When Erion Veliaj became mayor of Tirana, Albania, in 2015, he inherited a fast-growing city with unchecked construction and traffic that threatened the health and well-being of all citizens—especially the youngest and most vulnerable. Overcoming public distrust and budgetary shortfalls, Veliaj’s administration worked with private donors and international experts to quickly construct parks, playgrounds, nurseries, schools, and pedestrian spaces. At the beginning of the mayor’s second term in July 2019, the city was poised to adopt new models for streets and neighborhoods redesigned to serve the interests of infants, toddlers, and their caregivers.
Gabriel Kuris drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Tirana, Albania, in April 2019. Case published July 2019. Format revised January 2020.