Tirana District forests and woodland are dominating. The total forest
surface has a size of 48 000 to 50 000 ha. That includes about 16
000 ha trees, 6 000 ha shrubs and 28 000 ha bushes. 20% of these
areas are under protection.The most important green area is Dajti
National Park with 2 957 ha.
The network of public urban green spaces in Tirana City is basically
composed of: parks and green squares in the city (Tirana Grand Park),
green plots along Lana River, Botanical Garden, Zoological Garden,
sport areas and road side trees.
After the 1990's, the public green area in the City of Tirana has
been reduced from 400 ha to around 240 ha because of legal and illegal
park is situated south of the city centre of Tirana. It is used
by thousands of inhabitants to relax, to play or to picnic.
This complex includes the park, the City Zoo, the Botanical Garden,
the Cemetery of the Martyrs of the Nation, a swimming pool complex
and the nurseries. Before 1990 the complex had a total green surface
of around 265
ha, while today only 209 ha are left, as a consequence of the illegal
constructions. The park in itself has a surface area of 132 ha,
where 45 ha is water surface (the artificial lake of Tirana), 82
ha forest area (grass area 80 ha, flower area400 sq m, 27 060 decorative
trees and 1477 shrubs) and around 5 ha roads and places. It was
created in a special way: ornamental trees were added to the natural
forest from 1946 onward. Today 120 different types of flora exist
and the Grand Park is the only one of this kind in Albania.
The Sector of
Urban Projects (in the Department of Infrastructure Projects) and
the Department of Strategic Plan and Urban Planning (in the General
Urban Planning Department) deal with planning and designing of green
The department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for urban
green and was created 45 years ago. It deals with maintenance, administration
and partly with the design of green areas and the cultivation and
treatment of decorative plants. All green areas in Tirana City are
under its administration.
The Council of Territory Adjustment in the Tirana Municipality is
the decision-making body in the municipality.
is foreseen to include environmental impact assessment in all planning
instruments and studies, as well as receiving the environmental
permission and the obligatory application of the environmental law
for determined levels of territorial planning. The initiative for
legal basis improvement is undertaken. A Project - Law "For
Green Spaces in Urban Areas and Parks" is elaborated, but not
made by NEA and UNDP office in Tirana in collaboration with representatives
from central and local government for an overall long-term local
government project to promote and support strongly local initiatives.
This project focuses on the improvement of the capacity of municipal
officials, in order to initiate and implement small-scale, public-work
type interventions, addressing locally identified environmental
concerns. Part of it is the "Clean and Green" project
for the rehabilitation of Lana River Green Area in Tirana.
Urban and Green Area Planning
In the last
ten years a lot of initiatives have been undertaken to complete
a development plan for Tirana. The most important plan is the "Strategic
Plan for Greater Tirana", under the Urban Land Management Program
- ULMP, funded by World Bank within the system of the Ministry of
Territory Adjustment and Tourism, with the technical assistance
of PADCO, an American private company.
The Department for the Strategic Plan exists in Tirana Municipality
since 2002. Taking as the main reference "Strategic Plan for
Greater Tirana", the first action towards a development plan
of the city, is the elaboration of several action plans for the
area within the administrative borders of the municipality:
- The preservation
of Tirana city centre. The identification of parts of the city
which have to be developed and the identification of the goals
- The strategy
for open spaces, green areas, water surfaces and rivers and the
arrangement of urban areas around them. Analysing the existing
and the potential green areas. The definition of criteria for
choosing them. The clarifications of the ownership, the identification
of the illegal buildings in these areas, recommendations to preserve,
maintain and improve the existing green areas and generally open
areas. This action plan shall have a forcing power in order to
control the development.
- The extension
of the city centre towards the northern part.
- The improvement
of the legal framework related to the urban planning issues.
the year 2000, the situation of green spaces in Tirana has greatly
The total reconstruction in fourteen green squares or places, with
a total surface of about 50,200 sq m has been completed. 1,168 trees
and shrubs were planted there and the places were provided with
benches and 1,000 garbage bins.
Today eleven green squares are partly reconstructed, with a total
surface of 32,479 sq m. Five green squares, having an area of 16,500
sq m could be reconstructed with the financial support of donors.
2,000 trees were planted in Grand Park in December 2000.
initiative to destroy the illegal constructions was a challenge.
Although the informal buildings were spread all over, the most problematic
areas were Rinia Park and Lana River.
This first park of Tirana was created in 1950, with a total surface
of 29,810 sq m. It has 102 old trees, planted mostly in 1949-1950.
The park is characterised by a lot of old trees that have mostly
finished their biological cycle. Moreover the park was occupied
with informal buildings and this activity has destroyed the vegetation.
In May 2000 the first "destroy challenges" of the city
were undertaken in this green area. 130 illegal buildings and kiosks
were destroyed. Around 45,000 cubic meters of waste materials were
removed and about 30,000 sq m green areas were turned back to its
former quality. The existing trees and the old water surface remained.
The first intervention is considered to be not enough. The tearing
down of the illegal buildings has a symbolic meaning, because it
showed the control of the government, preventing the people to keep
on constructing illegally.
River has a length of 8.6 km inside the border line of Tirana municipality.
It is the only one and the most important water-axis in the city,
but only 3.5 km are built up, with concrete slopes and green plots
along both sides.
It is defined as one of the "environmental hot spots"
in Tirana city. The pollution is very high sometimes.
The projects for the improvement of Lana River include an improvement
in physical infrastructure, the arrangement and cleaning of the
river bed as well as a rehabilitation of green areas.
"Clean and Green Project" undertaken from the municipality
includes: the cleaning of the river bed, the rehabilitation of the
physical infrastructure - widening of the roads on both sides of
the river, rehabilitation of the side roads and street lighting.
Until June 2002 the rehabilitation works were performed in good
quality and have generally progressed according to the work plan
and other requirements stipulated in the signed contract. The quality
of works is well accepted by the municipal officials as well as
by the citizens of Tirana.
Green Projects and other initiatives
Improvement of "Youth Park"
The improvement plan consists of two phases: The first shorter phase
includes the removal of the degraded trees, the planting of trees
and shrubs, that are totally missing, the improvement of existing
road network, the rehabilitation of the water surface, the supply
with benches, etc.
In a later, second phase the complete road system, vegetation project
and other elements of urban arrangement will be compiled.
Reconstruction of Tirana "Grand Park"
A project-draft is prepared which includes the inventory of trees
and preventive works that are necessary. The financial value required
is approximately 90,000 EURO. This includes the rehabilitation of
the physical infrastructure, lighting system, green system and the
placement of benches and garbage bins.
During the meantime of working, different attempts to improve or
maintain the park were undertaken. The Ecological Club, Tirana Section,
in co-operation with the Department of Parks and Recreation in Tirana
Municipality and the support of GEF/SGP Foundation, had organised
an activity to plant new trees in the "Grand Park". Pupils
and students of different Tirana's High schools took part in this
Project-proposal for reconstruction of Zoological Park"
It is planned to create a new image of the zoo according to the
European standards and with the aim to increase the number of visitors.
The welfare of the animals, the exhibition areas and other necessary
facilities will be improved. The creation of a green system (gardens,
trees, water surfaces, etc) inside the borders of the zoo is considered.
Creation of new gardens"
This is an action undertaken lately from Tirana Municipality in
co-operation with the Municipal Units to identify free open areas,
mainly without ownership problems, to create new gardens and green
Further on the
general project to rehabilitate the green areas in Tirana includes
some elementary and high schools and kindergartens of the capital
city. Additional to the municipal workers, these activities are
planned to be done with the help of students from the neighbourhood
Lately a special
place takes the initiative to raise the public awareness about the
issues related to the environment in general, and green spaces particularly.
During 2003 a campaign had been organised in order to increase the
use of bicycles instead of cars, which shall help to improve the
air quality. This activity was organised from the municipality of
Tirana in co-ordination with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and
Youth and the Italian Embassy in Tirana.
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