By Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Tirana Ranks Among Most Polluted Cities in the World

Tirana has been ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the world, ranking 38th out of 294 entries.

The Numbeo Pollution Index creates a yearly list of polluted cities across the world, based on the perceptions of visitors to those countries that then fill our surveys on the Numbeo site. Visitors are asked to answer a number of questions and to rate their experiences on a scale ranging from -2 (strongly negative) to +2 (strongly positive). Statistics and data is also included from organisations such as the World Health Organisation and other reputable institutions.

2019’s results saw Tirana rise 16 places up the list, signifying that its problem with pollution has got significantly worse, not better when compared with 2018.

The only other city in South Europe to surpass Tirana in terms of pollution was Tetovo, Macedonia which ranks as number two in the world, just behind Accra, Ghana. Tirana is considered more polluted than Bangalore, India, Shanghai, china, Alexandria, Egypt, and Naples, Italy.

Numbeo considers air pollution as the number one determining factor, followed by water pollution and each country is assigned a score out of a possible 100, with 100 being the highest level of pollution possible. Tirana scores 82.83, exhibiting only a marginal difference between Tetovo with its score of 96.85. The least polluted cities on the list include Reykjavik, Iceland (14.73), Canberra, Australia (13.95), and Helsinki, Finland (13.01).

Global cities such as New York, and London rank in the mid 50’s, despite being home to tens of millions of citizens.

Tirana’s poor result comes as no surprise to many who are sick of conditions pertaining to different forms of pollution in the capital. Tirana Municipality’s refusal to participate in any kind of recycling programme means that most of the city’s waste is burnt, churning unacceptable levels of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Substandard public transport and poor urban planning has resulted in a situation where thousands spend most of their day stuck in traffic, refusing to ditch their cars for more environmentally friendly or efficient methods, because none exist.

Meanwhile, Mayor Erion Veliaj continues to present himself as a “green” politician despite worsening conditions for the citizens of his jurisdiction.