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Urban planning in Kosovo. © UN-Habitat

  • Total value of UN-Habitat investments (2008-2013): US$ 9,639,085
  • Total number of UN-Habitat projects (2008-2013): n/a
  • Main donors: n/a
  • Implementing partners: Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, municipalities

Results of the 2011 census in Kosovo show that out of almost 1.8 million citizens, 41% live in cities and towns. Kosovo’s economy is still a problem and poses a great threat to long-term stability. With an estimated unemployment rate of above 30.9% in 2012 and an employment rate of only 25.6%, Kosovo has one of the weakest employment records in Europe.

According to the statistics of Kosovo the poverty rate is 29.7% and there are 6.8% of the population under the social assistance scheme. There are in total 174 informal settlements, which approximately represents 0,643% of the total territory of Kosovo.

General information

Kosovo in a nutshell:

  • Total land area: 10,908 km²
  • Resident population: 1,815,606 estimation (December 2012)
  • Total number of households: 297,090
  • Total number of dwellings: 412,884
  • of which occupied dwellings: 71%
  • Percentage of people living in rural areas: 61%
  • Average size of household: 5.85 persons
  • Population density (people per km2): 177.4

The military conflict of 1999 marked the history of Kosovo and its people, and affected political and economic setting. Post-conflict migration brought many people to cities in the search for jobs, better living conditions and safer environment. Large number of Kosovo citizens commute daily to cities from rural areas for work or education. Since then Kosovo has been facing an unprecedented construction boom and growth of urban areas. This is partly a consequence of the war-time destruction of housing stock, the post-war migration in search of better and /or safer living conditions and employment, and well as the global urbanization trend. To deal with these issues efficiently, municipalities need long term plans to guide their spatial, environmental and economic development in a sustainable way.

UN-Habitat projects in Kosovo

UN-Habitat’s interventions were focused on the establishment of institutions to deal with property and planning issues, such as the Housing and Property Directorate, the Kosovo Cadastre Agency, the Institute for Spatial Planning within the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.

The other line of interventions went to building capacities for efficient management of local governments through capacity building programmes and on the job assistance:

  • LoGo (Local Government Programme)
  • Municipal Support Programme (MSP 2000-2001)
  • Urban Planning and Management Programme (UPMP, 2001-2003)
  • Governance and Development Planning Programme (GDPP, 2003-2006)
  • Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme phase 1 (2005-2008)
  • Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme phase 2 (2008-2011)
  • Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme phase 3 (2011-2014, ongoing)

The last three programmes are funded by the Swedish Development Cooperation.

UN-Habitat provides institutional support for spatial planning through participatory and inclusive approaches and on the job assistance, and also contributes to the improvement of the built environment in Kosovo, through joint Capital Investment Projects with partner municipalities.

These projects have improved the public spaces in the partner municipalities, through focusing on interventions such as: reducing flood risks in the flood prone areas, pedestrianizing and improving city centers, protection and preservation of natural areas, improvement of water supply, improvement of schoolyards etc.

Spatial planning related publications on:

Upgraded Public Space in Sunny Hill neighbourhood, Prishtina

The project will turn the deserted former green market in Sunny Hill neighbourhood into a multi-functional, appealing public space. The area has a population of around 4,000 inhabitants and is characterized by social housing and private blocks, as well as some small businesses and facilities. Using Minecraft, the Municipality has undertaken a comprehensive participatory process that has involved designing a public space from community information, awareness raising on public space development and management, and collective urban design. The proposal emanating from the participatory process includes a range of facilities that address the needs of various groups, such as greeneries, comfortable resting areas, playgrounds and a skatepark.

Project duration: 2015 – ongoing
Value USD: 80,000
Donor: Mojang
Implementing Partners: Municipality of Prishtina

The bridge over the river in Mitrovica is a symbol of urban and ethnic division between the Serbian and Albanian communities in Kosovo. The project aims to revitalize the city market neighbourhood in Mitrovica North through a participatory public space upgrading process that includes a skeletal revitalisation plan. The project will encompass an assessment and analysis of urban markets by mixed focus groups as a path towards integrated market place development and management to enhance urban regeneration and social cohesion and exchange between the residents and business communities from both Mitrovica North and South.

Project duration: 2015 – ongoing
Value USD: 100,000
Donor: Mojang
Implementing Partners: Mitrovica North and South.


UN-HABITAT Pristina Office
Ministries Building “Rilindja” 10th Floor
10000 Prishtina, Kosovo
Phone: +381 38 20032611
Fax: +381 38 224 122

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