“100 LAKES – Tirana & Rethinking Water-land”

March 1st, 2013

“100 LAKES – Tirana & Rethinking Water-land” workshop

The collaboration for the "100 Lakes-Tirana" project, between Master of Science students in Urbanism and Strategic Planning (MaUSP) in KUL of Leuven Architecture Department students of EPOKA university, started through an intensive 7 day Workshop [February 23 - March1, 2013].

During this one-week workshop: city visits, discussions and brainstorming sessions, consultations with local experts and field trips took place.

As stated, this project regards a strategic study on urban scale for the broader area of Tirana, the coastal Durrës (where the main port is located) and Kruje (where the airport is located). The existence of a large number of artificial lakes spread over the broader area around the capital, remnants of a communist-time project, is taken as a trigger to set up a study of the area as a whole. The study is aiming at scenarios for the future development of the area on different levels, with an underlying aim of a long term, positive vision.

The students of KUL and EPOKA, working on the "100 Lakes Project" were well-received by the Rector of EPOKA university, Prof. Dr. Remzi Altin, the Head of the Department, etc.

Prof. Agim Selenica, expert in Hydrology,Water Resources Management,Advance Hydrology,Hydro power Economy,Industrial Water Management and reuse, gave a speech and had a discussion with the students on the water resources in Albania, focusing on the reservoirs in Tirana-Durres area.

Lorenc Cala GIS expert of Topocentric, briefly assisted the team on the analysis of GIS data available on the region of DURANA.

Urim Hoxha, Director of Strategical Project at Tirana Municipality, gave a brief overview on the important projects that Tirana Municipality is envision to implement, such as the Extension of the Boulevard, an idea project developed throgh an international competition, won by Grimshaw.

The Team of "100 Lakes" visited several Artificial Lakes/Reservoirs, as well as specific sites in both Tirana and Durrës city [such as Kombinati Area, Dajti Mountain, Grand Lake Park, Former Keneta area in Durres, the waterfront, etc) during 3day intensive field trips and documentations. Interviews were conducted in place, to people who had (technical) knowledge on the reservoirs.

Some reservoirs/Lakes that were visited are: Ujembledhesi i Paskuqanit, Rezervuari i Kasharit dhe i Kus-Kasharit, Ujembledhesi / Liqeni i Rrubjekes, Liqeni i Farkes, Liqeni i Tiranes, Reservuari i Keshit dhe i Shetelit (Hardhishte), Liqeni i Duresit (Gjuzaj, Dedaj, Vargje Troplini),zona e Kenetes ne Durres, etj.

A second meeting [Midterm Review, workshop and field trip] to take place in Tirana is planned in mid April, 2013.

The Final Reviews, June 2013, will be in the format of a common presentation of both KUL & Epoka University students.

The review venue is still tbc (probably to take place in Leuven/Belgium, or Venice/Italy as member of EMU programme). Depending on the possibilities, a broader communication of the result (small publication, public presentation on location etc) will be sought. Both teams will conduct studios with complementary themes, approaching from bottom-up and top-down perspectives, thus EPOKA Team to focus on "Rethinking Water-Land:[Kus]Kashar Lakeside settlement" project and KUL team to develop/envision Sustainable development strategies for DURANA, respectively.