Documenting initiatives on urban transformation in South-East Europe

Florina Jerliu1 and Bujar Bajçinovci 1, *

1 Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Prishtina, Kosovo

* Corresponding author

Abstract

Rapid transformation of cities and urban spaces in South-East Europe (SEE) since 1990s is closely related to the common experience of post-socialist and/or post-war challenges in the region. Among pressing issues identified as a common challenge in the region is the trend of self-regulation or unchecked urban development, which contrasts the pre-1990s conventional central planning and development format. This has drawn the attention of a wider Europe, which resulted in a number of initiatives, both governmental and nongovernmental, been created to jointly initiate regional projects that aim at developing urban solutions. The emerging criticism developed by such initiatives has played and important role in raising the awareness about the complexity and the need to address the SEE context within the context of Europe as a whole. This paper introduces the nature of urban transformation in SEE through the example of capital cities; it further documents commonly identified urban development challenges by two regional initiatives, NALAS and Archis SEE Network, from the perspective of authors, the first being a member in both networks. Results suggest that the way forward is to foster national legal frameworks in SEE by taking into account the contextual inputs for urban interventions, in terms of both urban policy and case study projects, developed through regional and international cooperation.

Keywords: South East Europe, regional initiatives, urban transformation, self-regulation, unchecked development, urban intervention

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