Europe’s first masterplan designed in response to post-coronavirus needs has been revealed, as cities begin to incorporate pandemics as part of the urban planning problem.
Publicly-owned land, located along the northern border of Albania’s capital form a large urban regeneration project designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri in conjunction with SON-Group.
The masterplan aims to accommodate 12,000 people, with the concept spanning a 29-hectare “green neighbourhood”.
Tirana, has traditionally been known for its colourful Ottoman Soviet-era architecture, with the country transitioning to a free market economy in the early 1990s.
Tirana mayor Erion Veliaj, elected in 2015, led a campaign to transform the city as a more walkable and less car-dependent city.
The Stefano Boeri design firm describes the concept as a technology equipped Smart City, able to “guarantee the safeguards and health safety” requirements to face pandemic emergencies.
The masterplan was developed as one of three masterplans commissioned by the city.
The studio describes the Tirana Riverside masterplan as “a zero-emission polycentric neighbourhood”, with main public services centred around three central locations within walking distance.
“Tirana Riverside offers new housing solutions to residents,” the firm said.
“[It] develops along a green and innovative central spine dedicated to soft mobility, on which commercial ground floors, access to residential buildings, sports and working spaces and numerous outdoor areas insist and emphasise total accessibility to all areas of the neighbourhood.”
The masterplan includes a school, university with building guidelines supportive of Albanian small and medium-sized businesses.
The studio says a main component of the masterplan is public greenery, incorporating 18 hectares of green space, divided into public gardens, and five kilometres of cycle paths.
Tirana is Albania’s largest city, and capital, located in the western centre of the country, with a population of more than 800,000.