The second day of Right2theCity2 Albania started with a short lecture by public rights activist Ervin Goci. The lecturer of the University of Tirana praised the young professionals for their commitment to this Workshop, where the basis is on site research. Thus, they will become aware of what is happening in the city and will be able to recognize what Jane Jacobs calls ‘citizen science’, meaning the sensitivity and instinct to the city.
In order to make these calls to action more tangible to students, as citizens, and then as professionals, the activist spoke with such enthusiasm and passion about the 3 resistances in which he was engaged in. Among these is the National Theatre, a case which Goci brought in the context of it being the right over a space and public property. “Citizens need to be aware of their sense of belonging, to know what they belong to, because the city is everyone’s right, it is a collective right,” he said.
Participants then surveyed and identified the various streets and areas of Shkodra, chosen by them as areas that need a well-thought-out planning, to enable people to interact more with the city and to feel part of it. Serving this purpose, the participants, divided into small groups, talked directly with the citizens, who introduced them to the daily problems, such as the lack of taps and public toilets, cleanliness, occupation of streets by cars and sidewalks by vendors, lanes and bicycles, large number of stray dogs on the street, etc.
With this data collected in the field, the participants of the Workshop Right2theCity2 Albania, some of whom are members of EASA, met in the afternoon with their facilitators on the Workshop.
The brainstorming session was a sharing and interaction of ideas on the collected information in the field – the community is aware of what they need, what they would like to have… Their involvement in the planning process is a novelty in this methodology and in the approach of these young architects during the workshop. They understand that working with the community is essential to revitalization and urban interventions in the city – generations of young urban planners and architects must make this approach part of their work and mentality.
In the end they will compile all these results in a “manual”, which will be schematic and simple to read by citizens, decision makers and professionals. All these stakeholders must interact in harmony together, in order to focus on “community sense of belonging”.