Transition from a centralized to a market economy yielded different responses from the former Eastern Bloc countries with economic performance directly affecting spatial composition of the cities. Post-socialist urban transformations across Central and Eastern Europe exhibit main, common features but always preserve singularities, characteristic of individual states. This paper, by using comparative methods and urban planning analyses, emphasizes differences in the degree of change for inner city areas under same transition conditions. Drawing on empirical evidence from Tirana, the paper stresses the fact that besides the obvious general change in the communism-inherited urban fabric, the degree of this change is predicated on the area's centrality and its pretransitional urban pattern. It is pointed out that this spatial change follows a mutually interactive, parallel path with the socio-economic composition of the city. The peculiarity of Tirana stands in the fact that post-socialist socio-spatial transformations are better defined by Balkanization (implying individuality and hostility) rather than segregation (which implies clustering).