Since the end of the war in Kosovo in 1999, UN-HABITAT has been promoting good governance, security of tenure, sustainable human settlements development and inclusive spatial planning in Kosovo and the broader region. 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), and Municipal Support Programme (MSP 2000-2001), Urban Planning and Management Programme (UPMP, 2001-2003), the Governance and Development Planning Programme (GDPP, 2003-2006), Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme phase 1, (2005-2008) phase 2, (2008-2011), and the ongoing phase 3, (2011-2014). The programmes were funded respectively by the Government of the Netherlands (MSP, UPMP, GDPP) and the Swedish Government through Sida (MuSPP1, MuSPP2 and MuSPP3). (More information on MuSPP3 under Programmes).
Through these combined interventions, a new planning system has been developed, anchored and institutionalised.
Building sustainable capacity for inclusive planning is a prerequisite for accession to the European Union. UN-HABITAT has engaged with various countries in the South East European region on urbanisation policy advice and technical cooperation in the past years. To support SEE countries in furthering reforms in the areas of Housing and Urban Development and to assist in the EU integration process, UN-HABITAT, in cooperation with the Stability Pact and in close consultation with the governments in the Western Balkans was contributing to regional meetings
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.
Cities in their former boundaries are unable to provide space for new investments, which leads to unplanned and uncontrolled urban developments. Informal settlements become a common sight on the city outskirts, illegal constructions are raised, the access to services although improving over time is still not satisfactory. The Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Kosovo in 2008 puts on Kosovo’s institutions responsibility for building democratic and law-abiding structures, passing supporting legislature and building capacities of civil servants. This relates also to spatial development and gradual adoption of European standards and international principles for sustainable urbanization and good urban governance. The resolution of property issues and incorporation of informal settlements in local development plans continue to be an important factor in creating sustainable urban settlements in Kosovo.