A real construction boom is taking place in Georgia, but the recent world financial crisis has had serious consequences for the construction sector; a sector in which the state is one of the major stakeholders
Between 2000 and 2009 Romania experienced one of Europe's highest growth rates. Yet even before the economic crisis hit Bucharest hard, it became clear that the wealth of the economic boom was built with dramatic social costs, paid mostly by children, unemployed, pensioners, and Roma
Part of a fragile and precious heritage, the Saxon villages of Transylvania are undergoing a dramatic transformation; the product of Romanian emigrant remittances and lack of official regulation. But with this transformation comes the risk of destroying an irreplaceable source of touristic and cultural potential
Belgrade is a city almost half of which built in an "informal way," that is to say, illegally. At the heart of this phenomenon that never seems to slow, despite efforts on the part of the authorities to thwart it, lie real estate speculation and a systemic incapacity to respond to the need for basic housing
The Central Bank of Kosovo warns that the remittances are falling as the diaspora starts to feel the effects of the global economic crisis. Kosovo's diaspora has a long tradition of sending money home because of strong family ties, a practice developed because of Kosovo's difficult political and social environment during the last decades
The Bull, the Beggar, the Bimbo....These are only some of the sculptures the Macedonian government has been installing in the centre of Skopje as part of its recently launched architectural renewal spree.The process has not left anyone dispassionate, stirring political controversy over the city's urbanistic development
''The decline in economic growth will be more effective in raising poverty rates than the 6 years of growth just passed was in reducing them''. An interview with Paul Stubbs, author of an independet study for the European Commission on social inclusion in the Western Balkans
With his eclectic studies, urban researcher Kai Vöckler, curator of the exhibition Balkanology: New Architecture and Urban Phenomena in South-eastern Europe is trying to accomplish a "mission impossible": to prove that a participatory and sustainable urban life is also possible in South-eastern Europe. Second part of our interview
With his eclectic studies, urban researcher Kai Vöckler, curator of the exhibition Balkanology: New Architecture and Urban Phenomena in South-eastern Europe is trying to accomplish a "mission impossible": to prove that a participatory and sustainable urban life is also possible in South-eastern Europe. First part of an interview
Just before the start of the electoral campaign, Macedonian prime minister Gruevski announced a massive plan to invest in infrastructures. Little resources, though, seems to have been allocated to revive the "European Corridor 8", meant to link the Adriatic to the Black Sea
Pristina's population has increased from around 100,000 in 1981, to an estimated 500,000 today. The city's turbulent growth has been marked by a frenetic building activity without any planning. This model of development is now being questioned
Kosovo suffers from a chronic lack of energy. To overcome the power shortage, the government gambled on the "Kosovo C" project, a coal-based power station expected to start production in 2015. What is most needed now, though, are a wide public debate and a clear development strategy in the energy sector
Even when the status issue will be solved, economic development and foreign capital investment in Kosovo will not be automatic, but they will come only thanks to an effective policy, which up to now is still absent. An interview with Safet Gerxhaliu, of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce.
Alshar, an ancient mine located in the southern Balkans, in Macedonia, is said to contain minerals to be found nowhere else on the planet. The rarest of them all - the lorandite, is thought to have the potential to let us understand the work of the sun. Science-fiction or reality?
Silence, desolation, houses in decay, lifelessness. This is a common sight from the Macedonian countryside. As odd as it may seem in a country as small in territory as Macedonia, its rural parts are dying out.It has started more than 50 years ago. But its consequences are more and more visible with time
There has been quite a lot of talk lately of re-branding the image of the Balkans by acknowledging that it is capable of producing not only wickedness and that it can contribute or be the home to also good things.This article is a small contribution in this direction