Page 3

2

The DANUrB Project and the cooperation of ”Ion Mincu” Faculties of Urbanism and Architecture with Giurgiu Municipality

DANUrB project

1

”Danube Urban Brand: a regional network building through tourism and education to strengthen the Danube cultural identity and solidarity ”

For UAUIM, the partnership within the DANURB project is an opportunity to continue and intensify a tradition of academic cooperation with other universities and similar faculties inthe field of urbanism and architecture. The meetings, workshops and exchange of ideas and best practices that took place within DANUrB, both with project partners' universities - Budapest University of Technology and Economics (the lider of consortium), Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Vienna University of Technology, Danube University Krems, University of Belgrade, University of Novi Sad - as well as with other entities from the same team (research institutes and research centers, NGOs and municipalities) have proved to be extremely useful and interesting for both teachers and student teams involved.

The implementation of the UAUIM's partnership within the DANUrB project meant for the Faculty of Urban Planning a moment of synthesis, the accumulation of more results of some workshops, summer schools and projects previously carried out having as subject the city of Giurgiu. The choice of Giurgiu as a case study for urban and landscape planning and design projects is fully justified both by the advantageous position of the city near Capital Bucharest and by its true potential of development due to its location on the Danube and at regional scale (Muntenia), on the north-south axis Ploiesti – Bucharest-Giurgiu. Moreover, being a border town and in a very favorable and connected position with Ruse through the Friendship Bridge, Giurgiu is a strategic location on cross-border cooperation on the one hand, and on the other hand it offers the opportunity to think about the integration of the two banks of the Danube, as elements of a single entity.

At the same time, this project is a new way of creating a bridge between the theoretical and academic research carried out within UAUIM by specialized teams of urbanists, architects and landscape designers, and the practical, applicative, project-sensitive and reality- in the field and to the specificity of administration of each studied city.

The research carried out by the DANUrB team together with the students of the Faculty of Urbanism, having as case study Giurgiu City, revealed the possibility of the city development by strengthening on the valorization of its urban and landscape patrimony. The field analyzes and visits in Giurgiu have revealed not only a potential coming from its protected built heritage represented by monuments of architecture and Giurgiu fortress, but more, coming from the specific Danube landscape at the contact with the city (Mocanu Island, The Cama Canal, Veriga lake, the Groapa de Cenusa lake), as well as from the artefacts of former industries that activated here (e.g. the Sugar Factory).

The DANUrB project put a special emphasis on the involvement of stakeholders from the Danube towns - especially medium and small size towns, such as Giurgiu, Calafat, Calarasi and Tulcea in Romania- aiming at identifying the latent, unseen or ignored values of cultural heritage, related, generated or stimulated by the presence of Danube. Through the synergy between stakeholders' opinions and information, students' energy and creativity, and the methodological rigor imposed by team co-ordinators, a coherent and effective framework of knowledge is created, able of being further developed and applied.

The research was not limited to Giurgiu, but it was always considered for the development of the city, the cross-border cooperation with Ruse, the Bulgarian twin city, bound through the Friendship Bridge. A special attention was paid to the more detailed understanding of the position of the two cities within the studied region thas has 3 pairs of twin cities across Danube (Turnu Magurele & Nikopol, Giurgiu & Ruse and Calarasi & Silistra), among which Giurgiu & Ruse have a pivotal and systemic role, given not only the larger dimensions of the localities, but also the good road and railway connectivity across the Danube and the regional territory. In defining the objectives of this research, not only the conceptual and motodological framework offered by DANUrB has been important, but also the way in which Giurgiu city responded to this challenge. Thus, the research was substantially supported by the collaboration with Giurgiu City Hall and especially with the Mayor of the city and the Chief-Architect, their involvement in the project focusing at realistic goals and opening the communication with a larger number of stakeholders in the city, whose ideas and options could have been known.

1

Research background

Methodological framework

The European Constitution defines territorial cohesion as a competence shared between the Union and the Member States. The European Spatial Development Perspective's advocacy of polycentrism and how territorial cohesion has given new impetus to pursuing this agenda (Faludi, 2006). Latest EU documents focus on development opportunities to encourage cooperation and networking and also to pay attention to strengths of areas and to the more effective targeting of policy instruments. This relates to the Lisbon Strategy of turning Europe into the most competitive area of sustainable growth in the world to which territorial cohesion policy should contribute. The Lisbon Strategy comes through loud and clear in the third Cohesion Report. In addition to competitiveness, territorial cohesion relates to sustainability (including the prevention of natural risks).

In the research carried out within the project, several specific roles have been associated with different clusters of analysis on distinct themes: 1- territorial competitivity, 2- connectivity and mobility, 3identity & livability and 4- landscape & sustainability This methodology was useful in all phases of the project - from the analysis, to the identification and assesment of the elements that can be exploited, to mapping and synthesizing data in GIS, elaborating scenarios and proposal for distinct places choosen, and the strategic spatial development plan, at the inter-municipal scale. The research questions to be answered by this research are correlated with the 4 thematic clusters: · Question 1. What is the real potential for developing this microregion formed by the Giurgiu-Ruse town pair in relation to the processes of demographic decline and high unemployment that are registered? · Question 2. How can the potential connectivity elements of the city be exploited at regional and European level so that Giurgiu can become a tourist destination on the Danube? · Question 3. How can be transformed the identified problems of the built heritage into architectural and artistic potential to development, in order to enhance the city identity and livability of the urban life? · Question 4. On what elements of the tangible and intangible landscape could rely for a cultural strategy of Giurgiu, in order to creatively develop and promote new values and unexploited resources?

In a statement on territorial cohesion, the EU Commissioner Michel Barnier (Barnier, 2004) emphasizes that EU policy already embraces aspects of territorial cohesion, and then he outlines the new directions to this policy: · Exploiting opportunities, and not just addressing problems. · Encouraging cooperation and networking. · Building on existing strengths so as to improve the targeting of cohesion policy. · Ensuring the incorporation of the sustainability agenda, including addressing the issue of natural risks. · More coherence and coordination between regional and local policies. The Danube was the major element connecting cultures, commerce and allowing travel in the history of CCE. Today, the elements of culture and the built environment testifying these rich connections are present in all settlements by the Danube, but their communities are still isolated one from the other, not fostering a better cultural understanding between the different nationalities present in the region. The large capital cities by the Danube are preferred tourist destinations in themselves, and many tourists visit more than one of these in one journey (Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest). However, these cities do not brand themselves together as one destination, nor do they have common strategy for waterfront development. Danube' cruises are the only successful tourism products connecting this outstanding chain of cities, but without a common strategy these work only by their isolated business models, insignificantly contributing to the economic and cultural cohesion. Between the “main cores” smaller towns benefit even less from their spatial-cultural position, these often have much less cultural and economic possibilities than large cities nearby. The limited development possibilities of “rural urban” areas along the Danube makes the sustainability of the region quite a big challenge.

The research in Giurgiu used qualitative methods to answer the research questions, and each cluster-work approaches a specific method for this. However, several guidelines have been established in addressing specific research methods and tools, these being correlated with the basic elements of the DANUrB study methodology: • Spatial exploration on research site (spatial research lab) • Use the appropriate scale of study according to the thematic purpose, and if necessary work simulationiously on a multiscale level • Work in mixed teams- students architects, planners, landscape planners • Exchange with external experts and stakeholders • Presentation and exchange of ideas • Iterative development processes including falsification and verification • Visualisation of informations (plans, maps) • Creation of a variety of concluding scenarios (testing ideas) • Multilingual approach • Multicode representation Besides this, during Giurgiu workshop, the teams of students and tutors have been invited and encouraged to develop creative tools and unnconventional methods as they need in order to atteind the seached answers.

2

Profile for angelica.stan

Catalogue of students work during INTERREG DANUrB Project by UAUIM Bucharest  

The catalog brings together the projects of the students of the Faculty of Urbanism of the "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urban...

Catalogue of students work during INTERREG DANUrB Project by UAUIM Bucharest  

The catalog brings together the projects of the students of the Faculty of Urbanism of the "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urban...

Advertisement