After three years of consultations with EU experts, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation submitted a draft Law on Territorial Planning that was passed by the Parliament on 23 April 2009 (Law no. 10119). The new Law came into force in full only on 1 September 1 2010, with the abolishment of Law no. 8405 of 1998 on Urban Planning. The newly formed National Territorial Planning Agency (NTPA) is now in charge of drafting policies and rules for better administration of the territory and the renamed National Territory Council (NTC) will be the decision-making body responsible for enacting the national planning instruments, in line with the stipulations contained in this Law.
It is not clear yet whether the full implementation of the new Law will improve the planning situation. Territory Councils, whether the National one chaired by the Prime Minister, or the local ones chaired by respective city mayors, have been regarded by the general public as highly politicised and corrupt institutions. In 20 years of political transition following the collapse of communism in 1990, construction has constantly been the fastest growing industry and the most lucrative business in Albania. The lack of urban and spatial planning has contributed to what is considered now an “urban massacre” especially in Tirana, the Adriatic and Ionian coastline, as well as other major cities. Many experts say the damage is irreversible, due to extremely high costs of any restoration attempts.