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1. Town planning and Archaeology only an apparent conflict
The need for a Shared Plan can not but come from an in-depth knowledge of the territory that from an analyse based on common targets, together with other fields, identifies the variables on which to build the Plan.
In this process the archaeological aspects represent an enrichment to knowledge; it adds non visible elements which can contribute towards sustaining decisions which are sometimes difficult to take, in a field where more and more often the interests of few prevails over those of the masses.
As a matter of fact, this sensibility is often in conflict with the objectives that are the at the basis of town planning,with political expectations and sometimes with those of citizens; so therefore, often, the issue is just simply ignored.
The conflict between the objectives of town planning and archaeology occurs when archaeology creates difficulties to a pragmatic town planning system; archaeology introduces elements and poses problems that force the town planners to see and study the territory differently. Even when town planning is oriented towards a more detailed approach (as in the Implementation or Recovery Plans), it refers to what is perceived on the surface, on various traces, on the ancient and more recent fabric of a city and on surroundings built by human activity, but these elements are often the results of past events; the reading of this process (when it can be read) can become a stimulus and a fundamental element to planning processes.
In many cases, the "hidden city" can provide key elements in order to observe the fabric of a heterogeneous city; just think of modern Pompeii which, in a particularly deteriorated urban context, presents undeniable value to history.

Theater excavations, July 2006

The task of harmonising the union between town planning and archaeology has been carried out, until now, by the Sopraintendenze Archeologiche (Archaeological Authorities) who have, however, often had to intervene on the Plan after the main decisions had been taken, as controllers or, even worse, as censors of Plans which were laid down without keeping in mind archaeological values.
A correct dialogue between archaeology and town planning would put the said archaeological authorities into a new role and position: members who actually participate to all effects in the planning process, for a mutually decided on plans with other field members involved.
Therefore no longer as unique guardian and guarantor for the persistence of the archaeological asset against everyone and everything, but as part of a clear process of valorisation of the asset itself hence creating tools which allow its recovery and its use. The need for comparison with other components of the territory is vital.
One must bring into play one’s own exclusive "specific competence" in order to discuss and compare with the other professions involved bringing an enrichment to the concept of preservation hence allowing for expansion to the concerned fields; the concept of Archaeological Park brings into play not only the historical aspect but also factors that concern general memory, environment and landscape.
The preservation of an archaeological asset needs the support of the town planning system.
If we do not want to be limited only to the object itself we must also consider the surrounding areas.
Preservation must be extended to the sights, avoiding the introduction of new elements that would create obstacles and would limit its use, to the landscape intended as a recognized unitary entity, as well as to the infrastructural system which concerns the archaeological asset, especially when it is intended as a Park.
Today more than ever, an Archaeological Park requires supporting infrastructures such as parking lots, spaces equipped for stops and relaxation, naturalistic itineraries (see Abbadia di Fiastra) to be used by many people, paying particular attention to the disabled.
With what tool can we work if not through a careful planning system adhered to by the people, by local authorities and by institutions in charge of preservation? The territory is never undifferentiated but is made up of a combination of relationships amongst its components which are at times evident and other times hidden.
It is up to the town planning system to highlight these interconnections and if, to the traditional aspects, we add the archaeological aspects the topic can only but be enriched.
Bruno Gabrielli, at the end of one of his contributions to the series Lezioni sulla Ricerca Applicata in Archeologia, held in December 1997 at the Certosa di Pontignano, pointed out how transparency was still lacking in the ways through which the preservation principle had to be implemented and solicited that the answers given each time should not be irreversible, at least not until a shared synthesis was reached.
Since then no significant steps in such a direction have been taken, confusion still reigns.
This also due to the fact that occasions for debate and comparison between the two topics have been rare, the effort to compare archaeology and town planning, apparently distant grounds, have been lacking not only in the academic but also in the professional world.
The attitude of the urban planner (as brought to notice by Gabrielli in his speech) to act as historian (or archaeologist) or, in the best of cases, acquiring, by trust, what the historian produces, without dialogue between the two subjects and without trying to synthesize or identify the shared aims, still prevails.
The integration of these two topics has never been attempted coherently, and in the so-called new generation plans for the archaeological aspects are reduced to mere splashes of colours whereas the other aspects have specific norms.
In the valorisation project of the Archaeological area of Hadrianopolis a multidisciplinary dialogue took place allowing all to agree.
Basically, in T.A.U. there was no sole direction of the town planner, there was no anxiety to produce a project that would give sure answers to the potential of a more or less vast territory within set times, there was no apprehension on behalf of the Public Entity to give prompt answers and guarantee the performance of power, and thus because the final aim was not a Plan that would necessarily set specific and fixed rules for the development of the territory. This, in reality, was the strength of this process, which unfortunately lasted only a short time but which saw delegates of many various disciplines sitting around a table on many occasions facing each other and seeking to comprehend the needs of all involved. There was no discipline that prevailed above any of the others but all together provided useful elements for the elaboration of the valorisation project for the area. (fig 4 and 5)
The same session also brought about cross examining "on site" carried out not only by the archaeologist but also by the architect, natural scientist, geologist with outstanding desire to understand each other and to find a common language to reach a synthesis which is not unchangeable but which takes note of the limits of a newly started task.
Through this text we would like to herald future developments, in virtue of relationships that go beyond the professional field establishing solid bonds of esteem and friendship.

Theater surveys, September 2003Theater surveys, July 2006

2. Archaeological Parks in the Italian normative
The creation of an Archaeological Park presents institutive difficulties even in our own country.
Herein we intend to give a synthetic description of the Italian situation and to provide normative information on which to build preservation schemes for the Archaeological Park proposed for Hadrianopolis.
The experience of the Italian Laws regarding the Archaeological Park and its consequent preservation measures is quite recent and has still not found an unequivocal definition shared by all the involved fields.
Archaeological interest, effective by law 431/85, can be the object of two competing types of preservation: the historicalartistic law 1089/39, which imposes a direct restriction on the single asset and, if necessary, indirect on the surrounding areas and the Landscaping law 1497/39, which safeguards the whole territory on which the asset is located.
With document number 12059 dated 15.11.1990, the Minister for Cultural and Environmental Heritage, indicated that an Archaeological Park must be intended as a protected area which, due to the presence of numerous monuments, can be defined as a space with a remarkable significance, as an Outdoor or Open Museum.
The Law number 394/91, General Policy Law on the protected area, Art. 1 foresees: "application of management and environmental restoration methods suited to create an integration amongst man and the natural surroundings, through the protection of anthropological, archaeological, historical and architectural values and through agro-silvo-pastoral and traditional activity".
Art. 9 of the Law 352/97, which gave the Superintendence of Pompeii a scientific, organizational, administrative and financial autonomy for what concerns the institutional activity, yet still has as object not Archaeological Park but rather "archaeological areas" of Pompeii goes to prove how, even in areas of universal interest and commonly recognised as remarkably great archaeological environmental units, the concept of Archaeological Park has not yet been acquired.
The T.U dated 29th October 1990, number 490 proposes to Article 94 the following definition: "an Archaeological Park is intended as a territorial ambient which is characterised by important archaeological evidence together with historical, environmental landscape values, equipped as an outdoor or open museum in order to permit its understanding through well thought out itineraries and educational grants".

2.1 The regional experience
One of the first attempts to define the concept of Archaeological Park is represented by the Regional Law number 11 dated 3/04/1990 of the BASILICATA REGION "Istituzione del Parco Archeologico Storico Naturale Delle Chiese Rupestri del Materano" mainly aimed at preservation, valorisation and management of the rupestrian habitat in the territories of Matera and Montescaglioso, placing particular emphasize on the natural botanical-vegetation and geologic-geomorphologic system where the archaeological asset is located.
Emphasis is also placed on the need to start educational activities and provide information to the people that live in these surroundings.
One of the most recent and interesting episodes with regards to this is seen in the Sicily Region’s attitude that with Law number 20 dated 3 November 2000, which has an unequivocal title "Establishment of the Archaeological Park and Landscaping of the "Valle dei Templi" (Valley of the Temples") of Agrigento.
Norms on the institution of the archaeological park system in Sicily" introduces for the first time in a clear manner the figure of a Juridical Authority the Archaeological Park. In Art. 20 the law defines: "… Putting into effect the provisions laid out in Article 1 of the regional law dated 1st August 1977, number. 80, the Sicilian Region establishes a system of archaeological parks for the safeguard, management, conservation and protection of the regional archaeological heritage and to consent better conditions of use for scientific, social, economical and tourism purposes" Said law, that is basically concerned with the entire regional territory, unfortunately never came into act due to, but not only, the difficulties in identifying and fencing off the varied areas of the Parks that had to undergo differential regime.
The Archaeological Park of Urbisaglie with its alternate phases and its not concluded procedure represents an example, obviously not a positive example, of how, not even for areas of undeniable archaeological value, it is not simple to reach an operative phase.
The experience of the archaeological area of Urbisaglia teaches us how with the instrument of only the restrictions in the PRG it is not easy to go on, and despite the efforts of a very active and proven University ofMacerata and of the Marche Region together with the site’s local authorities, we manage to plan little more than the excavation campaigns that involve many young people every year.
Until a delegated Institution is formalized and effective for the preservation and promotion of the archaeological heritage it will be more and more difficult to equip an area and to organize initiatives for the general public rather than just for the researchers and enthusiasts that continually offer their active support.

Necropolis and cemeterial area access roadNecropolis, uncovered burial place, marooned sepulchre cover

3. The Archaeological Park of Hadrianopolis
If the situation in Italy concerning the norms and concrete initiatives for the preservation and valorisation of the archaeological sites is not so encouraging, and if the laws that allow for and favour the establishing of Archaeological Parks shows flaws, the situation is definitely no better in Albania.
On a normative front a reference law does not exist. As it is not possible to demand such from our Consolidation Act on Cultural Heritage (passed only seven years ago) the normative appears rather inhomogeneous and bound to the single assets that are intended for preservation rather than the definition of a common reference frame.
A specific law exists for the near Historical City of Gjirokastra, another for the Butrinto site, yet another for Apollonia and for the assets considered of national interest.
For Hadrianopolis, considering that the site has been only partially explored and that the debate on its name has still not found all researchers agreeing, only the general safeguard of a 50 meter radius around the theatre exists.
What’s more it is in no way actually outlined onto the territory and only the researchers and officials of the Cultural Monuments Institute are aware. What’s worse, with regards to the Necropolis, not even this minimum protection radius exists and two years ago planning permission was given to build a house on top of the tombs.
Today, even wanting to, the means to start preservation measures are missing; if it is not possible to guarantee conservation to archaeological heritage how can we ever proceed to its valorisation and the diffusion of knowledge that would stop the destruction and damage that we have seen in recent years, above all in the Necropolis, from uncovered tombs used as dumping grounds for construction material to the systematic and brutal removal of the sarcophagus tops to plunder the tombs.
The huge importance of the archaeological findings recovered in the archaeological area of Hadrianopolis since the first excavation sessions to more recent ones and the extension of the unexcavated city, recently attested, makes it so that today, more finalizthan ever,we must identify a preservation system that is extended, on different intensity levels, to a wider territory considered as a true Archaeological Park.
Until we have clear data regarding the boundaries of the ancient city, covered in more than four meters of detritus, it will be necessary to keep precautionary measures on an approximate area to safeguard what has been buried over the centuries by the overflow of the Drino River.
The decision, discussed with archaeologist, has brought us to define three areas that will be subject to preservation norms with decreasing levels as we move away from the actual archaeological area,which will also focus on the unique landscape and the architectonical context of the area near the ancient city.
The distinctiveness of the site is that of having two archaeological areas well separated and far from each other: the city with its theatre visible from a distance with the emergency aspect of the alluvial plain of Drino and the Necropolis situated to the West, on the first hillsides, in the proximity of the inhabited city and its cemetery, in continuity with the past common to many sites even in nearby Greece.
The Necropolis is six hundred meters from the hypothesized perimeter of the ancient city and is separated from it by two streets: the new motorway which connects the nearby Greek border and the old road which followed the same path.
The new road, built between 2000 and 2002, is almost 4meters above the agricultural land and it is a very important connecting artery that from the border reaches Gjirokastra, the regional capital, but which will soon also reach Tepelene, approximately fifty km north of Sofratikë.
This is a very important infrastructure for the south of Albania and has the same dimensions and characteristics of our Italian highways.
In the stretch that divides the two archaeological areas there is also a canal built for the reclamation of the farm area in the valley of the east slopes of the Drino Basin.
This hydraulic engineering work intercepts the waters that back torrents conveying to valley, sometimes aggressively, to then discharge the waters into the Drino river-bed.

Theater view

The archaeological area is rutted by an orthogonal system of canals used for drainage, which have been interrupted in various parts by the new motorway network hence interrupting the draining of the meteoric water.
This situation has a negative effect on the whole area which is periodically flooded in cases of exceptional atmospheric events, by making the farm tracks unusable for both land cultivation as well as for access to the archaeological site.
The theatre itself is, for some time of the year, under water with the floor of the cavea up to 1.5 meters under water.

3.1 Proposed zoning
To make Hadrianopolis become an active Archaeological Park and not just an "outdoor or open Museum", isolated form the historical and architectonical context, attention should be paid to ensure the city is recognized as part of a unique and current reality, in particular by the inhabitants of the nearby modern centres.
The proposed zoning does not claim to be exhaustive, nor does it want to impose concrete restrictions, but should be seen as the basis on which to build, together with the inhabitants, the local authorities and the active associations, a shared normative, which the limited timings of an INTERREG does not permit.
The preservation hypotheses defined in the present project are graduated in the following zones.

Zone A1
Total preservation zone of the city of Hadrianopolis
This zone is made up of the area on which all the archaeological assets of the ancient city of Hadrianopolis are located, including the remains of the buildings which have come to light or those that must still be uncovered but have been identified by pilot research.
The above mentioned area must be considered as a total reserve for the preservation of the assets, as for the surrounding natural environment as a whole.
Within this zone, educational and scientific activity linked to the understanding and valorisation of the site from a historical-cultural and landscaping-environmental point of view must be guaranteed and promoted.
In said area the following are forbidden:

  • agricultural activity which foresees ploughing over 1,00 ml from the current rural plain;
  • excavation of any sort what so ever not linked to archaeological study or research;
  • cutting of the existing arboreal and frutescent species;
  • new buildings;
  • construction of any type, even if provisional,with the exception of those needed for archaeological activity or for tourist purposes;
  • sign posts of any type with the exception of those for tourist purposes.

The following may be carried out after authorization is granted by the competent bodies:

  • installation of network systems required for public use such as the aqueduct, sewers, gas, lighting and telephone on the condition that the system be an underground pipe system having a depth not superior to 2,00 ml below the current rural plain, and under the direct control of an expert from the Institute of Cultural Monuments.
  • Likewise, the systematization of the external parts of said systems, or of existing systems, for the bare minimum required,may be authorised on the condition that the necessary minimum be kept and that no damage to the monuments or to the surrounding environment is caused;
  • the connection of road or pedestrian track systems, limited to tourism purposes;
  • fencing in using wire net enclosures, on wooden poles fixed into the ground at a depths not superior to 50cm;
  • operations of hydro geological drainage for the area, the removal of meteoritic water and the recovery of the canal system on the conditions that these are carried out under the direct control of an expert from the Institute of Cultural Monuments;
  • excavation and archaeological research as well as restoration, systemization, preservation and valorisation of the archaeological site and monuments;
  • ploughing and excavation to plant arboreal and frutescent species with a depth not superior to 1,00 ml.

Zone A2
Total preservation zone of the Necropolis of Hadrianopolis
This zone is made up of the area on which the Necropolis of Hadrianopolis is located, to the west of the ancient city, in the proximity of the urban centre of Sofratikë and the remains that have come to light and those which are yet to be uncovered but have been identified by research carried out over recent years by the Institute of Cultural Monuments.
Said area must be considered as a total reserve for the preservation of said assets, as for the surrounding natural environment as a whole. Within this zone educational and scientific activity linked to the understanding and valorisation of the site from a historical- cultural and landscaping-environmental point of view must be guaranteed and promoted.
In said area the following are forbidden:

  • agricultural activity;
  • ploughing or excavation to plant arboreal and frutescent species;
  • excavation of any sort what so ever not linked to archaeological study or research;
  • lnew buildings;
  • implementing or changing the destined use of the existing buildings;
  • construction of any type, even if provisional,with the exception of those needed for archaeological activity;
  • road infrastructures or system installation for public use such as aqueduct, sewers, gas, street lighting and telephone;
  • sign posts of any type with the exception of those for tourism purposes.

The following may be carried out after authorization granted by the competent bodies:

  • installation of network systems required for public use such as lighting and telephone on the condition that they are carried out with overhead wiring and not underground pipes, and with no support pylons or poles near the area;
  • the connection of road or pedestrian track systems, only if above ground and not dug out, and limited to the purposes of tourism;
  • maintenance of the access road to the cemetery area without modifying or widening the existing track;
  • routine maintenance; restoration and recovery of the existing buildings;
  • fencing in using wire net enclosures, on wooden poles fixed into the ground at a depths not superior to 30cm;
  • excavation and archaeological research as well as restoration, systemization, preservation and valorisation of the archaeological site and monuments.


Site South viewOld driveway

Zone B
Zone of Preservation of the landscape-environmental and panoramic views
This zone is made up of the areas around zones A1 and A2 aimed at preserving the integrity and re-qualification of the existing environmental heritage, assuring an agreement between the Park and the surrounding urban zones, avoiding the building of visual barriers such as multi storey (level) buildings or infrastructural work having notable impact on the environment.
In said area the following are forbidden:

  • Any new construction with the exception of those for tourism purposes;
  • Any implementation to the existing buildings that exceeds the current heights;
  • Any land movement that would permanently modify the natural cycle of the soil;
  • Any cutting of arboreal and frutescent species which are of origin to the location;
  • Any construction of viaducts and over passes.

The following may be carried out through the mentioned conditions:

  • implementing of the buildings up to a maximum of 50% of the existing volume;
  • installing network systems for public use, both underground pipes and overhead wiring, for aqueducts, sewers, gas, lighting, telephone, as well as the systemization of the strictly necessary external parts of said systems or of existing systems on the condition that a distance of at least 50 mt from the limit of zone A1 be kept;
  • new road infrastructures on the condition that a distance of at least 150 mt from the limit of Zone A1 be kept;
  • hydro geological reclamation interventions, removal of meteoric water and canal system recovery on the condition that no modification or interruption to the pre-existing canal system be made;
  • infrastructures required for the traditional agricultural, selvi-culture, and pastoral activity on the condition that the volumetric measures are not altered;
  • well excavation for water retrieval, construction of water storage tanks, related system installation and canalization, excluding overhead systems, on the condition that they are positioned at least 100 mt. distant from the limit of Zones A1 e A2;
  • the enlargement of the cemetery zone, if possible towards the west, as long as it is done under the direct and constant control of an expert from the Institute of Culture Monuments.

Zone C1
Zone of architectonic re-qualification and tourist valorisation of the Urban centre of Sofrakitë
This zone is made up of modern urban Sofrakite and is situated on the first slopes of the mountain on the west side of the River Drino.
From where the centre is located a beautiful view onto the archaeological area of the ancient city of Hadrianopolis can be enjoyed,which could once again become an integral part of the territory and of the historical memory of the inhabitants.
The awareness and rediscovery of the bond between the ancient and the modern city goes through the preservation of this visual contact, interrupted through the centuries by the oblivion of the ancient city which was submerged by the overflows of Drino River and by the material deposited over its remains and ruins.
The settling typology of the inhabited centre of Sofratikë follows the same pattern as many other centres in the valley.
It is mainly characterized by single houses with a prevalent rectangular shape and with an orthogonal orientation to the slopes. Even the sizes are similar amongst the various buildings, having the wider walls between 10 and 12 ml wide whereas the smaller sides go between 8 and 10 ml wide, there are usually two floors yet never more than three.
The outside walls are mostly built in chalky stone blocks and the covering has a pavilion geometric shape, often in stone, even if recent interventions tend to substitute with red brick tiles or, even worse, with corrugated sheet-iron.
The windows are mainly all on the first floor, with a rectangular shape and in groups of three, sometimes four.
This typical building of the Gjirokastra Region can, if properly valorised, become an element of recall for tourism showing tradition and customs. Such buildings are also common in Greek villages, just across the border, in the whole Ioanninan area.
The road pattern is given by the orography of the territory and follows its lines.
An element of concern is the proximity of the Necropolis area as natural expansion would appear to tend towards the industrial zone, to the North, right through the preservation area.
The expansion of the other three sides would appear difficult given the steepness of the land to the west and to the south and for the limit because of the new highway to the east.
Such a tendency must be audited and managed closely. It could represent, if well planned, a great example of integration between ancient and modern or it could risk, if badly managed, jeopardizing not only the use of the archaeological asset but also its own persistence.
A terrible example of this is the recent construction of a building right in the middle of the sepulchral area. The fencing off of the property obstructs its use on over 1.500 square meters surface.
In said area it is hoped that a Recovery Plan will be redacted to safeguard its uniqueness, giving answers to understandable tension, through controlled volumetric increases, in line with the original typologies or through carefully planned expansion.
Until said redaction of a specific Recovery Plan, only restoration and general conservation of existing buildings is allowed as is the change of use of destination in order to create accommodation facilities and services for tourism.
New construction, implementation, changing heights and demolition of existent buildings is forbidden.

Zone C2
Zone of architectonic re-qualification of the industrial zone of Sofratikë
This zone comprehends recent industrial buildings, dating back to the 50s of the last century as far as the original structure is concerned but in many cases restoration took place at the end of the 90s for new businesses.
These buildings are of little architectonic and typological value yet carry out a fundamental role for the territory’s economy, so must be valorised all the same, motivating its typological and structural recovery through economical incentives.
This zone would also need an urgent Plan to clearly outline its limits and its possible future development, analyzing the town planning scheme accurately, which even if very simple and with an orthogonal mesh, does not appear to be in harmony with the orography of the territory nor, more importantly,with the hydrograph of the territory.
A number of these buildings were made in correspondence to the natural compluvium, that, even if not very extensive, collects, at certain times of the year, a large quantity of meteoric water. Both the buildings and the connected infrastructures construct a barrier for the natural downward flow of the water, with serious risks for the businesses and employees.
It is to be hoped that in said zone detailed planning, possibly foreseeing its expansion, will be elaborated soon.
In consideration of the fact that the area represents a point of potential revival for local industrial activity, it does not seem opportune to place limits on its development apart from the obvious fact that development must not head south as enlargement in such a direction would cause enormous conflict with the Necropolis area.

4. Systemization project for the area
The project for the systemization of the area also considers the activity linked to its use for tourist-accommodation, cultural and education purposes.
A building has been acknowledged, in a central position and not in current use, as a space for a reception area and information point regarding the archaeological site.
Moreover, in this building an Antiquarium will be arranged where all the main archaeological findings will be exhibited as will specific exhibitions.
A room for educational purposes will be set up complete with services for visitors and especially for schools that may organize visits where the archaeologists become tutors passing nell’antionto the students their own personal experience.
Behind the building an open area will be located for the exhibition of larger findings.
From a small picnic area, the Necropolis, first sight of the vaster Archaeological Park of Hadrianipolis, can be reached.
Continuing along the old road, an area which is sufficiently wide enough will be destined as a parking area, accessible even to larger vehicles such as buses.
From here, by passing under the highway overpass, the archaeological area of the ancient city is reached.
After the overpass at the beginning of the paved pedestrian precinct, a green area equipped for relaxation and refreshment is located, with many large forest trees that provide shadow in the warmer months.
To the west of this area a wooden structure is foreseen as a ticket booth as well as bar and toilet facilities.
Continuing along the pedestrian path there is an area needed by the archaeologists that work on the site and for the machinery used in the excavation site.
This area is protected by hedges that form a visual barrier and prevent visitor interference.
Within the area a non permanent wooden building is foreseen for the needs of the scientific workers and for the first treatment of the findings during the excavation sessions.
Access directly into the archaeological area from behind this building by going through a different path to that of the visitors in order to avoid workers and machinery stopping the visitor flow.
Visitors reach the area from a gate which is on the west side of the wire-net fencing that surrounds the site and goes through the whole area along protected paths with specific signposts to prevent any damage to the monuments by the normal tourist flow.

5. The Archaeological Park of the Drino Valley: a development possibility respecting the environment
The work carried out up to now and discussed in the previous chapters is only the beginning of a process that necessarily has to bring to the identification of a true Archaeological Park which involves the whole vast area of the entire Drino valley.
In this enormous cradle of civilisation, crossed in ancient times by the important Via Egnatia which connected the Balkans to Greece and the Oriental world, a succession of events marked the history of the Eastern world and of the Western world.
There are numerous sites along the Drino Valley which have been identified but not yet explored or even unknown.
The network of the known sites would represent a huge step forward for the tourist valorisation of the Region, also considering its closeness to Greece, which could become an important complement especially for the history of Epiro and the historical period of the domination of Alì Pasha,whose traces are visible in this area.
To start this process convincingly however a series of necessary steps and in-depth analysis are needed aimed at the study of the soil, the system of the existing and future infrastructures, the system of the services keeping an eye on future tourism development of the area, the identification of the Territorial Units and of the Landscape Units and the connected risks.
After this preliminary stage we must immediately work towards the identification of the main aims of protection, preservation, re-qualification and landscape-environmental recovery, evaluating the development tactics which are compatible with the fixed aims.
The study must necessarily start from the creation of a computerized based cartographic system linked to a GIS and to the consequent creation of a Computerized Territorial System, based on the model of the "Planning Office" used in Gjirokastra between 2002 and 2006, for a Recovery Plan of the Historical Centre.
This should support the preliminary analysis elaborating a series of thematic documents aimed at in-depth knowledge of the territory, with particular attention to the existent recovery, for both the landscape-environmental and historical-architectonic emergencies.
A network perspective must be a focal point, overcoming localisms linked to ethnic belonging, which are very strong in this part of Albania, and the interest of the single municipalities.
In a recovery perspective also the infrastructures and the accommodation structures must be considered.
These could be the preexisting buildings which are devastatingly underutilised.
In an overall view, an important role should be carried out by Gjirokastra and its castle having wide spaces to be adapted for use as a museum, in a unique historical context.
The Historical Centre was declared "Humanities Heritage" in 2005 by UNESCO.

Fabrizio Torresi
Architect

 

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