Author: Ermal Hoxha
Affiliation: Polis University
The topic of this paper deals with aspects, both cultural and spatial, of the new image that the new capital of Kosova , Prishtina, wants to establish in the European context. After 10 years of independence from the state of Serbia and the gradual consolidation of Kosova 's government structures, time has come for of the capital to consolidate (or perhaps still to create) its image. The new state of Kosova already has a National Spatial Plan (yet to be approved), but Prishtina, as the capital, still remains without any real vision for the future and still without any strategy at the territorial level. The paper is based on outcomes from the workshop “Prishtina, a new European capital. Images of a city to be discovered”, attended by PhD students (DA Ferrara and Polis University) and 3rd year of architecture and urban planning students (Polis University, Tirana). The purpose of the workshop was to give a basic structure in order to develop future guidelines for a contemporary vision for Prishtina, orienting its development for the next 20 years. This vision was based on four main issues: infrastructure, environment, unused space, and culture. This paper will focus exclusively on the cultural issues and attempt to clarify first the existing situation, and later propose hypothetical interventions. According to the work done in the workshop, to structure such vision for the capital of Prishtina, the process was the following: preliminary study of the proposed national spatial plan for Kosova and further consultation with available information sources; field visit to compare the cartographic information with actual field condition; on field survey and interviews with residents and other actors operating in the city; outcomes from the analysis, brainstorming and the first proposals related to the strategies; final workshop to detail the urban scale strategy for each specific context and to overlay all the strategies together into a general vision at a territorial level. What was found from the initial analysis, field visits and interviews, was that many different cultural realities exist in Prishtina, but not all of them are reflected in space. So, the chosen strategy to build the new cultural image of the capital of Prishtina, was to define at the urban scale all the spaces and buildings which can play an important role in Prishtina's cultural life, and then to re-evaluate that heritage through some interrelated interventions (some physical/ tangible, some not) which emphasize the need to promote social inclusion and a sense of belonging in each socio-cultural community. Hence, the aim of the paper is to reflect upon the workshop process and to apply its outcomes – even through small urban interventions - to a series of patches (in the Ulpiana district context) contributing to the creation of Prishtina’s new image, even though small urban interventions.
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