A breathing city / Shkodra and its representative places on the water
Author: Michele Montemurro
Affiliation: Polytechnic University of Bari
The Albanian settlement and anthropic system highlights the current crisis in the relationship between urban settlements and natural landscapes of the contemporary city. This reality can be assumed as a field of experimentation to verify new grammars of the urban space and of the architectural forms able to establish a constitutive relationship with the forms of the natural landscape. Shkodra, located on the shores of the largest lake in the Balkans, in an area of transition from the Adriatic coast to the mountainous landscape of the Albanian Alps, is the most important "lake city", in which deep relationships among urban, natural and rural landscapes, the forms of water and the forms of urban settlement, are recognized. In this sense, the interpretation of the boundary between city and water is an opportunity to give identity to those marginal spaces assuming them as constituent and identifying parts of the urban form of Shkodra.
The challenge contained in the research is to offer a model of intervention that can guide the strategic choices related to urban and environmental rehabilitation actions, towards those aspects of material and immaterial reality on which the economic and social reconstruction of Shkodra can be founded. This could combine the needs of local development with the most advanced sustainable tourism processes, recognizing for Shkodra a role of reference in the Adriatic basin as a gateway to the Balkans, accentuated by the presence of the great lake and its value in defining the identity of the city. In this sense, morphological operations conducted in the Shkodra abandoned territories such as the marshy margins, the Rom areas, the residual areas of infrastructures and commerce, allow us to experiment with new models of cities able to become instruments of proactive urban economic and social development.
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