Herceg Novi – Montenegro

Aleks Milentilevic – Urbanist

I studied Architecture and Planning at Nikola Tesla University in Belgrade, then I did my Master’s in Spatial Planning at Oxford Brookes and I am now a Senior Planning Officer with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.  

This photo was taken on a chilly but very sunny January day in my hometown of Herceg Novi in Montenegro. The stunning view to the entrance of the Bay of Kotor is from a south-facing balcony of my parents’ place on the seventh floor of the early 1990’s, late communist apartment block where I was brought up.

This particular place is important to me for so many reasons but put simply, it is home. That means it is familiar, cosy and humane. And it is this aspect of humanity in the built environment that has become central to my understanding of places, as I have been wondering over the years of living and working in London if very tall buildings, that I usually spend my professional time working on, give us that feeling of benevolence, so we don’t get overwhelmed by man-made structures.

Whilst I still continue to work and study part-time for my PhD in London, the pandemic has allowed me to spend more time at home, which made me appreciate the place in the photo even more. From this viewpoint, I can see my primary school – full of memories, my mum’s former tailoring workshop, and all of the local area where I spent my childhood. ‘My Place’ has a physical location, but it also represents a set of combined feelings and memories that the place itself brings to life. 

My Place is a section where people share places that are significant in their livesIf you would like to take part in My Place, simply email your photo and a text of up to 250 words to johnbrucemullin@hotmail.com.