Tuesday, January 15, 2013

While Romania’s cities move in a green direction ...

I've been to Romania only once (in 1997), and of the cities covered in this article, my travels took me to Bucharest and Cluj.

You may recall my fixation with contemporary Romanian cinema, and more recently, Gregor von Rezzori's novel "Memoirs of an Anti-Semite" includes lengthy digressions to the Bucharest of the writer's semi-autobiographical youth. The book deserves a review, by the way, and perhaps I'll write one at some point.

At any rate, it's my guess that many Europeans regard Romania as a weak link in the EU, and I can attest that based on what it was like in 1997, the upward climb will be steep for a long while to come. This doesn't mean that progress is lacking. Thanks to Jeff for posting this at Facebook.

How Romania’s Five Biggest Cities are Moving in the Green Direction, by Dana Fatol (This Big City blog)

After joining the European Union back in 2007, the word “sustainability” started to be heard more frequently in Romania. New opportunities for people to explore and learn from Western countries were suddenly opened, but also new minimum requirements to be met. Baby steps have been taken since then, sometimes because of bureaucracy, sometimes because of other priorities, and sometimes just because of lack of money.

Let’s have a look at the five biggest cities in Romania and their way to the green side: Bucharest – the capital city (population 1,677,985), Cluj-Napoca (population 309,136), Timisoara (this is my city, population 303,708), Iasi (population 263,410) and Constanta (population 254,693). They all share a few things in common: they want an urban regeneration, to reduce energy consumption and use modes of transportation other than cars.

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