Following the transfer to democracy in 1990, the city has been keen to attract foreign investment and is undergoing major redevelopment to improve the quality of life for its citizens, boost the potential for tourism and create a base for new industries.
The northeast region is amongst the least developed in Europe and has seen significant population decline. The city saw significant social and economic development after the war, and was rapidly industrialised in the 1960s Today the local industry is based in the production and processing of materials and textiles but the city is keen to invest in the creative and innovative sectors. It has been successful in attracting EU funding for several research and development related projects, which has allowed for investment into urban development and infrastructures projects.
The government has supported improvements to the region’s transport network as part of a broader urban regeneration and with accessible transport and a developing infrastructure.
There has been important redevelopment in the commercial area of the city in the last 15 years and an increase in construction and goods delivery. While these changes may benefit the economy, they have also led to traffic congestion. Consequently the city has been investing in projects that support sustainable mobility to reduce traffic congestion and emissions. In 2013 the council approved a Sustainable Energy Action Plan that facilitates the uptake of electric vehicles, and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% for 2020.