OMB Observatory of the Mediterranean Basin – is a “Joint Center of Excellence” of UNECE, United Nation Economic Commission for Europe near POLIS University and Co-PLAN Institution focusing on issues of sustainability and resilience in the areas of housing, planning and urban development.
OMB’s geographic focus is three-dimensional: i) Albania; ii) Western Balkans; iii) The countries of the region that are wetted by the Mediterranean Sea. The observatory aims to focus on the above-mentioned topics/fields of study that are of common interest to both the Balkan region and Mediterranean cities, including issues related to the land/territory ratio and water (sea, lake, rivers).
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 intersections of different identities in terms of housing, planning and territorial development. OMB uses the term “multi-modality” to define a complex situation (in terms of territory, architecture, public space, urbanism, etc.) in which Mediterranean cities have always coexisted throughout 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 will be the greater and more active involvement of Albania in the existing network of the Mediterranean Basin and the EU, through a joint plan of activities with UNECE and the Albanian and regional authorities. The plan of activities would include scientific and applied research projects and events.
OMB is meanwhile part of the third unit (Sustainability Research Center) at FPMMU, Faculty of Planning, Environment and Urban Management at POLIS University. In addition to the joint plan of activities and the network of UNECE partners, the Observatory aims to identify a network of partners from the main Mediterranean cities and institutions operating in this area of interest. This network of strategic partners that works in multi-type, inter-disciplinary, inter-sectoral activities can also be seen as a cross-reference of cultural and professional identities.
A specific contribution that OMB gives to Albania and Italy, – within the framework of scientific research and the International PhD Program, a joint program organized by POLIS University Tirana and DA / Ferrarese University Italy – is the organization of the “annual 4-week workshop” and ” annual research project” focused on the national and regional spatial development agenda of Albania as a contribution to the preparation of the country’s integration into the EU through territorial planning instruments. The research work in question is summarized in a series of publications that is documented, among others, by the ‘Library of Congress’ in the USA.