The study is related to the historical and architectural heritage of the city of Tirana, based on the period of Italian influence until 1940. The stock of these buildings represents an interesting case, in terms of research, since they are close to the 100th anniversary after the construction and have great values for the city, as well as architectural heritage. The lifespan of these objects depends on interventions over the years, conservation, updating with digital monitoring technology and the inclusion of BIM and h-BIM tools in the treatment process. It is important to mention that the building does not only need facade maintenance and refinishing, but by getting to know its fragile parts we can have a seismic retrofit strategy ready. Specifically, this research focuses on several digitization processes, 3D models, simulation and intervention proposals. One of the main aspects is the communication between computer models, dealing with the FEM numerical model and the architectural model inside and outside the BIM environment, reducing the gap between them and without major data loss. After analyzing the collapse scenarios, it is intended to increase the accuracy of seismic retrofit interventions, with the sensitivity that belongs to a cultural heritage object. The application of numerical models for legacy objects presents a challenge since the complexity of handling an old building, the parameters of materials, calibrations and approaching the real response of the building in a seismic situation is known. Applications through BIM tools and files with numerous numerical data tend to make a contribution to the field of seismic engineering and heritage restoration in Albania. Variants with proposals on seismic retrofit strategies for protected buildings will be given at the end of this study.
The first high-rise building ever in Tirana and Albania was built during the 70-s. This was Hotel Tirana or “15-kateshi” as it was nicknamed. At that time, Tirana was building not more than six floors high due to limitations in finances, technology, as well as seismic regulations. Hotel Tirana was an exception for ideological and symbolic reasons of the regime. After the ‘change’ of the early 90-s and the return of the market economy, several private construction companies came up by developing ‘tower’ typology buildings of 7-9 floors. In the second decade of transformations, the municipality developed several international architectural competitions, including a masterplan for the city centre (2003) and other specific construction sites, mainly for strategic high-rise building purposes. During these years, Tirana was densified by tripling its population thanks to a typology of towers of 9-11 floors. There has been a lot of criticism of the respective municipal decision-making procedures, allegedly related to the politicization and corruption of the verticalization and densification process via control of the building permissions system
Tirana Architecture Weeks (TAW) is an international academic, professional, cultural, and social event, organized every two years by POLIS University, which aims to promote international knowledge related to art and architectural practices, sciences of the city, and research activities, starting from the Albanian context, reaching the international stage across Europe and other countries. The edition of this year was focused on the thematic “Going High! The pros- and cons- of City verticalization”, related to the recent development of the urban context of Tirana, through the rapid increase of the high-rise buildings in the urban landscape, a phenomena-taking place worldwide.
Albania is part of the emerging economies of the Western Balkan region. Polis University is one of the pioneering institutions in the field of architecture, built environment, and city sciences that represents innovative methodologies and concepts for educational and scientific purposes. Nowadays, many constructions in Albania involve a wide range of different materials. The building envelope is one of the main elements that provide protection from the outside environment but also the required thermal comfort for the inhabitants. The necessary balance must be archived between energy efficiency and the durability of buildings. This paper will focus on the thermal performance and materials composition of two different types of masonry walls, a constituent part of Polis University’s main building. The study will be based on an experiment using specific instruments to diagnose these typologies of wall composition. The results are further analyzed and compared. Specific instruments such as the thermal camera (Testo 882), U-value (Testo 435-2), and “Silverline Digital Moisture Meter” (from POLIS Energy lab) are engaged. The collected data are further interpreted through graphs, tables, and diagrams for both cases. It is observed that ventilated facades perform much better than standard facades, therefore their usage is strongly recommended.
Anthropogenic activities heavily influence lake ecosystems. This is due to population growth and the development of the industry and agriculture sectors. These activities include the intensified use of fishery resources, sewage discharge, polluting materials & substances, etc. The main aim of this study is to present an overview of the human impact on the pollution of the waters of Lake Mullinjëz. The many historical, cultural, ethnographic, architectural, and natural values that this city inherited from the past constitute a considerable potential for tourism. The objectives were to assess the lake water’s quality and propose measures for minimization and mitigation of impacts on the environment and the development of tourism in Belsh. Another important influential factor is the urban waste management near the lake which was through away along the shore of this lake. Sampling sites were selected to measure the impacts of potential sources of pollution, such as sewage discharge and urban waste. The results show that the quality of the water lake is very polluted. The most critical parameters of the water quality of Lake Mullinjëza are SS, PO43-, NO2-, NO3-, and NH4+. The most pronounced increase is observed in nitrites, nitrates, ammonium, TSS, TDS, and phosphates.
Multiple hazards are present over the territory and their impact extends beyond the administrative boundaries, revealing the need for an integrated local - to national –regional approach with the aim of building resilience, as a response to uncertainties. Lezhë district – a region of 479 km2 located in the northwest of Albania – has a large diverse ecosystem (Gencer, 2014), its environmental and landscape features are of considerable importance and constitute intrinsic characteristics of the region itself. Therefore, disaster risks constitute an issue of prime importance. Extremely important phenomena impacting territorial safety are environmental process changes and sudden spatial transformations caused by climate change. Specifically, the region faces risks related to hazards like surface water flooding, due to extreme rainfall, sea level rise, rock falls, forest fires and also seismic-triggered events. The above-mentioned hazards combined with high levels of vulnerability are consequently followed by losses in terms of physical, economic, environmental and also impact on biodiversity. Facing such challenges, it is necessary to build a large-scale strategy to build territorial resilience through strengthening environmental systems. When dealing with complex issues where biotic and abiotic components are involved to propose a design strategy, a multi-disciplinary approach is a prerogative. This contribution is developed under the framework of the two- week workshop at POLIS University and proposes a macro-strategy that faces environmental and territorial issues, followed by specific project actions related to the implementation of blue and green assets with the objective of reducing disaster risk.
The region of Lezhe is located in a strategic position of Albania. This region is bordered by the Region of Shkodra in the North, Kukesi in the Northeast, Dibra in the East, Durres in the South and the Adriatic Sea in the West. The favorable geographical position makes Lezha an important exchange node for the north-south and east-west traffic arteries. This favorable location, where the "blue corridor" is expected to pass and where the "Kombi" road currently passes, makes Lezha a strategic node for the future. In fact, the influence of the geographical position is currently felt in the economic and touristic development of Lezha. It is transforming rapidly by entering the global race of innovative cities. Beyond this development, which until now has been based on the regulations of various urban plans, this study brings several proposals and strategies that seek to transform Lezha into a resilient city that adapts to the state of post-pandemic cities. The proposals are divided into three categories that firstly affect Infrastructure and Services, secondly biodiversity and the environment and finally urban development and housing. These proposals are divided into two parts, since it was attempted to contain the comments or suggestions that were received from the meetings with the local actors.
This issue opens with a foreword by Prof. Besnik Aliaj and Prof. Sotir Dhamo analyzing through a descriptive and analytical-critical reflection a series of proposals made by the participants of the research workshop between Ferrara and Polis. The innovative character of this issue is immediately distinguished by the analysis of the sustainability of Albanian settlements and of the main administrative actors made by Dr. Rudina Toto. The author analyzes the concept of sustainability and resilience at a theoretical level, focusing continuously on the local context. The interaction between the main actors to have a stable and resilient settlements is synthesized in the second scheme of Toto's essay. There it is clearly described how a resilient system works in relation to its goals. After the theoretical and practical framework has been laid out in the first two chapters, the same scheme is followed with the previous issue on the Region of Lezhe, where proposals for a sustainable region have been made. These proposals have been synthesized into intervention strategies in similar contexts with similar critical points. The proposals follow the same scheme, starting from those for infrastructure to those for the environment and ending with the proposals for dwelling and housing.
Lezha is a city that has its beginnings in 385 BC. The geographical position of the city, together with its surroundings, has made Lezha one of the most important commercial and military-military centers since ancient times. Considering how old it is as a city and how much development it has had over the years, we can say that construction in this city is quite developed. The last 10 years there is an explosion of high-rise buildings near the beach in Shëngjin and in the city of Lezha. C&D (construction and demolition) waste are waste generated during the construction time of various facilities and from the demolition of buildings for various reasons. So in Lezha city are present both type of waste. C&D waste materials typically include soils, concrete (which is going to be the material analyzed in this paper), bricks, glass, wood, plasterboard, asbestos, metals and plastics. In the amount of the waste the amount of concrete waste was also affected by the November 26 earthquake because many houses and mansions were damaged and remain non-functional and the only thing that could be done was to collapse. The fact that Lezha is a city with highly developed tourism in both sea, agro-cultural and mountain tourism has made the buildings increase in number or be rebuilt to meet the contemporary requirements of tourist needs. Also it is foreseen by the local institutions of Albania that by 2031 in the city of Lezha to generate 24219 tons per year of inert waste as a consequence of the increase of tourism and the predictions for the increase of the population. The problem with construction waste, especially concrete, is that although many years pass, the concrete is not degradable, it remains as it was produced and in the place of disposal. By not treating the waste properly many agricultural lands will be turned into landfills with construction waste, we will have an environmental impact and in protected areas, tourist and public spaces for citizens. This paper focus on an analysis of the C&D waste in the city of Lezha. The purpose of the study is to present the management situation of C&D waste in Lezha and based on this policy to provide some short-term and long-term solutions to solve the problems that come as a result of mismanagement of this waste. Using alternative management routes could result in both environmental and cost savings, also on a better development of tourisms.
The organization of rural settlements is an important measure to cope with rural decline and to improve the quality of life and rural attractions, tourism, assets, natural resources, etc. This study tries to analyze and present the relationship that these settlements have, what are their assets and values, and in what way they can be more connected and have permanent communication and access. Rural areas in the Lezhe region have experienced a rapid depopulation in the last 30 years, accompanied by rural-urban migration. This extraordinary transition has caused a series of negative consequences, requiring a reorganization of access and interaction of rural settlements, to increase their economic efficiency, promoting agrotourism and local production. In the continuation of the study, he takes into account the objectives of adaptability, compactness and local connection under the control of territorial limitations. The main goal of our work is to improve the infrastructure as an important tool in relation to the development of tourism and agro-tourism, taking into account the growth of the population of Lezha in the projection based on the data from INSTAT. The main ideas for improvement are based on expanding the information area of the "Rana e Hedhun" bicycle path; Connecting the most remote settlements with improved rural infrastructure and identifying natural areas that can be used for agricultural and tourist purposes.
During the year 2020-22, millions of people around the world had to quarantine, self-isolate, and apply physical and social distancing. Our lives, our family and work have drastically shifted into what many are increasingly calling the “new normal”. People work, study, shop and even get health advice remotely. Yet, not everyone enjoys suitable spaces for conducting virtual lives. While much of the public attention has been given to medical experts and government guidelines; de facto, it is clear that the way we have designed and planned so far our homes and cities has been shaping how we were facing the pandemic at an individual and social level. The web reports and scholar articles on the role of architecture and urban design and planning on the post- pandemic life and city are thriving daily. Indeed, there are so many fundamental questions to raise on the societal response in the post-pandemic city. Meantime, several strong earthquakes hit capital region of Albania leaving behind thousands of destroyed houses and tens of human victims. The incidence of flooding and fires has been doubled and tripled due to climate change. The global economic crisis and the logic of stabilocracy has worsened the situation. On the top of such general instability stay the events of last pandemic crisis and a desperate need for resilient actions.
This article is concerned with understanding the need for housing in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and suggesting alternatives to provide solutions for housing in a demanding post-pandemic society and a new lifestyle. Since this pandemic hit the world, the issues revealed tackled primarily general societal health, followed by social distancing, change of transportation concepts, and a new remote work model within the housing unit; putting into a tangible discussion, the overall quality of housing. An emergent need to re-address a new concept for housing, sustaining the actual socio- economic model of living, is frequently being discussed between academics alternating between provision for flexible internal spaces, innovative and resilient houses as well as re- adaptations. In this context of global societal changes, ‘The Housing Unit’, has been positioned under pressure to meet the extra needs of the inhabitants, like better indoor physical comfort and air quality, natural light and ventilation, wider spaces, and flexible interiors, needs which were previously addressed in the outdoor environment. Whiles the impact of the pandemic in regard to housing as the primary unit responsible for the overall quality of life imposes researchers and different professionals in design fields to attend to and forecast changes within the housing as the primary “nucleus” driving the general health and quality of life for the citizens; the situation challenged every component of the urban environment, including the uses of public space, public transportation and movement within the city, which already seeks to be redefined. This research is conducted during a two-week workshop, in the framework of the doctoral program in Architecture and Urban Planning, concerning the context Northern Albanian Region of Lezha, with the participation of the students: Rine Zogiani, Nicola Talamonti, Elena Verzella, Luca Lanzoni, Bianka Madhi,, Armela Lamaj. The results of the workshop, after a thorough investigation of existing housing typologies, the relation of public spaces with residential buildings, and other aspects like sustainability, through the objective of providing innovative housing solutions. generated variable models of housing in two main directions: a) adaptations of existing housing units; and b) new proposals for contemporary, post-pandemic housing. The proposals integrate the use of near public space and the incorporation of auto-sufficient buildings concepts.
Flooding is a cyclical environmental disturbance with implications on ecosystems structure and physical environment (White and Pickett, 1985). Risk management is an increasingly pressing issue within spatial planning that is perhaps the most effective approach to preventing the increase in flood risk through active controls on territorial transformations (Sayers et al., 2013; Meng et al., 2020). At the same time, the development of linear infrastructures is essential to ensure adequate accessibility to services, goods and facilities (Srinivasu and Rao, 2013). Since infrastructure works are territorial-scale interventions with a considerable potential on shaping spatial forms (Strang, 1996) and on directing environmental processes, including alterations on surface hydrology (Raiter et al., 2018) the integrated exploitation of these two implications would allow a widespread territorial intervention able to implement resilience against flood. As linear infrastructures developments are complex works in complex environments (Di Giulio, Emanueli, Lobosco, 2018) there is considerable uncertainty about timing and economic feasibility that arise from the management of public/private interests, the multiplicity of issues involved and the management of huge financial budgets. The aim of this contribution is to discern the limitations and potentials of a multidisciplinary strategy by following a 'research-by-design' approach for the development of a rail transport infrastructure in the Lezhë district in Albania with a specific focus on the integration of flood risk reduction design within infrastructure track layout planning. Through a radical rethinking of territories, this work increases territorial resilience and propose new hybrid ecosystems, making them simultaneously devoted both to functionalist engineering and ecological renovation.
Urban areas and living settlements are frequently nowadays at the center of modern conflicts or crisis. They all face somehow their own unique set of challenges of “post-conflict/crisis” nature - including situations like wars, pandemics, environmental crisis, social unrest, political instability, economic collapse, demographic decay, etc. Aliaj, Toto & Perna conclude that such crisis situation needs to face the “new normal”, that becomes soon the “new normal” that pushes for transformative shifts of society, and changes in ideologies or systems. This is a call to think beyond the “stable state” and the “stable normal” (Schon, Donald).
Albania is a strategic area in terms of tourism, because of its unspoiled beaches, cultural heritage, mountainous landscapes, connection with other countries, etc. Tourists suffer from the lack of smart infrastructure in Albania, which makes them face with traffic congestion during summer, in road segments towards beach areas. Lezha region is one of these Albanian attractions, among others, famous for the Shengjinbeach. Visiting it in summer is a real challenge, because of traffic congestion caused by insufficient road infrastructure, influx of visitors, lack of signaling, etc(Ora News, 2022). As long as, this concentration of tourism during the summer is associated with many natural, economic and social consequences, the issue of infrastructure should be addressed and improved. The improvement of physical infrastructure is an important and valuable tool related to the development of tourism(Lee et al, 2020). The chosen area for intervention is the segment from Shengjin to the main intersection at the entrance, which is considered also as ‘point of death’. Nowadays, technology facilitates our lives in many directions(Javaid et al, 2018), thanks to its unlimited components and it can be applied as well in road infrastructure.This paper aims to achieve these goals by using internet of things technology and different types of sensors based on it (speed sensors, IP CCTV cameras, smart traffic lights, digital signage, etc). Applying technology in this segment, provides an enhancement of Shengjin accessibility and developing more sustainable tourism in this area, contributing also to the reduction of accidents. In this way, we increase the efficiency of existing roads and improve their maintenance. Despite suggesting other mobility alternatives our proposal will convert the existing infrastructure into a better one, providing in this way a higher quality of tourism in this area and encouraging visitors to access Shengjin more often.
This publication is the result of a research project, within the framework of the National Research and Development Projects (PKKZH) for the period 2021-2023, co-financed by Polis University (U_POLIS) and the Agjencia Kombëtare e Kërkimit Shkencor dhe Inovacionit (AKKSHI) / National Agency for Scientific Research and Innovation. In the call opened by AKKSHI in March 2021, U_POLIS in cooperation with Co-PLAN - Institute for Habitat Development presented a research proposal with the title "Spatial Solution for the post Pandemic City: The Case of Lezha Region". This research proposal won the call made by AKKSHI and in this way it was funded as research by AKKSHI and by U_POLIS in cooperation with CO_PLAN. According to the chrono-program, the two-year project started in October 2021 and ends in September 2023, even though the staff involved in this project had been working on this topic for months since the beginning of the pandemic problem. So this publication is the product of an almost three-year research on the state of settlements after the global crisis caused by the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic that had its beginnings at the end of 2019 in China and later spread throughout the planet. The working group of this project was directed by Prof. Besnik Aliaj, Rector of U_POLIS, and consists of Dr. Llazar Kumaraku, Dr. Skender Luarasi, Dr. Endri Duro as members of U_POLIS and Dr. Rudina Toto and Dr*. Rodion Gjoka from CO-PLAN. The project began with preliminary studies of the condition of the settlements affected by the pandemic and later was detailed in specific studies by international scientific researchers who are part of the joint International Doctorate in Architecture and Urban Planning (IDAUP) that U_POLIS organizes in collaboration with the University of Ferrara in Italy (UNIFE). In this research project, beyond the working group, more than twenty other young researchers at different academic levels gave a scientific contribution via a scientific paper in this volume.
Uncertainty from natural hazards and disaster risks is high in Albania. Located in the western part of the Balkan, Albania has faced over the years several disaster events and the future, especially in the light of climate change, does not hold any positive news. Multiple hazards are present over the territory and extend beyond the administrative boundaries, revealing the need for an integrated local - to national – to regional approach to resilience building, as a response to uncertainties. The following paper analyses the role and challenges of the local governments, from and institutional perspective, for enabling local resilience. Local resilience has social, institutional, governance, economic, ecological and territorial dimensions. This paper addresses local ecological and territorial resilience.
This paper is oriented and is part of the research on the discovery, to discover and create a revitalization of Lezha which has been left in oblivion. Lezha is a city with historical and cultural values which have many years remained unrestored. This paper will focus more on how these cultural monuments can be brought back to attention. The methodology used shows how through new methods we will be able to revitalize the city of Lezha. The objective is how a network of identification of these values will be created and their restoration without intervening without breaking the history, but preserving and developing this history. The aim is how the city of Lezha will connect these points as a cultural network and as monuments that need to be restored because over the years nothing has been done about them. The restoration will be done after they are well analyzed where they have problems and how they should be repaired. These monuments play an important role in the transfer of cultural identity. When monuments or heritage buildings are degraded, damaged, or physically destroyed; could not function better; or require new design components, careful preservation is a key, ensuring that the original dignity of a structure is preserved. As a result, heritage is a concept that covers many areas, whether cultural or community, but is also related to the community. Especially in the city of Lezha, to make various interventions, there must be a well-thought-out plan of what will be restored and what will not. if it will be only historic dwellings which have been damaged or along with them and monuments. When we decide to restore the apartment, we will need to interact with the community.
Cultural heritage is an inestimable asset that must be protected, conserved, and valued correctly throughout time. The documenting of built cultural assets is one of the scientific community's major especially in the contemporary age. The goal of this paper is to investigate the evolution process of the Scanderbeg Memorial in Lezha using a critical methodology that includes both integrated digital survey modeling and historical evolution as a process of knowledge and valorization of cultural heritage in order to trace the site's lost sacred space.
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