Various activities were held in different parts of Kosovo to mark the 2007 World Habitat Day organized jointly by city municipalities and UN-HABITAT’s Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme ‘Making Better Cities Together’. The focus of the activities was on looking for ideas which can be implemented through cooperation with various stakeholders and would lead to increased safety of women and children; safer public spaces open to various social, ethnic, and age groups; safer school environments and disaster prevention.
The day’s global theme “A safe city is a just city” was adapted at one meeting during which representatives of the municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane, Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, Kosovo Police Service and more than hundred participants including 70 children and their teachers discussed various aspects of urban safety and prepared a catalogue of concerns.
Fires, earthquakes, flooding, air pollution, crime and drugs, safety for handicapped, informal settlements, houses and schools too close to main roads, were some of the issues raised at the meeting. Children contributed to the debate through drawing, poems, slogans, and discussion. The event included a short walk through the city center, to draw attention of the public and the media to urban safety issues.
In Gjakova/Djakovica town, the main concern was the safety and access of public spaces in the city, an issue discussed by secondary school pupils, officials, experts and representatives of civil society organizations. The event included a ‘Walkabout in the City Park’ and Round Table Debate on ‘Translating Democracy into Good Governance from the Planning Perspective’.
Peja/Pec municipality declared Municipal Mobility Policy as one of six priority areas of improvement for the future of the city. This was the main topic of discussion with Mobility Stakeholder Group on WHD acknowledging that better mobility in Peja/Pec could contribute to more safety on streets.
In Prizren a large group of disabled citizens including pupils identified obstacles and challenges in the living environment and suggested possible solutions on urban safety issues specifically for the disabled. The meeting was jointly organized by MuSPP, Handikos and the municipality of Prizren. Participants suggested improvements in street lighting; custom-made phone booths; sidewalks, parking places, ramps and elevators in buildings as some of the issues relevant to people with physical disabilities. Deaf and mute participants also raised their specific issues.