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Page history last edited by l_triantis@yahoo.com 14 years, 8 months ago






Over the last 20 years, Tirana, the capital city of Albania, has undergone dramatic transformations. The transition from socialism to capitalism, along with global trends in urban development, had a direct impact on the social, economic and spatial structures of the city. Tirana’s urban space has transformed rapidly, towards two different directions:


On one side lies the transformation of the city centre and the main road axes. New land uses such as commerce, offices and entertainment have been introduced, while new housing complexes have been constructed. Through interventions on the major public spaces and the upgrading of public infrastructure a new image and a new identity for the city centre was attempted to be constructed, aiming to regenerate the city and attract new activities and investments.


On the other side, since the early 1990s, an extended periphery of informal small-scale housing was gradually developed - mainly by internal immigrants - without planning, social and technical infrastructure or provision for public spaces, leading to the creation of a poor urban environment. These informal residential areas, as most of Tirana’s residential areas, are characterized by a relatively high quality of private space and neglected public space.


At the same time, informal development processes have taken place within the existing urban fabric, occupying former public land and blocking passages by erecting small, medium or large-scale constructions. Furthermore, large-scale housing and commercial complexes implemented by the private sector, as well as large public projects, have appeared randomly in the close or distant periphery of the city, with no apparent intention to integrate with their urban surroundings.


In this context of growing fragmentation of urban space and of intensified socio-spatial inequalities, new modes of urban interventions seem to be urgent.




Tirana Municipality - website 


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