Land Development in Albania – Challenges and Innovations
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Annual Review of Territorial Governance in Albania, I, 2018, Page 55-68
Rudina Toto, Ledio Allkja
The evolution of land development in Albania has gone through several important stages since the fall of the totalitarian regime in the beginning of the 1990s. The legal framework and the instruments used for managing land development have been significantly expanded and enriched, including the introduction of innovative financial instruments, which allow for land value capture in the public interest. However, the practice of land development and management remains incomplete, hidden, and driven by financial interests, which do not aim to produce public benefits. In most cases, land development is implemented by entrepreneurs aiming at profit maximization, whereas the public receives little or no benefit. This article analyses the evolution of land development in Albania in legal, institutional, and practical terms, focusing on challenges experienced so far and on possible means for innovation. The purpose of the latter is to establish practices that: prove to be applicable in the Albanian context; are understood and widely accepted by all of the interested stakeholders; provide socio-economic results; are transparent; respect actors’ development rights; and, most importantly, provide public benefits, hence moving beyond limited stakeholders’ interests. In this regard, this article shares (among others) the experience of the application of the Quadruple Helix (QH) as a platform for innovation in land development and provides recommendations on how to improve land development processes. The practice of the QH has been described by the authors in two cases of land development in the municipalities of Fier and Tirana.