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  • EUR 11 million for the Lana River Front Urban Redevelopment in Tirana
  • The project will improve the quality of life for 65,000 people
  • EIB opens representative office in Tirana within the EU delegation

The European Investment Bank (EIB) increases its presence in Albania by providing some EUR 11 million to finance the regeneration of the Lana River area in Tirana. The new investment is the Bank’s first integrated urban regeneration project in the Western Balkans, encompassing several sectors including mobility, public transport, urban infrastructure and flood risk protection.

 

At the same time, the EU bank is opening a Desk Office at the EU Delegation in Tirana and appointing Alessandro Bragonzi as EIB Representative for Albania, Kosovo* and North Macedonia.

 

The Lana River project is the first operation under the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) to receive an investment grant. The grant, which is financed by ERI donor resources and valued at EUR 2.4 million, is part of a comprehensive financial package from the EIB that also includes a EUR 8 million loan and EUR 500,000 in technical assistance.

 

The cooperation agreement for the project was signed today in Tirana by the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj  and EIB Head of Division for operations in Slovenia, Croatia and Western Balkans, Matteo Rivellini. It will ensure that the project will be implemented in line with best practice and EU environmental and social standards, conforming to EIB’s economic and social requirements.

 

“With the Lana River Front Urban Redevelopment Project, the EIB embraced a shared development agenda with the Albanian Government and the Tirana Municipality: the area benefitting from the EIB Project will be well integrated with investments in mobility, public transport, urban infrastructure and flood risk protection, expecting to deliver substantial benefits for Tirana’s citizens”, Mr Rivellini said.

 

Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj pointed: “Few cities in Europe have transformed in such a short time; when the original boulevard was built in Tirana with the help of the Italians many commentators said ‘We have seen cities with no boulevard, but we have not seen a boulevard without a city’. Today Tirana is a metropolis boosting two main axis: the Central Boulevard running north to south that has been extended, and the Lana River corridor running from west to east that will be extended further. These will be the development corridors of Tirana in the next 100 years”.

 

The improvements to public transport, wastewater and flood risk management services that the EIB is helping to finance are part of an effort to improve lives in the wider city. This operation alone will deliver benefits to around 65,000 people, of which 20,000 are local inhabitants who live on the banks of the Lana River. As part of the works, 1,100 residents of the affected area are being resettled. The Bank is working with the local authorities to ensure that this is carried out in line with the highest possible social standards.