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As our first speaker for NewNowNext 2018 we invited Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj to speak at the Royal Irish Academy.
Elected as the 42nd Mayor of Tirana in June 2015, Erion Veliaj served as a Member of Parliament and Minister of Social Welfare and Youth from 2013 through 2015. His leadership of Tirana has been by far marked by its focus on the creation of a child-friendly city. Veliaj’s major project up to date is the “Tirana030” project, planned as a landscape recovery with the aim of halting the continuous expansion of a city which hosts one third of the population of Albania. The project foresees the creation of a sustainable Greater Tirana with the addition of a two-million vast tree belt around the city, which will serve as a natural barrier to this expansion and at the same time as a pivotal element in addressing the environmental concerns of the city.