This paper examines the current situation of the protected historical cities, especially the one’s that are under UNESCO protection, investigate the problems related to the contemporary use and tries to define a methodology of intervention to adapt them to the current lifestyle and the requirements of modern society. According to our preliminary investigations, it was observed that these traditional cities have difficulty in access and mostly on wheels’ mobility. Firstly, the traditional urban pattern of these cities, due to the limited width and high slope, find difficulties to adapt their structure into contemporary vehicular flows which nowadays are subject to traffic code standards. Secondly, traditional cities, because of their image preservation, are very sensitive on defining appropriate parking areas for new vehicles. The excessive car presence in the city center because of congestion, pollution, and occupation of central streets hinder tourism development in the area. The objective of this paper is to define instruments and strategies for the contemporary development of the historical centers, by cleaning them from “modern” elements to restore their lost traditional identity. The initial hypothesis is by-passing central areas and creating several potential parking areas for vehicles nearby, in order to avoid traffic in the city center and have a clear and undisturbed image of the traditional urban environment and an immediate impact on the character and identity of the city. This hypothesis, which will be verified through the spatial transformation of the specific case study of Gjirokastra historical city, can be adaptable in other equivalent cases. Specific interventions proposed, will be based on the theory and rules of restoration, local and UNESCO laws on urban heritage and construction standards.
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