Defining in-betweenness as a new spatial form the case of Durana, Albania

Alimadhi, Enkela
This thesis focuses on and explores the notion of ‘In-betweenness’ as a ‘third space’ or a ‘new spatial form’ that have been observed on the area between two cities. This new spatial form has emerged and has been continuously generated on the land between the two important cities of Albania; i.e. Tirana -the capital City- and Durrës - the port City. As an outcome of particular political, social, economic, and geographical factors, as well as the morphological transformation, this research studies the ‘In-betweenness’ by focusing on communist and post-communist periods of Albania. It analyzes the in-between area, and seeks to depict the peculiar conditions and features of these rural-urban lands that can be referred to as a ‘zone of urban differences’. It portrays the formation of ‘In-betweenness’ as the consequence of urban transformation process within the two cities and it defines the characteristics of ‘In-betweenness’ through the physical or spatial elements of this space in order to understand how the In-betweenness has been generated, evolved, transformed and continuously taken form during the communist and post-communist periods, in the Albanian context. Thus, the basic motivation of the research is to first explore and define the ‘In-betweenness’ as a zone of potentiality that can be used as an inspiration for the new urban form theories of contemporary or post-industrial cities. The major research question of the dissertation is ‘what the ‘In-betweenness is’ in the context of Durana. The research also seeks to find speculative answers to the secondary questions that are: (1) How the urbanization affected the in-between area, if the extremes of the in-between space are urbanized areas whereas the ‘Inbetweenness’ is not a clearly defined area (quasi urban area, or quasi rural area)? (2) Will it be necessary to fill the in-between area with urban pattern, if both urbanized areas will “merge” as they are expanding toward each other?. The study ultimately describes the ‘In-betweenness’ as a continuous, boundariless structure composed of different nuclei evolved mostly as an output of unplanned / piecemeal or individual decisions. It concludes that, by attracting attention to its uniqueness in the Albanian context, the notion of this new spatial form and its characteristics are traced by defining it as an area which can be neither anonymous, nor autonomous and bipolarity as a deciding situational condition.