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Long-Standing Wastelands

Latency, Transactions, and the Role of Green Settings on Two Urban Wastelands in Tirana (Albania) and Istanbul (Turkey)

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This chapter explores a paradox. How to explain the long-term existence of inner-city wastelands in cities characterized by densification, sharp land pressure, and large-scale urban projects? In Tirana (Albania), two large areas of meadowland have been abandoned to informal uses since the end of the communist regime and the extension of the city center in the 1990s. In Istanbul (Turkey), a strip of land adjacent to the old city walls has also been left partly as a green wasteland, despite being registered as a heritage site since 1985. Drawing on data and field surveys covering several years, we propose explanatory factors that contextualize the issue of vegetation, which will be the focus of our analysis. Finally, we propose potential avenues for broader application based on the different meanings and uses of these forms of vegetation in the city, as understood by the different actors involved, and explores some contradictions of action and intervention, in operational terms.


  • Tirana
  • Istanbul
  • Informality
  • Long-standing wasteland
  • Latency
  • Production of nature

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-74882-1_7
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Fig. 1

© Muçi and Dorso 2018–2020

Fig. 2

© Dorso, 2007–2016

Fig. 3

© Muçi 2019 and Dorso 2013

Fig. 4


  1. 1.

    Agjencia e Legalizimit, Urbanizimit dhe Integrimit the Zonave dhe Ndertimeve Informale: Agency for Legalization, Urbanization, and Integration of Informal Areas and Buildings (author’s translation).

  2. 2.

    Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, Justice and Development Party.

  3. 3.

    The first names have been changed.

  4. 4.

    Video extract on the national media Ora News, October 25, 2015


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Correspondence to Franck Dorso .

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Muçi, S., Dorso, F. (2021). Long-Standing Wastelands. In: Di Pietro, F., Robert, A. (eds) Urban Wastelands. Cities and Nature. Springer, Cham.

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