Introduction from the Editors
Author: Besnik Aliaj, Sotir Dhamo
Affiliation: Polis University
POLIS University (www.universitetipolis.edu.al) and its origin Co-PLAN Institute (www.co-plan.org) are pioneering institutions that ‘reinvented’ planning practices and legislations in Albania after the collapse of centralized economy. Moving slowly over 25 years from initiating ‘grassroots’ based projects toward assisting local and national authorities, they created a body of experience that is now replicated and disseminated via scientific research, pedagogy, practice, and consultancy.
The project - Rurban Sequences: Inquiries on Dropull's States of Liminality, part of the Observatory of the Mediterranean Basin (OMB) Series, emerges from the annual International Workshop organized in the framework of the Joint International PhD Program between POLIS University and UNIFE Ferrara University (Department of Architecture). A year long project, builds upon the work done over a span of 3-years by the staff and students of POLIS University and the staff of Dropull Municipality, at South Albania, for the drafting and approval of the territorial municipal plan, otherwise known as PPV Plani i Pergjithshem Vendor (GLP General Local Plan).
POLIS University and Co-PLAN Institute have innovatively developed over the years a methodology and vision for the national spatial development plan of Albania, materialized by two main documents: i) Albania 2030 Manifesto; and ii) Regionalization of Albania. Since then, together with UNIFE, U-POLIS and Co-PLAN are detailing such national development vision with research visions and territorial development plans at the regional and local scale. In this way a collection of projects/publications are prepared, and thus figuring out each piece of the puzzle, by demystifying the planning and development agenda in Albania (see: https://ombresearchseries.org/). These projects hopefully serve not simply as a planning instrument for the Albanian authorities, but they might also help as a marketing tool for Albania and its regions in the context of international relations. This experience is also very useful for the professionals, students and researchers of the spatial/territorial planning sciences.