Development of the General Local Plan of Tirana Municipality
To illustrate how public participation can improve environmental decision making, the CO-SEED team gathered case studies from around the world. The case study below is part of our on-going series sharing these examples:
Transparent and inclusive decision making leads to solutions accepted and supported by a wider group of stakeholders.
The General Local Plan prepared for the Municipality of Tirana legally had to undergo a SEA. Information about this process was made available online (Municipality website and SEA developer’s website), on TV channels, and in newspapers. The SEA was also shared by mail with environmental NGOs.
The initial date of the public hearing was moved to a later date in order to allow sufficient time for interested parties to read all the relevant documents (as these were distributed as late as one day before the date of the hearing). When the public hearing took place, it was attended by numerous stakeholders including: environmental NGOs, independent environmental experts, citizens of Tirana, students, journalists, business sector, as well as official representatives of the municipality and relevant ministries. In addition to providing comments during the public hearing, the stakeholders also shared their feedback in writing to the consultant responsible for the preparation of SEA.
This public participation process led to reshaping of the development plan by ensuring that green areas and green corridors, public transportation, new areas of controlled development, and upgrades of the architectural heritage of the city were taken into consideration.