A specific contribution that OMB gives to Albania and Italy – in the framework of scientific research and the International Ph.D. Program, a joint program organized by POLIS University of Tirana and DA / Ferrara University Italy – is the organization of the “annual 4-week workshop” and an annual journal review focused on the national and regional spatial development agenda of Albania as a contribution to the preparation of the country’s EU integration through spatial planning instruments. The research in question is summarized in a series of publications that are documented, among others, by the ‘Library of Congress in the USA.
The main idea of this alternative research unit is to define a strategic set of activities and interests through which Mediterranean cities can be studied as a crossroads of different identities in terms of housing, planning, and territorial development. OMB uses the term “multi-modality” to define a complex situation (in matters of territory, architecture, public space, urbanism, etc.) in which Mediterranean cities have always coexisted in history, a combination of knowledge and heritage that throughout time and history have given life to civilization in this region of Europe. Part of the work of this unit is the active involvement of Albania in the existing network of the Mediterranean Basin and the EU, through a joint action plan with UNECE and the Albanian and regional authorities. The activity plan will include research and applied research projects and events.
The geographical focus of OMB has been positioned in three dimensions: i) Albania; ii) Western Balkans; iii) Countries of the region bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. The Observatory aims to focus on the above-mentioned areas of study that are of common interest to both the Balkan region and the Mediterranean cities, including issues related to Rights, Land, and Water (sea, lake, rivers).