Globalization elements in Romanian cities: searching for sustainable solutions
This paper aims to present an interdisciplinary analysis of the recent globalization trends in Romanian cities and to propose a series of guidelines for sustainable future management processes and plans. In order to provide an encompassing perspective on the Romanian urban landscapes, three cities of different scales, socio-cultural and historical backgrounds were analyzed. The study sites are: Bucharest - capital city and the largest financial, cultural and industrial centre of Romania, Sibiu - a medieval Transylvanian citadel designated European Capital of Culture in 2007 and Ramnicu-Valcea - a small town situated in a touristic and cultural mountain area.
As culture has become increasingly global and placeless, more scholars argue for the careful management of diversity in cityscapes and put emphasis on the role of the local context. Picturesque and Gardenesque are landscape architecture styles that have acknowledged large scale replication in different parts of the world (for instance, in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Argentina, China). Devoid of their original significance and complexity in expression and usage, these design styles have been similarly assimilated in the Romanian cities.
In the post-communist era, the reconfiguration of Romanian urban landscapes translated in a surge in office, commercial and advertising developments, a rapid increase in urban sprawl and enlargement of infrastructure that supports car dependency. All these elements valued in a consumerism society transformed in an unprecedented fashion the urban morphology of Bucharest, Sibiu and Ramnicu-Valcea. The overarching aim of this paper is to produce a comprehensive research material with a multi-stakeholder perspective (academia, local administration, decision makers, developers, practitioners and citizens) that puts forward sustainable alternatives to current practices. The study generates a conclusion that Bucharest has acknowledged the most rapid and apparent transformations at the city fabric level under the influence of globalization elements. Nevertheless, all three urban centres analyzed have their unique local character that should be enhanced in order to create more diverse and resilient landscapes.
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