Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

Shkodra,shining cycling culture

Shkodra,shining cycling culture

Shkodra, Northern Albania (114.000 inhabitants), is renowned for its cycling tradition in Albania and in Southeast Europe. Its modal split is special: 29%¨cycling share, 44% walking and 3% public transport. There’s gender equity in cycling and cycle use is wide spread and popular over all ages. The cycling culture is well alive still and Shkodra is said to be a live laboratory for ‘shared space’ with mutual respect between road users. Can compact Shkodra then preserve this sustainable urban travel profile that is by western standards very ‘active, clean and energy efficient’?

Shkodra
Shining champion cycling culture
in car mad Balkans

‘Cycling, Great tradition - Bright future’ campaign
Live Laboratory for shared space

Shkodra, Northern Albania (114.000 inhabitants), is renowned for its cycling tradition in Albania and in Southeast Europe. Its modal split is special: 29%¨cycling share, 44% walking and 3% public transport. There’s gender equity in cycling and cycle use is wide spread and popular over all ages. The cycling culture is well alive still and Shkodra is said to be a live laboratory for ‘shared space’ with mutual respect between road users. Needless to say that growing traffic levels are gradually posing a threat on the shared space and some cyclists are expressing their uncertainty in traffic. Modernization of roads , canalization and a first pedestrianisation scheme has been, for obvious reasons, the priority in the city’s development so far.

Can compact Shkodra then preserve this sustainable urban travel profile that is by western standards very ‘active, clean and energy efficient’? Having in mind that Albania had been, only 2 decades ago, a hard core and isolated communist country and that car ownership today is a ‘dream to make true’ for Albanians (and most men in the Balkans), it comes to no surprise that the prevailing policy in Albania is car oriented. Tirana, for example lost its cycling tradition in 2 decades time. Shkodra’s cyclists on the other hand stood firm so far with a shining 29% cycling share. Due to the revival of the bicycle in Europe and due to the popularity of the bicycle in their home town, Shkodra’s political establishment is at the verge of recognizing the potential of cycling for future developments. Study visits to Groningen, Bolzano and Ferrara were undertaken and a bicycle policy audit (BYPAD) was conducted. A campaign ‘Shkodra, cycling: great tradition – bright future’ is taking shape with fashion shows, street events, fancy brochure, facebook, exhibition. The first conference on urban mobility in Albania was held in Shkodra October 2012. Shkodra is thus taking the timid lead in putting ‘Cycling’ on the agenda of politics, institutes, research and civic society. A new NGO \\\'GO‘2’ – Go for a Albania, Shkodra, etc on 2 feet and 2 wheels - has been recently established and ready to elaborate the cycle network of Shkodra and to continue creating stronger partnerships between authorities , educational and economic community and tourism sector.


Shkodra on FB: Shkodra, cycling city
Shkodra on ELTIS : http://www.eltis.org/index.php?id=13&study_id=3475
SHKODRA DEMO in the MOBALB project on urban mobility in Albania : www.mobalb.al









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Entela Shkreli
Tirana, Albania

Category: Advocacy and Social Projects

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