Reconstructing a City in the Interests of its Children: Tirana, Albania, 2015 - 2019

Abstract 

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. 

Keywords 
public spaces
schools
postcommunist
street design
child-friendly
kindergartens
new urbanism
Urban95
early childhood development
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
Bernard van Leer Foundation
Focus Area(s): 
City Management
Critical Tasks: 
Action plans
Aligning policy and budget
Building citizen support
Consensus building
Coordination
Extending services to insecure or remote areas
Making services accessible
Managing illegal or informal settlement
Revenue generation
Core Challenge: 
Contracting out (creating semi-autonomous agencies)
Coordination
Credibility (trust)
Dispute resolution (compliance)
Norm coordination
Country of Reform: 
Albania
Type: 
Case Studies
Author: 
Gabriel Kuris