Aspects of the urban development of Tirana: 1820-1939
City planning -- Albania -- Tirana Cities and towns -- Albania -- Growth Urbanization -- Albania -- Tirana Πολεοδομία -- Αλβανία -- Τίρανα Πόλεις και κωμοπόλεις -- Αλβανία -- Ανάπτυξη Αστικοποίηση -- Αλβανία -- Τίρανα
The feudal anarchy particularly created during the XVIIIth century and through the 30s of the XIXth century, had considerably weakened the administrative and political power of Sultan in Albania. Instead of existing sandjaks, the inherited possessions of local feudals, pashalics were created. Until the 30s of the XIXth century, the administrative domination of the country was transferred onto the hands of large Albanian feudal families. This also happened in Tirana. For a long period of time, Tirana was an arena of fighting between two large feudal families, the Bargjin, the early possessors of this region, and Toptani, the possessors of Kruja. Finally Tirana fell into the hands of the Toptani family, who ruled the city until the beginning of the XXth century. XIXth century Tirana made a very friendly, prosperous and clean impression on the Western travellers. According to Hahn in 1854 Tirana numbered 2000 houses, all but 100 of which were inhabited by Muslims. When Albania won independence in 1912, almost nothing changed in the administrative structure of the country. During the World War I, Tirana was occupied by Austrian troops and governed by the Military Administration with headquarter in Shkodra. According to the Population Census of 1918 Tirana had approximately 10.000 inhabitants.The proclamation of Tirana as the capital of Albania in 1920, was a memorable political, historical and administrative event and played a decisive role in the further development of the city. Tirana, which until then had preserved its typical oriental street pal, covering an area of 1 by 1.5 km began to change rapidly. The demands for the construction of social amenities and administration buildings increased. In 1922, cemeteries that had been up to this year near the mosques were transferred outside the city. In their place were created several public gardens. The 1920s and 1930s are the years when many efforts were made to westernize the city, to improve the transportation system and urban infrastructure. The aim of this paper is to analyze the ways in which the city of Tirana was ruled during the XIXth and the first half of the XXth century. The paper will be focused on the transition to modern administrative structures that happened in 1920s. A great importance is given to the analyses of the developments in Tirana after the proclamation as the capital city of Albania. The modernization of the urban government and urban space, which happened as a result of different city planning presented by Austrian and Italian architects in 1923, 1926, 1928 and 1931, will also be presented.
Bibliography: p. 9
Paper presented at Seventh International Conference on Urban History: European City in Comparative Perspective, Panteion University, Athens - Piraeus, Greece, 27-30 October 2004, Session: Eastern Mediterranean Cities compared: Technical networks, town planning and municipal institutions (Greece, the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire) (1820-1925)