Let us introduce ourselves

About POLIS_University_PRESS

 The Publishing House of POLIS University has its origins in the mid-’90s with the publications of the Co_Plan organization, the Institute for Habitat Development, as the parent organization from which POLIS University itself emerged. Starting in 1995, this publishing center aimed to create the first list of references in the literature of planning and urban development based on Albanian experience, in a country where the centralized system had collapsed, including the previous urban administration system. During the late ’90s and the 2000s, the publications of the first phase of Co-PLAN aimed bringing a fresh perspective through materials published in both Albanian and English, making Albanian experiences comparable to international ones.

In a context where Albania was undergoing profound reforms, and the state was no longer the only actor, Co_PLAN’s publications were not only necessary but the only different alternative, especially in the academic sector, which was still clinging to past ideas and struggling to accept reforms. Notable publications during this phase include the series “City Made by People 1” (1998) and “City Made by People 2” (ed. Hartkoorn 1999), “Tirana the Challenge of Urban Development” (Aliaj, Lulo, Myftiu 2003), “The Development Strategy of Fier City” (Dhamo et al. 2006), and “The Development Strategy of Elbasan City” (Toto et al. 2006), both in Albanian and English; “The Sixth Mystery” (Aliaj 2008); numerous training manuals for local governments and local development agendas, especially during the years 2000-2005, etc. Other publications of this phase, such as Albanian translations of the books on “European Union” (Pinder 2001), “Globalization” (Steger 2003), “The End of the Mystery of Capital” (De Soto 2000), as well as the series on regional and territorial planning, such as theoretical texts “Urban Planning 1” (ed. Aliaj 2003) and “Urban Planning 2” (ed. Aliaj 2003) for architecture and urban planning students and professionals, played a crucial role in disseminating international experiences.

Of importance for the dissemination of knowledge was the publication of conference proceedings related to issues of development and territorial planning. One noteworthy publication was the 2003 edition focusing on the ENHR Conference – the European Network of Housing Research, themed “Making Cities Work.” The local impact of these publications, in a context of total absence not only of publications but also of new knowledge, was acknowledged by national and international organizations working in the field at that time and represented one of the highest values of this phase.

Starting from 2005, this publishing experience was consolidated and further expanded with the establishment of POLIS University. It was institutionalized through the creation of the POLIS_Pres publishing unit to support the research and academic activities of POLIS University, Co_PLAN Institute, and the university’s design studio, Metro_POLIS. The initial publications in this phase included books such as “Urban Space Towards the End of Transition” (2006), “Between the Vacuum and Energy” (Aliaj, Dhamo, Shutina 2009), and its reissue in English as “Between the Vacuum and Energy” (2010). These books not only echoed Albanian society at the time but also aimed to propose alternative solutions to exit the transition phase.

One of the significant achievements of this phase was the initiation of the publication of the scientific journal Forum A+P, the first and still the only journal in Albanian-speaking territories dedicated to the fields of architecture, urban planning, design, and engineering. Originally published in both Albanian and English, the journal has been recognized by the Ministry of Education and Science as a scientific periodical. It has now surpassed its 25th issue. Starting from its first issue in March 2009, Forum A+P has addressed and documented important current and future issues in the fields of architecture and the city, such as important projects announced in international competitions, alternative perspectives on debatable issues of the time through the writings and statements of national and international authors, the annual activities of TAW and TDW, and many other issues, being an important reference for professionals in the field. This journal has been supplemented with the publication of two other specialized magazines, MAD magazine and Habitat, dedicated to design and environmental issues, respectively.

In collaboration with the PhD Program, together with the University of Ferrara, POLIS Press also publishes the scientific journal OMB – Observatory of the Mediterranean Basin. This periodical compiles the annual projects of doctoral students on a specific topic and scientific articles related to this topic from candidates in the PhD program. Some of the published themes cover issues related to the Tirana-Durres corridor, the river basins of Seman and Shkumbin, cross-border regions of Dropull-Zagori, and Prespa, to name a few. These publications provide comprehensive and holistic coverage not only of architectural, urban design, environmental and territorial issues but also of demographic and economic developments.

There are three other significant achievements of the publications in this phase of POLIS_Press: firstly, the series of translations of theoretical books on architecture, urban design, engineering, etc., as part of textbooks for various subjects; secondly, the publication of several monographs by various authors; and thirdly, the publication of conference proceedings. In the renowned translation series with copyright, some of the most important include: “Design with Nature” (Mc Harg 2012), “Architecture and Modernity” (Saggio 2015), “Seismic Design for Architects” (Charleson 2017), “Cities for People” (Gehl 2017), “Composing Architecture” (Purini 2018), “Image of the City” (Lynch 2020), “Reinforced Concrete Structure Design” (Mosley, Bungey, Hulse 2022), “Theory of Restoration” (Brandi 2024), etc. In this way, POLIS_Press has an incomparable contribution to enriching the Albanian language with a series of important works, used not only as textbooks but also by professionals. These publications have had a very high impact not only within Albania but also in other Albanian-speaking territories and were realized solely through the voluntary work of academic staff who worked on their translation and publication. In the series of textbooks dedicated to various subjects, we also mention the publication of some prominent texts such as “Visual Language” (Qendro 2011), “History of World Architecture” (Bushati 2011), “Object Problem in Anthropology” (Geraci 2012), “Earth Sciences I” (Muharremaj 2013), and “Earth Sciences II” (Muharremaj 2014), “Environmental Science and Urban Planning 1” (Meçaj 2014), and “Environmental Science and Urban Planning 2” (Meçaj 2014), among others. These publications created references for subjects or modules that had not been developed before.

Several monographs published in this phase by POLIS_Press became indisputable references on the cities or issues they addressed. Thus, “Villas of Tirana” (Bushati 2012), after many years of study, together with architecture and urban planning students from POLIS University, attempted to create for the first time a catalog of villa typologies in Tirana built between the ’20s and ’40s of the last century, many of which no longer exist due to new constructions; “Tirana, the Missing City” (Dhamo, Aliaj, Thomai 2016) and “Saranda, the Missing City” (Dhamo, Thomai, Aliaj 2022) as scientific research on cities carried out in collaboration with the Central Technical Construction Archive, address the relationship of historical city with development plans, for the period between ’44-’90, as well as the importance of preserving values that guarantee the transmission of the city’s specific meaning as an essential part of human identity, etc; “Territorial Reform and Demographic Profile of New Municipalities in Terms of Statistical Population Indicators” (Rembeci 2018) and “Resident Population in New Municipalities” (Rembeci 2018) address issues of national importance related to demographic development policies; “Quality of Residential Space in Tirana” (Dobjani 2021), catalogues and addresses housing issues in Albania; “Behind the Leader’s Shoulders” (Marku 2021), addresses issues of the image of politicians during their public appearances; to name just a few. Among the proceedings, we can mention those of the international conference within TAW and TDW, such as “[Re]appropriation of the city” (2012) and “[Co]Habitation Tactics (2018).

In this phase, thematic publications of the Co-PLAN institute are also important, professional guides, starting from the book “Policy-follower or Policymaker 1” (2010) and “Policy-follower or Policymaker 2” (2012) aimed at sensitizing local authorities to their role and responsibility in decision-making, “Regionalization of Albania” (2014) in Albanian and English versions, which preceded alternatives to territorial reform in Albania, “Comprehensive Planning” (2013) and “Planning and Development of Territory in Albania” (2015), as professional guides for the dissemination of experience in public communication, design, and planning at the local level. This continued with later publications such as “Green Roofs” (2020), “Circular Economy” (2021), “Green Roofs for Our Cities” (2021), to name just a few. Starting from 2018, POLIS_Press also publishes the scientific journal of the Co-PLAN Institute: TG – Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, dedicated to issues of vision and territorial policies in this region.

The current phase, now with a new logo and the name POLIS_University_Press, is facing the challenge of transitioning to a digital platform and being evaluated on ranking platforms with an international impact factor. This move aims to expose it more transparently and competitively in the international research network. For more information, please visit this page to present your comments or suggestions regarding our further improvement.