Another Park Becomes Concrete, Veliaj Changes Urban Planning in Yzberisht

The Municipality of Tirana wants to turn a public space in Yzberisht, which was intended to be a public park, into a residential complex. Because of this change in the urban plan of Tirana, residents of the area are asking the National Territorial Council to not approve the municipality’s plan.

Through a petition, the residents state that the area of Yzberisht, one of the highest density areas in the city, still has no public park or square, but yet the municipality of Tirana has decided to build high-rise buildings, up to ten floors, in a free space which could have served as a recreational space.

We were hoping that according to the 2013 plan of Kashar’s municipality, the space would turn into a urban park, or at least a square, but according to the 2016 plan of the municipality of Tirana this will turn into a construction site for residential buildings, which has to be discussed by your council. The said area is around 70,000 sq. m. with a space for construction around 20,000 sq.m.

Urban plan for Yzberisht from 2013.
Urban plan for Yzberisht in 2016. The same plot destined for an urban park now turns into a construction site.

The citizens state that Mayor Erion Veliaj promised a playground, but just a single in the whole area where other buildings are intended to be constructed soon is not sufficient.

In February 2017, Mayor Veliaj shared with his followers in social media news about the new playground of Yzberisht. He accompanied the photostaken during the construction with these words:

Where is this? In the Blloku area? No, my friends, this is in Yzberisht! Because for us, people of Tirana, children are equally precious in the center as they are in the suburbs.

But it seems that the playground is being used by Mayor Veliaj as a facade to cover up the plans for building high-rising residential buildings in an area which before was intended for a park.

It seems that this has become a technique that Veliaj has mastered very well. A few days ago, in the center of Tirana, where currently the highly anticipated pedestrian area on Skënderbeg Square promised by Mayor Veliaj is being built, the construction of a 130 m. tower behind Tirana International Hotel was approved.

Regardless his daily public appearances in television, Mayor Veliaj still has not made any public statement about the construction of the tower.
Even in the case of Yzberisht, Veliaj only publicizes the playground, forgetting to mention that the whole area will turn into a construction site and hundreds of more people will live there.