Reflections on public art’s possible roles in Lezha’s future planning IRENE RUZZIER
Author: Irene Ruzzier
Affiliation: Ferrara University
The article deals with art interventions’ role in developing socially sustainable spatial planning solutions for the Lezha region. Lezha is one of the poorest regions in Albania, but at the same time gathers a wide variety of natural and cultural heritage sites, which create great opportunities for tourism development. Nonetheless, tourism shouldn’t be the only key to interpret art interventions, as the Covid-19 pandemic remarked: in fact, art could also be a tool for improving locals’ quality of life by addressing an increasing need for high-quality public spaces and participation. Through a series of examples, the article explores on the one hand art’s potentialities linked to placemaking, critical reflection, creation of sense of belonging and locals’ involvement, on the other hand its limits: the objective of the contribution is, in fact, to raise awareness among planners and local authorities on how art could be integrated in planning processes in a critical and socially sustainable way. Finally, the paper suggests that Lezha’s public administration could learn from the aforementioned practices, by disrupting the 'art = touristic attraction' equation and by proposing alternative ways to integrate art in the region’s future planning processes.
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