Publication: Toward territorial cohesion with the national spatial plan for Albania 2030
In late 2013 the National Territorial Planning Agency (NTPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Urban Development (MUD) of Albania took the initiative of drafting the First National Spatial Plan for Albania 2030(NSPA). The strong need of the country to jump to a new way of sustainable development was backed up by the political will and a new legal planning reform, paving the ground for new integrated planning instruments. Although this is not the first time plans are drafted in Albania this is the first national spatial plan for the country. The methodology for drafting the NSPA was based on three complementary steps: At first the metabolic analysis of the territory was performed for five main systems of the territory: water, food, infrastructure, urban and natural system. Secondly, the Declaration of Vision was drafted through a wide participatory process from different stakeholder form the government administration but also independent experts and academia. Third, the strategic proposals through flexible tools that allow for further exploration for best collaboration between national developing sectors and local governance. The plan followed an open and democratic approach reflected not only in the participatory drafting process but also on the strategic proposals that were offered. It was not the aim of the working group to have a restrictive plan with rigid land use maps but to provide a tool for the national and local administration and also private sector that would guide and advise on the best possible uses of the territory. The plan gives alternatives and describes possibilities for best cross-sector and inter-regional cooperation and proposes strategic projects of national importance for the sustainable development of the territory in the next 15 years. Major public hearing were held across the country, so people could have the chance to express ideas, to be informed but above all to be part of a national plan that would guide the territorial development for the next 15 years. The participation process resulted to a new increased level of awareness of the importance of territorial planning as a cohesive process to different governance sector of the administration. Strengthen institutional capacity for cross-cutting issues of territorial planning resulted essential to achieve a plan that aimed spatial balance, sustainable development, and socio-economic wellbeing. Even though the NSPA is approved at the highest instances foreseen by the law, for the actual administration it is an ongoing process and its success depends on a large scale on continuous research of contextual planning issues and for every stage of its implementation or upgrade to assure an open transparent inclusive process with democratic participation.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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