Tirana is the political and economic capital of Albania and a flourishing city of 850 000 inhabitants (one third of the country’s total population). Situated in the Western Balkans, the city is located about 34 kilometers west of the Adriatic Sea. From the south and west it is surrounded by relatively low hills, while on the northwestern side the city extends over a flat area.
Tirana is a complex and rapidly changing city full of paradoxes. Its lively, chaotic urban fabric reflects its extraordinary history. Marked by an intense densification of existing neighbourhoods along with the creation of self built informal suburban patterns, Tirana has experienced recent administrative reforms which have greatly increased the geographical area covered by its municipality, combining together surrounding suburban and rural communities.
In the past year Tirana has suffered two unpredictable shocks: the earthquake of November 2019, whose epicentre was not far from the city and caused significant damage with about 2000 homeless families and few months later, just after the beginning of the celebrations for Tirana’s 100th anniversary as Albania’s capital, the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in the city.
The combination of these persistent challenges and acute shocks may appear discouraging, but in the face of these demanding situations lie opportunities for reimagining the future - a crisis as opportunity. In this workshop that future will be seen through the lens of Urban Resilience. It is both a theoretical framework and a goal - a socially, environmentally and economically resilient Tirana.
The workshop will explore actionable ideas and approaches on repairing the current cracks in the urban fabric, while preparing to sustainably manage the rapid demographic and economic growth that is expected to continue.
Architect and urban planner, Founder - Studio Divercity
Architect and PhD Researcher at Hasselt University
Geographer and historian
DIRECTOR OF PROJECTS