Exploring alternative methodologies of spatial planning in Western Balkans : The case of Albania 2030 National Strategic Visioning

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One of the biggest challenges of our country still remains the consideration of urban planning as a management tool for controlling the development, in order to achieve territorial, social and economic cohesions. The transition from a centrally planned economy, where everything was controlled by the government, towards decentralization and market economy caused many consequences, among which uncontrolled and fragmented urban development, loss of agricultural land due to urbanization, concentration of population and dense urbanization in the major cities, abandonment of western lowland and eastern parts of the country etc. This research work tries to build against the vacuum that is created in Albania by the lack of tradition of national spatial development policies and plans, on the conditions of market economy and freedom. Previous elements of national visioning have not been sustainable in the long run, due to the fact that they have been imposed by authoritarian means and not understood as a real need of the country and society, facing growing competition among nations at global scale, and the need for creative solution, facing economic recession and waste of national resources. Therefore this work is a modest practical and theoretical contribution for Albania with a hope that could be useful also for the Albanian authorities, while undertaking action at such level. In return the Albanian case of national spatial visioning might serve as an interesting learning laboratory for the new science of spatial planning in Europe and beyond.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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