While living, working and contributing in our cities, it is quite impossible not being confronted with the frenetic development of their [our cities] reality. This is often an uncontrollable development, which is deeply connected with important economic, social and cultural factors, but at the same time connected with many complex problems. Therefore, they deserve the special attention of researchers, especially the researchers in the fields of architecture, urbanism and urban planning and development. In this regard, IFAU Tirana 2017 – 1st International Forum on Architecture and Urbanism: “Cities in Transition” have been an important contribution, which transforms these complex problems in constructive debates, studies and scientific research, and by proposing sustainable and scientific solutions. On the other side, IFAU Tirana 2017 have been a very good opportunity for the Polytechnic University of Tirana, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, to identify and present the best values of the scientific studies and research, not only in the fields of architecture and urban planning, but also in regards of the doctoral school attached to the Faculty, through these three important research topics: Sustainability, Formal and Informal Settlements and Memory of Places.
The most important merit of IFAU Tirana 2017, stands in the fact that the topics and problematic raised in this forum were part of a solid collaboration and partnership with international partner Universities and researchers in Europe and beyond. IFAU17 has gathered scientists, researchers and scientific academics to exchange and share their experiences, their research results in relation to broad aspects of Architecture and Urbanism, but also to present and discuss over innovations, new trends and concerns, challenges, encountered practices and solutions approved for cities in transition. My sincere appreciation comes for all the researchers and scientists, Albanian and international ones, and for their valuable scientific works, selected by a very competent International Scientific Committee, composed of Albanian and international prominent personalities in the fields of architecture and urban planning. Gratitude, respect and encouragement for the organizers of IFAU Tirana 2017 – 1st International Forum on Architecture and Urbanism “Cities in Transition”, for their maximum dedication, and their competence in the successful organization and progress of this forum.
For all the above reasons, I express my highest considerations for these publication with the best papers presented in the IFAU Tirana 2017 – 1st International Forum on Architecture and Urbanism: “Cities in Transition”, and for all the great work done with professionalism, passion and dedication, and most importantly with a high level of scientific research, which deserves not only higher appreciation, but it gives faith and encouragement to continue organizing further successful scientific research activities in these fields.