Polis_University in collaboration with Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development and the Tirana Municipality are organizing the First TIRANA ARCHITECTURE WEEK. In the frame of this event will be realized a series of activities, exhibitions, urban actions, workshop and a 4 days conference on Re-appropriation of the city. In the frame of the program of conferences, Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development in collaboration with POLIS University, EXPEDITIO and Kor-CSD launches the Regional conference on the transformation of City Squares, as one of the key events of the Tirana Architecture Week. RCSBC_c shall take place in Tirana, October 12, at the premises of POLIS University. The theme of the RCSBC_c is “The transformation of City Squares into new vibrant community places”. Balkan cities are at the focus of the conference’s theme with particular attention to the involved cities in the project, Tirana, Durrës, Kotor and Skopje; looking forward to identify their position in the international arena.
Cities have always been a crucial moment in civilization and creative development. Contemporary cities are facing enormous changes and challenges. Over half the world’s population already lives in cities whose now becoming megalopolis, with districts as large as entire cities. There are new movements of people from “centers” to the immediate suburbs of the cities to seek new standards of living in a “human dimension”. This human dimension seems to be precisely one of the points on which contemporary cities are questioning themselves, and in this framework city squares are a central element in the discussion, more precisely, we could say, the re-appropriation of squares, as a moment of metaphorical representation of the unique identity of the city; as a moment of expression of discomfort or a need for the population. In a globalized world the physical square, cannot yet be replaced by “virtual square” offered by the web. We are thus confronted with the need to rethink the contemporary square using creatively, empowerment practices, and questioning what are the tools and facilities that professionals have to offer to citizens to enable them to interact in the square giving back information, gestures and creativity to the entire community. During the two years of activities of the project, Revival of City Squares in Balkan Cities, artists and professionals made, performances, workshops and round tables on the today situation of the squares in 4 cities of the Balkans, Tirana and Durrës (Albania), Kotor (in Montenegro) and Skopje (in Macedonia) trying to propose, especially through art and active citizens participation, a possible creative development of city squares in the context of the challenges that contemporary cities are facing.
The conference aims is to share with the audience the results of the activities made during those two years of the project and to support a fertile debate on how to define city squares, as a fundamental element in the re-thinking of contemporary cities. The debate should disclose reasons behind the facts and bring innovative knowledge and tools for transforming city squares into attractive places for communities. The conference will explore arts-based approaches to public engagement and animation of public space by bringing together interdisciplinary researchers, practitioners, and students to share comparative experiences, traditions, and insights. During the conference we will also focus on how to catalyze and support the participation of citizens for improving the sustainability of their local environment through artistic practices and approaches.
In the Conference we encourage the participation of Architects, urban planners, designers, artists are invited to share their experiences, their knowledge and inspiration in the endeavour towards the conception of City Squares as a new vibrant centre for people and contemporary cities.
More information about the Tirana Architecture Week you can find on the