Bucharest is the Capital of Romania and has a population of approximately 1,800,000 inhabitants. It is the largest city in the Country and is the centre for the nation’s cultural, industrial and financial activities. It is the largest and most prosperous city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, on the banks of the Dâmbovița River less than 100 km up north of the Bulgarian border.
Its architecture is featured neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, art deco communist era and modern elements. Its elegance namely attributed to the city, in the first half of the 19th century, the name of “Little Paris” or “Micul Paris”.
Why was it chosen as a ‘Pilot City’
Bucharest is the capital city. The intervention will be in District 2. The city does not have a specific office related to diversity but is willing to create one. Bucharest is a member city of the Covenant of Mayors.
The main objectives of the city of Bucharest are:
The Bucharest Living Lab is centred around the reconversion of green spaces and community spaces aiming at putting together different social communities. All the actions will involve members of the district communities to ensure better knowledge and understanding of each other. The aim is to increase the well-being of the global community, improving the air quality and reducing GHG. A further aim will be to increase public awareness of Air Quality, climate and diversity.
Area of Intervention
The selected intervention area in Bucharest is located in the city centre, at the corner of Bulevardul Carol I and Strada Paleologu. The road is a likely source of high levels of air pollution at least during peak hours. The area has several smaller and larger shops on both sides of the busy road. There is a very busy road right next to a residential area which houses several vulnerable groups (minorities, elderly, disabled people, LGBTQ+).
Improvements to the area may offer opportunities for attractive and healthy leisure and commuting activities for residents, especially vulnerable groups (limited traffic, safe crossings, good light, no dangerous surfaces), healthy (fitness, better air quality) with something attractive to experience (stimulating use of senses).
Activities in the City
The solutions are yet to be decided as part of the co-creation activities within the project, but some actions have been suggested:
- Public Space interventions such as temporary pedestrianization and NBS to mitigate air pollution, create safer public spaces, and enhance social cohesion (e.g. “Open streets for citizens” or markets of bio-agricultural producers.
- Green transformation of brownfields into forests to create complex ecosystems that improve Air Quality, increase biodiversity, CO2 storage and citizens‘ well-being.
- Urban vegetable garden for creating a community meeting space, encouraging the community in the creation of the NBS and promoting SI.
- Mobile Green elements (e.g. “Green bicycle parking”) to encourage green mobility, and support the improvement of Air Quality and Decarbonisation.