A bottom-up visioning process of "Gjirokastra 2030" BESNIK ALIAJ
Author: Prof. Dr. Besnik Aliaj
Affiliation: POLIS University
The City and the Municipality of Gjirokastra have historically been the most important center of socio-economic-administrative gravity for the whole region in particular, and for the Southern part of Albania in general. Gjirokastra Region has given a multi-dimensional contribution to the country, which is highly appreciated by all at the national level. But at this moment the city suffers from serious demographic depletion, and mass migration of the population (particularly the young generation) towrad Tirana the Capital, or emigration abroad, especially to the bordering Greece. However, Gjirokastra is a municipality with great potentials too, particularly for the fact that its historic center is recognized by UNESCO as part of the global heritage. The municipality has a regional university, a regional hospital and many other regional services. The administrative reform of the territory in 2015, although it did not have the expected effects, it served for the overall consolidation of the territory and its population (Fig.1). As result of this reform, the newly established Municipality faces a 50% increase in population and a 15 times higher increase in its surface area, while it integrates 7 previous smaller administrative units (communes and old municipalities) into a new single unit.