Strengthening Cooperation for Spatial Planning – A Case Study on Participatory Planning in Albania
Annual Review of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, I, 2019, 27-41
Fiona Imami, Kejt Dhrami
The Albanian context still faces challenges on promoting participatory democracy in decision-making in all governmental levels. The increased activity in territorial planning over the last years, evidenced from the changes in legislation and preparation of plans at national and local level, has brought to discussion the challenges of establishing and reinforcing cooperation and participatory approaches. This article, aims to discuss participatory planning in the Albanian context, as a model for territorial cooperation through its achievements, failures and challenges. Using as a broad conceptual framework, the Arnstein Ladder of Citizen Participation (1969), the paper analyses two crucial time-frames of the Albanian planning system; a) the period 1995-2006 where bottom-up approaches were developed as a response to the institutional milieu; and b) the post 20015 period, where participation was institutionalized and structured in a multi-layered way.
The research explores the context through an historical perspective, by using the Arnstein ladder as a conceptual framework in order to generate insights and policy orientation for improving and enhancing participation in spatial planning. This contributes to the overall discussion on collaboration and stakeholders’ inclusion in decision-making, which constitute the core of participatory planning.