Qendra Marrëdhënie (Relationship Center)
Simon Battisti is the director of Qendra Marrëdhënie (QM, Relationship Center), a nonprofit urban research and action group based in Tirana, Albania. QM supports institutions—from schools, to parent councils, to municipal agencies—with research and design expertise to improve neighborhood equity and their provision of well-being to people. Currently, QM works with the Municipality of Tirana developing a comprehensive walkable neighborhoods plan focused on the needs of young children and their caregivers. Supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s Urban95 program, Tirana’s “Hundred Neighborhoods Plan” includes design guidelines, evaluation and monitoring indicators, and a program of pilot projects at schools across the city. Neighborhood walkability projects are additionally supported by NACTO GDCI’s Streets for Kids Initiative and the Creative Europe Western Balkan Fund. Simon holds degrees in architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.