Mayor Veliaj

After two and a half decades of struggling to become a self-sufficient European metropolis, the time is high to empower our city over its fate and identity.

Policy makers, donors, investors and other concerned actors will come together this January in a joint initiative, which focuses beyond flagging gaps to filling them in with innovative ideas for investments and interventions that revive the city.

We are proud to host the GO Tirana Smart City Conference 2016-2026, the melting pot of economic, social, urban and environmental innovation, organized in close cooperation with UNDP Albania.

This conference will holistically tackle challenges upon five main pillars:

Mobility – Moving Freely
Tirana residents…our families, our youngsters and our elderly need to be safe and comfortable travelling across the city. Our professionals need to commute without stress and through a dignifying transportation system. Finding a solution to safe and interconnected transportation systems; clean and often non-motorized options; relevant and real-time information to improve commuting efficiency, saving costs and reducing CO2 emissions are just some of our major difficulties.

Society – Channeling talent and energy of the citizens
The secret charm of our city is its people – the hardworking, aspiring and creative ones who have achieved so much, through so little in life. In fact, what we see as Tirana today is not much a deed of politics, as it is of society. Therefore, it is our prerogative to find ways to channel the talent and energy of our citizens. We are striving to provide better educational spaces with a healthier, more secure and comfortable setting for our children and youth, which encourage social participation and shape the residents of the future.

Living – The City to Live In
A smart city is one that focuses on improving the life of its people, while maintaining economic growth and social equity. The main criterion that defines a good city is the desire of its residents to live, work and spend time in. A great city is one which fulfills the basic needs of its citizens but at the same time keeps its rediscovering itself, by being always attractive and appealing. Quality of life in a city is highly dependent on the quality of health services, on safety, accessibility but also on other factors like preservation of history, tradition and continuous development of culture. We need to build a city which is livable for our children and encourages people to live independently longer.

Economy – Moving Forward
An empowered city can only come as an effect of empowered individuals, who can think beyond daily sustenance. A smart city can be nothing less than a desirable place to live, work and spend time in. Therefore, a major focus will be on making this happen for every household by providing ideas that can best address these barriers to an inclusive community. Concerns that influence the quality of life in the region include culture, health, safety and tourist attraction, resource consumption / energy efficiency. Together we might find the answer to how to ensure that our city remains livable for children and how to effectively address people living independently for longer.

Rural Life – Hidden Treasure
While big city lights embody the aspirations of a nation, it is the small country farms, that cater to its wellbeing. For development to be made sustainable, there needs to be a balance between modernization and identity, importing values but also exporting them, developing the urban while cherishing the rural. The smart rural life focuses on improving the local economic base and developing the natural resources, promoting citizenship and entrepreneurship, tourism promotion and territory identity preservation.

All this is easily said, but only achieved through significant and coordinated efforts. Therefore, we look forward to a great discussion on how we can make this happen for our community and the generations to come.


Erion Veliaj
Mayor of Tirana