Colors in Tirana (Albania)

Colorful facades to regenerate the city.

“When the eyes of the world last looked at Tirana (Albania) during the Kosovo refugee crisis in 1999, the city had reached its nadir.

A decade of anarchic capitalism had followed 50 years of Stalinism and the population had swollen from 200,000 to nearer 800,000 with no sewage system or rubbish collection.”

Thus, Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana (Albania), launched a series of measures that made an urban regeneration project to make visible to the public that “change was possible.” One of these measures was a painting city project:

“To this end he has treated the bare exterior of the city’s grey buildings as a canvas to paint a multi-coloured signal of what is to come.

The facades in the city centre are now a riot of colour more reminiscent of a pop art painting than an urban restoration project.

But not everyone is pleased by the sometimes garish results and his sceptics dismiss the urban revival as “boulevardisation” to impress the international community.”

(via bbc news)

However, Tirana showed remarkable changes in its urban life. That was “manifested, for example, by the opening of numerous cafes frequented by young people.

The wider cultural and commercial offer, as well as the increasing diversity of uses and users seem to have followed the changes of the city. “

(via Juan Freire

(photo: tpierce)