan Network on Territorial Governance
Western Balkan Network on Territorial Governance - Initiating Workshop
Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development, Albania
2017/04/27 - 2017/04/29 Workshop on reaffirming derelict, abandoned or "in between" spaces through cultural and artistic initiatives
Modeling the public in dissonant co-spaces
Jelena Šantic Foundation , Serbia
2016/11/05 - 2016/11/05 Round table on Independent Culture for Sustainable Development of Balkan Cities: Possibilities, Experiences, Proposals
Round table
ACT4CITY: Independent cultural actors toward sustainable Balkan cities
City Creative Network - CCN, Macedonia
2016/09/07 - 2016/09/09 Conference of the project "New Ideas For Old Buildings", focusing on the management of empty buildings as well as on actual models of co-­-working, -living, ­- existing
Co-­Create Conference! City Making Ruhr
kitev (Kultur im Turm e.V.), Germany
2016/05/13 - 2016/05/14 ACT4CITY, a regional workshop on independent cultural actors working towards sustainable cities ACT4CITY
Expeditio - Center for Sustainable Spatial Development , Montenegro

Association member

Society Organization name Role
2018/07 - Current Laboratório de Estudos Urbanos (LEU)

Other jury / evaluation

Activity description Institution / Organization
2019/09/23 - 2019/09/28 Workshop "Building(s) Change: Exploring the Relationship Between the Built Environment and the Community", organized over a period of five days for the students of architecture, as part of Tirana Design Week. Universiteti POLIS, Albania


2013 Erasmus Mundus Scholarship
2008 FORECAST Scholarship for Undergraduate Studies
USAID, United States

Other distinction

2009 Dean's List Distinction
The University of Maine, United States