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Opinion / Editorial

Tirana in its 104th Anniversary

Tirana in its 104th Anniversary

Today, in its 104th year, Tirana has over 900,000 inhabitants. In 2022, our Tirana was the European Youth Capital, realizing over a thousand cultural and artistic activities that year, or almost three such a day. Last year Tirana became the European Capital of Sports, where on May 25, 2023, it hosted 22 thousand Italian and Dutch fans for the final of the Conference League, the third largest European football competition, after the Champions Cup and the League of Nations . This year, our capital is the center that directs all the promising and growing municipalities of the Western Balkans, to promote their development projects, through the presidency of the network of the most municipalities of the Balkans, called "B-40", preparing them these municipalities and their communities for integration into the European Union. In the last 10 years, our Tirana has grown by about 330 thousand citizens, or over 50 percent. The average value of a square meter apartment or shop in the capital today is one thousand and 250 euros, at a time when 10 years ago it was only 680 euros.

From 2014 to now, this average price has doubled. Citizens today have their apartments in their hands, with a value twice as large as in 2014, thanks to the investments of the capital's municipality and the concentration of economic activity in Tirana. The capital represents the only city in Albania, which has grown continuously in the last 9 years (Saranda, Vlora and Durrës have grown only in the last 5 years). Tirana is increasing at an average rate of 15-16 thousand inhabitants per year. More than 60 percent of the country's economy pulses in the capital and about 63 percent of Albania's state and private funds circulate. Out of 102 thousand active enterprises registered throughout the country, about 68 thousand operate in Tirana. The capital grows every day with new constructions. In relation to its area, our capital has the highest rate of addition of new residential and business areas, at the level of the capitals of the region. In Europe, it ranks third with the highest pace of construction, in relation to the area. During 2023, the number of foreign visitors to the capital increased by 28 percent, compared to the exceptional year 2022. Such an increase in foreign visitors in one year has not been experienced by any other capital in Europe. In today's Tirana, history coexists with modernity, cultural heritage with new directions of urban development. In the capital, you can find cultural, artistic, historical and nature tourism, digital and dental nomads, or health tourism as a whole.

In recent years, diverse tourism has transformed Tirana into an undeniable and strong attraction for local and foreign visitors. Even now, in cold February, the streets of the capital are full of foreign visitors, mainly Italians and Spaniards. On the occasion of the 104th anniversary of the declaration of Tirana as the capital in the distant year 1920, the municipality of the capital organized numerous activities with music, sports and entertainment areas for all age groups on the model street of Tirana, "Myslym Shyri" street. The municipality is aiming to identify a main street-artery of the city in every district of the capital, and the weekend will be car-free for this street, full of life and the joy brought by all the children and the sports and artistic activities on it. After the repair of the sidewalks and asphalt of the "Myslym Shyri" street, the Municipality of Tirana is also working on the rehabilitation of the facades of the buildings on this street.

All other main roads will suffer the same "fate", it is enough for the citizens to apply to the Community Fund, to benefit from financial assistance, to make their road and community life more beautiful and modern. The 104th anniversary of the declaration of Tirana as the capital, finds this great and pulsating city in its best days. The municipality has been able to create 12 mini centers in the most populated areas, which function as 12 mini-cities within the capital. "Mini-cities" are called big cities inside the capital. In 2025, our Tirana will be the Mediterranean Capital of Culture and Dialogue. With the high rate at which our capital increases in inhabitants and buildings, within the next 2-3 years, more than half of the country will live in Tirana, in the city that does not sleep, but works and grows.