Natasha Hicks, Master in Urban Planning/Design Studies Candidate 2019 

Summer 2017

Organization: Tirana Municipality, Albania

Sponsor: International Travel Community Service Fellowship


” For my internship this summer, I am looking at the legacy of a project implemented by the current prime minister of Albania, Edi Rama, that utilized painting the facades of communist block architecture to symbolize a new era of hope for the post-communist city regime.

Within this context, I am investigating how to catalyze more public arts projects in Tirana, and how to use public art as an economic development tool for the city. Ultimately my project will be proposing a master plan of policy frameworks to allow the city of Tirana to bid to become a European Capital of Culture in 2030.





This week, the three GSD Fellows visited the United States Embassy in Tirana. We spoke with the Public Affairs office about the work and programs of the U.S. Embassy to better understand how the Embassy could be involved with our project proposals.









We have also been working with teams of Albanian students from three architecture schools in Tirana, and they have been a critical resource to understand the context of our projects. They also came with us to the Embassy visit!”