Can architects and city planning stimulate hope and growth for shrinking cities? B.ALIAJ, S. DHAMO
Author: Prof. Dr. Besnik Aljai Dr. Sotir Dhamo
Affiliation: POLIS University
The main idea of this one-year international PhD project of POLIS & UNIFE was to elaborate a critical thought around the concept of “Shrinking city”. This was seen as an occasion to investigate the concrete city of Gjirokastra Albania, through an approach established via the individuation of autonomous objects or urban fragments, within the existing city patterns, capable of injecting new hopes for the future of Gjirokastra. Within this framework one of the main objectives of the workshop has been to define urban strategies in order to reestablish a new relationship between the historical city and its interrupted objects, due the depopulation crises. In other words, the objective has been to give a second life, or chance, or opportunity to the city, which means to reactivate a cultural debate, starting by shaking the attention of the Albanian citizens, local communities, and the local authority as well. So after a session of introductory theory, than the participating PhD students had to observe, select and investigate specific urban fragments; in order to develop strategies involving different disciplines and fields of knowledge. POLIS and UNIFE strongly believe in the interdisciplinary approach. They both believe at “frontier research” in order to be able to explore the borderline of knowledge on architecture and territorial planning, in close relations with other areas of expertise, knowledge and disciplines.
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