Gazeta Shekulli: Why the playground should not be built at the lake park

The artificial lake park in Tirana, although artificial, is currently the only “connection with nature” which is easily accessible and accessible by the citizens of Tirana. In many developments, often uncontrolled, that have occurred in these 25 years of transition, this open public space is under constant pressure and threat. However, sometimes civic fanaticism and sometimes the “non-mediocrity” of decision-makers have been able to preserve most of it as a legacy since its creation.

In fact, everyone finds relaxation there: the old, the young, the rich and the poor. However, the idea (or rather the decision) to build a playground for children, with the reason that the park does not offer anything to this part of society, is at least ill-conceived. It would be appropriate that beyond the “rush” in making decisions, the governors must first fulfill their mission as elected officials, i.e. govern.

The toy corner in the heart of the park would undoubtedly be the last option for many objective reasons. I will try to list some of them.

  1. Tirana today really lacks children’s entertainment corners. Every corner of the building is occupied by all sorts of concrete structures that mostly sell coffee and other “entertainment” services in the Albanian perception. There are also others that offer entertainment for children, such as “corners” with video games. Somewhere further on, the Municipalities that followed each other have realized through tenders some super concrete corners with two or three parallels, slats, etc. But these can never be called playgrounds in the context of the time in which we live. Because they lack two very important things; the first is that these spaces do not create a connection with nature and the second is that they are not given the proper attention for maintenance. In this perspective, it would be better for the Municipality to invest in these small spaces in the urban area of the city before “rushing” to undertake initiatives such as the toy park inside the lake park.
  2. On the other hand, although not fully presented to the public (apart from some photos and a video model), the project in question does not fulfill these two criteria mentioned above. Concrete or not, tires, chips, etc. in the way this corner is presented to create the impression of a playground of those types that are built in urban areas. So there is very little difference from those built in the corners of the buildings until now.
  3. The “trumpeted” capacity of 200,000 children actually creates the impression of an influx of constructions on our coast, which ultimately time showed and is showing that instead of achieving its goal, it did and is doing the exact opposite . On the other hand, Tirana is developing as a polycentric city, which means that its children do not all live near the lake.
  4. Of course, there is also a fog in terms of the construction procedure of this corner, which has put both parties, the municipality and the civil society, in moments of “surprises” in various media. There is clearly a need for an even wider consultation with the public when it comes to such an important public space. The argument that according to the law there is no need for an EIA and therefore no environmental permit is actually a legal nonsense. So for a car service, built in a corner of the building within the urban area (without any special protection status), a preliminary EIA report is mandatory to further obtain the environmental permit, while for a children’s toy park, which occupies a significant area of the central part of the city’s largest park, which is of a special protection status, did not need an EIA. This certainly does not hold.

Starting precisely from this created nebula, the citizens are often “burnt by the porridge, they also blow the yogurt”, suspecting that perhaps after the toy park for children, a toy park for “adults” will be built. and the guarantee of the resignation of the mayor basically does not constitute any guarantee for the Albanian perception.

To conclude, let me mention the last argument only by pointing out the facts: The built park of the airfield area is more or less of the same structure and model as this one, and for this I want to take it as an analogy. Built only 5-6 years ago it should normally meet the requirements and satisfy the eyes and desires of at least the surrounding residents. Take a quick look! The taste left by this look is not much different from the one when you look from the “Dajti” Hotel. Could this also be the fate of the children’s playground and the lake park? Or of course the expensive concessionaires will “save” us…

Published in Gazetën Shekulli 

By Olsi Nika/EcoAlbania

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