This paper discusses both the objectives of urban development and the important role of the participants in the process: professionals in the related fields, politicians and citizens. Although it stresses the significance of economy for the overall city development, the paper also reflects the author’s fundamental premise: the economic development of a city should never be considered as an end in itself. On the contrary, it should serve its citizens only as a cornerstone of their more humane and fulfilled existence. So far, this idea has often been ignored. Urban development planning has become a routine. The attention is directed towards meeting strict functional and technical criteria of the urban development planning, while, at the same time, its cultural and social components are unfairly neglected. This approach has eventually led to even further alienation of its citizens: the city squares and streets are no longer meeting points. Their role now is only functional, that is, traffic related. A modern city in its entirety is crowded with cars: the term pedestrian seems to be losing its meaning. The city of Split follows the aforementioned trend in urban development. In the past, its urban matrix was more inspiring and adapted to the needs of its citizens. At present, all traditional features of the city are constantly being degraded. Both the ancient city core and medieval urban complex are frequently subjected to the so-called modern design solutions, possessing none of the artistic value. Every single corner of the city reveals artistic disharmony. The Split Riva, that was previously considered as the mirror of the city belonging to the world heritage, has been recently subjected to the so-called artistic devastation. Its lighting is inadequate and benches are uncomfortable. Its concrete made floor is in utter disharmony with the ancient core. New buiding materials that are frequently used are incompatible with the surrounding buildings. This particular feeling for original details, that add to the specific character of a certain ambience, seems to be disappearing. The social life of the city, in general, is concentrated in its very centre, and is, thus, made inaccessible to all other citizens living in its peripheral parts.