Ulrike Bega, Bob Wills, Dr. Parveen Kumar, Elsie Owusu, Donna Hasanaj, Jonathan Darke, Azhar, Vanessa Norwood, Amy Sidworthy, Dame Frances Cairncross, Mayor Erion Veliaj, Chaired by Lord Julian Hunt

Albania: Architecture, Public Health & Urban Renaissance - Part 1

Series: Symposium
Date: Thursday 28 April 2016
Time: 10:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 112 mins

The Republic of Albania is a small, beautiful country in south-eastern Europe, with a population of about 3 million people. Its capital city Tirana is home to under one million citizens. From 1944 to 1991, the country was a socialist republic, established under the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. Today, Albania is in the "waiting room" for the European Union, with the democratic Prime Minister Edi Rama, a 47 year old professor of fine art. The mayor of Tirana, the capital city, is 34 year old Erion Veliaj. Under this dynamic and youthful leadership, the capital and the country face the challenges and joys of emergence from a command polity to a democratic society and mixed economy.

According to the World Bank, Albania has one of the most unequal healthcare systems in Europe and Asia. A recent report points to a "Cash and Carry" system - where patients pay for healthcare at the point of delivery - as resulting in greatly diminished confidence in medical provision. The report states that "Albanians spend in total 750 million Euros a year for health treatment...the state only pays 40% of this amount for treatment in state hospitals, whereas 60% is paid by the citizens themselves.This ranks Albania fifth in Europe and Central Asia...after Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Armenia. The average of the European Union is 17%..."

Following a series of successful engagements with PM Edi Rama, Mayor Erion Veliaj, ministers and senior medics in London and Tirana, the AA is delighted to host this symposium. The event will bring together eminent architects, scientists, doctors, politicians, artists, economists and financiers from  UK, Europe and Albania to discuss the role of architecture, science  and the arts as catalysts for public health and urban regeneration in Albania.This is an important discussion, not only for politicians and medics, but for all involved in the different scales of designing the built environment.

Urban renaissance has been identified by PM Edi Rama as a key factor to the successful transformation of the Albanian economy. This view is supported by Albanian politicians of all parties and inspiration has been sought from architects locally and internationally. Increasingly strategies for public health, environmental degradation and medical provision are recognised as key factors in successful regeneration programmes in Albania. Design for resilient and sustainable health infrastructure  involves a multiplicity of actors, collaborating across disciplines of medicine, science and architecture with a collective sensibility infused with the poetry of visual arts. 


10:00 am = Opening Remarks
Prof. Lord Hunt of Chesterton, Symposium Chair
10.15 am= Albania: Urbanism & Social Change
Ulrike Bega, Architect; Principal of SymbioticA, Office of Architecture, Urbanism & Sustainable Design
10:45 am = Architecture & Integrated Design for Emerging Medicare
Bob Wills RIBA, Director of Medical Architecture Practice
11:15 am = Promoting Public Health in Post-Soviet Cultures
Professor Dr Parveen Kumar CBE
11:45 am = Architecture, Art & KidsHealth: Current Project at Tirana Children's Hospital
Elsie Owusu OBE & Donna Hasanaj RIBA
12:15 pm - 1.00pm = Round table discussion (chair Prof Lord Hunt)


2:00 pm = Ghana National Hospitals Programme: An Exemplary Case Study 
Jonathan Darke RIBA, TP Bennets Architects
2:30pm = Spectrum of Health: Micro to Macro
Azhar RIBA, Architect
Cultural Conversations & Agency for Positive Change
Vanessa Norwood, AA Head of Exhibitions
3:00pm = Tirana: Pollution, Air Quality & Environmental Health
Amy Sidworthy, Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants
3.30pm = Albania's Economy: Challenges and Opportunities
Dame Frances Cairncross DBE, Economist

4.00 PM: BREAK

4:30pm = Healthcare: A Catalyst for Albania's Economic Transformation
Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana  
5pm = Round table discussion (chair Lord Hunt)
5.30pm - Closing Remarks

All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.

June 2019
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