Identities of a peri-urban habitat : The potential for agricultural cluster development in Tirana

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As often the case with the newly formed peri-urban areas in the outskirts of expanding cities, the territories that surround Tirana face the pressure of converting agricultural fields into urbanized land, resulting in identity loss, environmental deterioration, and high unemployment companioned by poverty and ultimately a low quality of life. Besides the challenges, the proximity to the capital city provides also advantages, such as economies of scale and scope deriving from the agglomeration of the activities, good access to labor force, market, infrastructure, as well as educational and research facilities, constituting therefore the basics for cluster development. This paper explores the evolution and present state of one of the first environments, in sequence, encountered by the visitors approaching the capital of Albania, Tirana. Once a carefully planned agricultural landscape, today it’s a hybrid urban-rural spatial continuum, a peri-urban habitat searching for a proper identity. We will try to elaborate on the potential of the area to host cluster development, with a specific attention paid to agricultural clusters that would have an important effect not only to its economic performance but also on the preservation of the territory and landscape.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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