Romanian cities have huge urban potential, head of the Office of Urban Studies, Munich, Peter Zlonicky, stated, attending the 5th edition of ‘Cities of Tomorrow – competitive regions, cities & communities’, an event organizes by German-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania) and supported by The Romania Journal as media partner.
Sibiu and Timisoara are two cities representing top priorities for investors who want to come in Romania.
Peter Zlonicky emphasized the idea of their multiethnic identity as well as the existing multinational relations. In his opinion, Romania has excellent examples of buildings dating from different architectural periods and it is only up to us to make the best of them. A solution in this context would be to organize in a few years a program such as ‘International Building Exhibition’, which led to many buildings in German cities such as Berlin and Hamburg being revitalized.
In her turn, Dorothee Dubrau, architect and Leipzig deputy mayor, brought to the attention of ‘Cities of Tomorrow’ participants the way in which Leipzig transformed from a typical Eastern block city, almost derelict and de-industrialized, as is the case of many in Romania, to a young and prosperous, modern city with a strong industry and an important logistic hub.
This year’s “Cities of Tomorrow” was dedicated to the urban and regional competitiveness in stimulating sustainable development of Romania’s cities and regions. Successful promoting of a city or region means the successful cooperation of all stakeholders and is a key factor for efficient development.
One of the topics at issue was the development of cities, which does not happen by itself, but it involves a complex coordinated effort that needs the involvement of all decision makers: local authorities, investors, fund providers and the community. Significant investments must be made in the all fields: utilities, healthcare, education, transport, tourism and lifestyle. They concluded that similar to people, companies or countries, cities too are in a permanent competition: for businesses, investments, qualified workforce or tourists.
To become smart cities, the cities of the future need an integrated and holistic approach in their urban planning and development, bringing together the environment‘s economic and social dimension and the territorial one.
Constant consultations between investors, local authorities, developers and civil society, the transparency of urban plans and drafting development projects which take into account the needs of cities and citizens, the existence of a SWOT analysis for each city as well as long-term vision are highly needed issues to attract investors and thus revitalizing the Romanian cities.
There were also discussions about finding concrete, viable solutions, referring to eight topics of major importance in regional development: efficient energy and energy management, financing and EU funds, urban governance, mobility, waste management, tourism, reconversion and revitalizing of abandoned industrial sites and construction regulation.
The event ended with a debate on the promotion and branding of the cities.
Read also about how Germany’s “best practice” could get Romania out from the turning point.