April 19th, 2012
On 19 April the First International Conference on Architecture and Urban Design opened in Tirana. This conference, organized by Epoka University, brings together approximately 200 academics, architects and urban planners came to the conference from around Albania and the world.
The Rector of Epoka University, Dr. Halil Murat Ozler, welcomed the participants to the conference. “I am delighted to see that this conference has aroused much interest, attracting around 200 delegates from 40 countries. Such vast participation shows not only the importance of topics of the conference but also your trust at Epoka University and your interest in developing and improving Albania,” said Rector Ozler.
In his speech, the Head of the Department of Architecture, Sokol Dervishi, commented that the conference “is not only the largest in the country, but also in the Balkans.” Professor Dervishi highlighted the topics which will be addressed at the conference, including the history of architecture and preservation of historical monuments, technologies and materials, and "green" buildings.
His Excellency, the Prime Minister of Albania, Prof. Dr. Sali Berisha spoke at the conference. The Prime Minister thanked the organizers for the very important topic that the conference addresses. "In the last decade, we are facing a serious problem: we have betonized not urbanized our cities," said Mr. Berisha, who shortly afterwards added, “in this respect I think that such a conference, organized by a prestigious university as Epoka University is, will be vital in building the future of Albania."
The Mayor of Tirana, Mr. Lulzim Basha, started his speech by thanking the organizers for choosing Tirana as the location of the conference. "The challenge to bring this conference coincides with the challenges of the Tirana Municipality," said the mayor.
"We need architects to organize the urban plans of the city and I am sure that Epoka University will play a serious part in this process," said Mr. Basha.
The Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Sokol Olldashi, was also present at the opening session of the conference. He praised the conference and considered it as "the most serious event undertaking in the recent years."
Epoka University was founded in 2007 as a contuniuation of the well known Turkish colleges. The University—with about 1000 students, 200 of whom are Master’s students—has seven academic departments, including the Department of Architecture.
Epoka University promotes cultural diversity: students come from seven different countries of the region and 70% of academic staff members come from outside of Albania. Epoka University has already established international links with universities in the U.S., England, Italy, Poland, Turkey, and Montenegro. The First International Conference on Architecture and Urban Design underscores Epoka’s efforts to be a world-class university that pursues scholarly excellence and benefits Albania and the region.
Rruga Tirane-Rinas, Km 12, Universiteti Epokaxhakur@yahoo.com