Stefano Boeri Architetti, UNLAB, IND
2015 - 2017
Ministry of Urban Development with Municipality of Tirana
General local plan and Masterplan
Consultants (Transports and mobility) Mobycon, arch. Edmond Alite; (Landscape and Environmental Strategy) Laura Gatti; (Landscape and Environmental Analysis)
EMA Consulting; (Infrastructures
and underground utilities) arch. Maria Chiara Pastore, ing. Dritan Bradko, ing. Fatjon Zekaj, ing.
Gezim Tola; (Legal Counsel) avv. Florian Xhafa; (Agronomy) DISAA Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali-Produzione, Territorio, Agroenergia-Università degli Studi
di Milano; (Sociology) arch. Vasilika Shtephani; Urban Economist: TU Delft; (Urban planner and expert
in GIS cartography) arch. Eri Cobo; (Expert in GIS cartography) Erin Mlloja; (Accessibility) avv. Lisa Noja; (Urban regeneration) arch. Lorenza Baroncelli; (Cultural Heritage) arch. Kreshnik Merxhani; (Culture and events) Tommaso Sacchi
Design team Stefano Boeri (founding partner), Francesca Cesa Bianchi (project leader), Corrado Longa, Michele Brunello, Jacopo Abbate, Jona Arcaxhiu, Orjana Balla, Rudina Belba, Tracy Decolly, Laura Didonfrancesco, Ani Marku, Era Merkuri, Martina Mitrovic, Hana Narvaez, Jona Os, Elian Stefa
Images, Photos and video Attu Studio, Graphics and corporate identity: 46xy
A plan to reconquer the landscape: this is the vision for the future of Tirana from the present to 2030 and, in a nutshell, the core of the project developed by Stefano Boeri Architetti for the capital of Albania. Starting from the image of the famous Allegoria ed Effetti del Buono e del Cattivo Governo (The Allegory of Good and Bad Government) fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, the theme of a model for a new balance between city and nature is defined as the “kaleidoscopic city”. Tirana 2030, the identity card of the city’s future development consists of three fundamental sections that correspond to the three drafting phases of the Regulatory Plan, each with its own level of progressive development and definition.
The “Metropolitan Fresco”, based on ten major themes (biodiversity, polycentrism, widespread knowledge, mobility, water, geopolitics, tourism, accessibility, agriculture and energy) provides the overall vision of the Plan. The “Atlas”, consisting of 13 strategic projects located within the territory, defines those interventions that will trigger the development outlined by the “Fresco” and which can then be implemented through a “Guidelines Charter” whose draft represents the third phase of the plan’s implementation. The main strategy determines that the containment of land use is unavoidable along with the search for discontinuity in the urban fabric. This objective can also be pursued through the exploitation of the vertical context to free up land surfaces. In actual fact Tirana as a city does not have overly high average building heights but at the same time it is one of the densest cities in Europe with extremely compressed open spaces. Putting pressure on empty areas to generate public space was therefore the first priority of the project as well as intervening in the natural and agricultural sectors in order to introduce elements of their rich diversity into the urban boundaries.
The fundamental theme regarding the reclamation of the natural dimension within Tirana’s urban environment is divided into several different operational sections. These include a continuous orbital forest system around the city with two million trees, including protected nature parks and oases to preserve and nourish the local biodiversity, new ecological corridors along the Lana, Tirana and Erzeni rivers and a green circle known as the “4th Ring” intended as a linear public space for mobility and in a central position compared to the larger Tirana metropolitan area. The project also involves the relaunching of smaller centres as a widespread network for tourism, agriculture and production in communication with each other and with the urban area. In this way the project intends to polarize the chaotic density of the consolidated city through the enhancement of sparsely populated peri-urban areas and satellite centres, each with their own specific potential.
Approximately one century after the Master Plan drawn up in 1925 by a group of Italian designers led by Armando Brasini, the 2030 Plan for Tirana establishes broad objectives which aim to inaugurate a new phase in the development of the Albanian capital. A pet project of Edi Rama’s government (former mayor of the city) and the administration of the current mayor Erion Veliaj, the intervention not only includes the entire metropolitan area of Tirana but also involves the rail links with the airport and the port of Durres, transport and public services, green areas and ecological corridors, the new areas of controlled expansion and the enhancement of the city’s architectural heritage.
Compared to the Plan of the previous century, Tirana 2030 reduces the forecast for demographic development of the urban area by two thirds in favour of a green city accessible to all in the name of functional plurality and a mix of activities. The new Plan by Stefano Boeri Architetti works by employing two methodological levels. The first is the interaction between a series of large areas and abstract vectors with other entities that are more “empirically determined”: this results in an interposing approach, fed by small-scale interventions capable of acting on the regeneration of the existing fabric from the inside and also by capillary propagation at neighbourhood level. In more detail, the programme involves the construction of twenty new schools, overlooking a network of open spaces and urban squares provided with and offering cultural activities and services to the residents which give shape to a new image of a public and inclusive city.
On the other hand, the green surfaces in the city will be tripled through a multi-stage intervention which involves the construction of two tree-lined pedestrian/cycle paths within the central area, a large natural oasis around Lake Farka and new green strips bordering the waterways. The system thus generated will also constitute a real ecological corridor, capable of stimulating the production of energy through the use of renewable sources. The project also redesigns the urban mobility system: introducing a congestion charge in the central areas, encouraging car sharing and supporting a “dedicated bus lane” system with the extra-urban line offering a fast connection between the airport and the Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard ( the city’s historical central route) and with the rationalization of connections with out-of-town centres. At the same time, both within the consolidated city and in the peri-urban and rural areas the Master Plan defines the new “epicentres” for the urban, economic and social development of Tirana, laying out the guidelines for a “polycentric and kaleidoscopic future city”.
Promoted by the central government and developed in close collaboration with local administrations, Tirana 2030 is also the largest flagship project heading a programme for the future of all major Albanian cities. Tirana is a twentieth century geopolitical manifesto whose historic central axis is the Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard.
This monumental avenue, developed as part of the Brasini plan, crosses the city from north to south, thereby highlighting its radio-centric configuration. The city’s layout has already been affected by significant interventions such as the 51N4E project for Skanderbeg Square or the large extension of the boulevard by Grimshaw Architects and further green spaces have been introduced along with partial pedestrianization and new projects. The most important of these is the Parco del Mondo, a new rectangular square destined to house all the embassies in order to underline and consolidate the geopolitical dimension of the city in a sort of three-dimensional allegory. The city will also grow in intensity along its other historical routes (the second and the fourth ring, the Tirana-Durres route and the 5 development areas) without occupying new agricultural or natural land but rather multiplying the green areas, services and public spaces.