About the City of Skopje


Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 


668,518 (according to unofficial estimate from the municipal authorities in 2006)

Social composition

Skopje is the most populated city in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (22,85% of the total population of the country lives there). Ethnically, the Macedonians are the largest group in the city with 66.75% of the population, followed by Albanians with 20.49%, Roma population with 4.63%, and smaller minorities of Serbs (2.82%), Turks (1.70%)  and Bosniaks (1.50%). 

Geographical features

Skopje is located in the northern part of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at an elevation of 225 m above sea level. The city covers an average length of 23 km from east to west and 9 km from north to south with total land area of 1,854 km2. The Vardar River and several tributaries flow through the city. The longest is the Treska, which is 130 km long. Others include the LepenecPčinja, Kadina Reka, Markova Reka and Pateška, which are all less than 70 km long.  Skopje's two artificial lakes, Matka and Treska, are supplied by the Treska River, located just a few kilometers outside the city center.

Climatic conditions

Humid subtropical climate, with an annual average temperature of 13.5 °C.  Precipitation is relatively low. The summers are long, hot and humid, while the winters are short, relatively cold, and wet. Snowfalls are common in the winter period, but heavy snow accumulation is rare and the snow cover lasts only for few days. In summer, temperatures are usually above 31 °C and sometimes above 40 °C. In spring and autumn, the temperatures range from 15 to 24 °C. In winter, the day temperatures are roughly 6 °C, but at nights they often fall below 0 °C and sometimes below −10 °C. Occurrences of precipitation are evenly distributed throughout the year, being heaviest from October to December and from April to June.


Hazards & Vulnerabilities

Local climate hazards

Local vulnerabilities and main expected climate change impact

Temperature changes are expected to have a significant impact on mortality and morbidity. Warmer winters are expected to reduce winter mortality, whilst higher summer-season temperatures, increasing frequency and duration of heat waves, are likely to increase summer heat stress mortality and morbidity. Rising temperatures are also expected to affect rates of food-borne infectious diseases. Other likely climate-sensitive health effects include pollen allergies and respiratory diseases (aggravated by increased ground-level ozone and particulate matter). Climate change projections indicate that flooding may seriously affect about thousands of households in the Skopje valley in the near future.


Coping Mechanisms/ Adaptation measures

What is done on a political level? Adaptation plan?

A National Climate Change Health Adaptation strategy, a Heat health action plan and a Cold health action plan have been adopted by the Government. Climate Change Second National Communication Developed and Third Climate Change National Communication in process of development. All of the above documents envisage specific measures and activities to be undertaken by the municipal authorities from the city of Skopje as well as other relevant institutions at municipal level.  

What adaptation measure is in place (physically)?

  • Heat waves early warning system (most developed).
  • Cold waves early warning system.
  • Municipal actions for planting trees and increasing green areas in the city.
  • Flooding emergency management plan (national and local). 

What are the major adaptation needs

  • Insulation and energy efficiency standards in the buildings, as well as mechanisms for energy conservation should be implemented.
    Public health surveillance of heat and cold health effects
    Adaptation measures related to water resources and public health management of extreme weather events
    Monitoring of air pollution and air quality management measures.






Europe The work leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement No. 308497
Project RAMSES - Reconciling Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development for Cities.