CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
How can we start recycling in Kosovo? Opportunities and challenges.
The national strategy for waste management has been drafted and is waiting ratification, where amongst others a deposit refund system for beverage containers is planned as one of the measures towards introducing the polluter pays principle.
Separation at source and recycling does not solely depend on citizen awareness, but it is a whole system that is accompanied with finding the right operating model, budget implications, infrastructure, and securing the market for the recyclable fractions.
Instead of only curing the symptoms, we need public environmental awareness early on starting from schools in order to properly educate the young generation. Parallel to this, there must be monitoring and control systems in place to enforce the law.
Municipalities have continued to demonstrate remarkable performance in reforming the waste sector, however investments, budget allocation, and human resources continue to pose as an obstacle and require national level attention.In low labour cost countries like Kosovo, cooperation with waste producers (consumers, businesses) for source segregation is much more likely to succeed than high investment sorting technology.
It is important to note that incineration is by far the most expensive solid waste management treatment technology and not any longer considered under the 2020 recycling rate targets set out by the EU Waste Framework Directive
Private recycling sector struggles with securing the raw material locally.
Circular economy is still a relatively unexploited concept and much needs to be done to mobilize stakeholders in this regard.
Sustainability challenges in the capital city
Serious urban development pressure as the capital city grows.
Rapid and frequent amendment of laws and bylaws in spatial planning creates serious issues in urban management - implementing local spatial planning policies
Domestic heating using coal is considered to be as one of the main sources of air pollution. Neighborhoods like Tophane, Kodra e Trimave, Medrese, and Kolovice are considered to be the main contributors.
Prishtina municipality is tackling the issue by doubling the cogeneration capacities of central heating and introducing solar energy generation projects.
Prishtina has begun to implement measures arising from the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. Measures such as inner ring, bicycle and pedestrian lanes, bus stops, and public transportation information tools are on the way to be implemented as of 2019.
Parking measures are also being implemented: 700 parking new spaces at the university of Prishtina site, park and ride concept and hourly parking approach depending from the location are on the way.
Prishtina is investing in public spaces and parks. There is a great need for more parks and public spaces; however Prishtina municipality lacks public land to invest.
Making Room for Kosovo’s Growing Cities
1.5 % of Kosovo’s territory is covered with urban centers, in the world this is 2.0 %. Urban expansion pressure has dropped since 2008 in Kosovo
There are no factual data how many hectars of agricultural land are being lost each year in Kosovo;
There needs to be a partnership to be built between urban and rural zones in municipalities;
In the census of 2011, 24% of total housing units in Kosovo were uninhabited, it can be concluded that since 2011, there was already a housing saturation in Kosovo, whereas the construction industry is constant, and many more housing units were built in Kosovo since then;
Kosovo needs to draft a housing policy in a central level, which should be preceded by a report on the existing situation of housing in all Kosovo municipalities.
Contemporary planning needs to be focused in data, and make the real time planning
There needs to be a change the way we make strategic decisions, which is through participatory planning. Involving different level of participation in a different level of governance.
In general plans in Kosovo are not coherent with each other, there needs to be better coordination in the future planning documents,
MESP needs to set-up a system on monitoring planning developments in the municipal level in Kosovo.