World Bank: Large Albanian cities, with greenness among the lowest in the region. They have taken steps behind

2024-04-12 12:38:14Biznes SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX

While the big cities of the region have taken steps forward with the addition of green spaces between 2015 and 2020, Albanian cities have a low intensity of greening in relation to those of the region and have taken steps behind instead of progressing, notes the Bank. World, in the latest Regional Report, published yesterday, "Invigorating growth".

"The overall green area has improved in the Western Balkans, although in some cities it declined between 2015 and 2020.

Major cities in the region, such as Belgrade (Serbia), Skopje (North Macedonia), Sarajevo (BiH) and Pristina (Kosovo), witnessed an increase in the area of ??green cover between 2015 and 2020, while Tirana (Albania), Tetova ( North Macedonia) and Prizren (Kosovo), suffered a decrease in the total green area between 2015-2020," the World Bank reported.

The bank points out that changes in the green surface are related to changes in land use, but also to changes in CO2 concentration.

This is because a changing climate is associated with an increase in stressors that impair plant resilience, disrupting forests and ecosystems.

Albanian cities are the least green in the region. For example, the city of Fier has the lowest level of greenness in the region with only 2% of the green surface, making no improvement.

After Fier, the other four Albanian cities such as Saranda, Gjirokastra, Korça and Durrësi have the lowest level of greenness in the region.

The greenest capitals in the region are Sarajevo and Belgrade.

The World Bank noted that large cities in the Balkans suffer from pollution. The average travel time is usually complicated by the lack of accessible public transit services.

The Bank notes that climate change has increased in the Balkan Region and cities are exposed to numerous natural hazards, extreme heat and poor air quality.

The cities with the greatest deterioration are Tirana, Shkodra, Vlora, Mostar, Sarajevo and Skopje where temperatures are 4.5–7.5°C higher than in summer compared to their rural surroundings.

Many cities in the region exceed PM2.5 levels and are among the most polluted in Europe. Skopje's annual average PM2.5 levels are 4.5 times and Sarajevo's levels have tripled.

The World Bank points out that it is crucial to reduce urban sprawl and make cities more compact. This can be done with investments to regenerate urban areas

Second, cities must also reduce their emissions, because this will have an immediate improvement on socio-economic and environmental outcomes.

Third, cities must take action to reduce extreme urban heat. Measures such as green roofs, urban parks and gardens, and constructed wetlands should be promoted given their low implementation costs and in turn high environmental and social benefits.

World Bank: Large Albanian cities, with greenness among the lowest in the