The Tirana Walking Action Plan was launched at an event on 4th July by Deputy Mayor Anuela Ristani.
The Plan is the result of 2 years’ work by the Tiana Walking Task Force, a multidisciplinary team of officers from different departments inside the Municipality as well as representatives from the police, local universities and NGO’s to help make Tirana a more walkable city.
Walk21 has supported the process throughout, in association with GIZ who are working with the Municipality to create a paradigm shift to a more sustainable transport system for Tirana.
The Action Plan has four goals: to increase the value of walking; reduce road danger; enable accessibility and comfort; and build capacity for delivering measurable benefits to people walking.
Walking is already the main mode for most trips in Tirana, particularly for women who are less likely to have access to a car. However, people walking in Tirana are twice as likely to be in a road traffic collision than the European average and the Task Force found that 80% of citizens want more pedestrian zones, wider foot paths and safer crossings as well as more street trees and benches to make walking safer, easier and nicer.
At the launch, Deputy Mayor Anuela Ristani said:
“The Municipality already responds to more than 8,000 calls from citizens to improve their walking experience every year, but this new policy includes 33 new proactive commitments so that all the people walking in Tirana feel more valued and supported. This will enable us to improve the walking experience in our city further and further. We know its important, for all of us and for tourists who are attracted to Tirana. Walking is a right, a necessity and makes us free”.
UN Resident Coordinator for Albania , Fiona McCluney added:
“Enabling people to walk helps us to deliver on many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including more sustainable and accessible cities, better gender and income equity and safer and healthier communities. Improving conditions for people walking is a regional issue and Tirana has a lot to share”.
Jim Walker, from Walk21 said:
“This Action Plan is important now because it focuses, for the first time, on an evidence-based approach to ensure targeted actions keep people on their feet. Using the Walkability App – which is now available in Albanian – citizens have told us what the like about walking in Tirana and where they need improvements to resist their temptation to otherwise motorise. We are delighted that the Task Force, led by the Deputy Mayor, are committed to maintaining Tirana’s walking culture as a foundation to the Albanian quality of our life.”
Christian Mettkte, Project Director of the Sustainable Urban Transport Project in Tirana of GIZ Albania said:
“Walking, cycling and public transport – we are happy to support the Municipality of Tirana in all of these areas. Walking is so fundamental, yet often over-looked. Working with Walk21 and the colleagues of the Municipality, we developed the Walking Policy as a framework for the activities on the ground. The School Streets, which are being implemented are a very concrete improvement for many pedestrians. We are happy that the City committed to establish a active mobility team which will coordinate walking and cycling activities in the future”.