New Europe #1

Page 40


Cosmina Goagea

COSMINA GOAGEA © Julie Lunde Lillesæter / Differ Media

‘C O M M U N I T Y B U I L D I N G C A N R E A L LY H E L P P U T A P L A C E O N T H E M A P. ’ Architect Cosmina Goagea wears many hats as a City Maker: she is involved in urban activism, participative architecture, and public space rehabilitation, as well as in political programmes and urban strategies. Cosmina co-founded Zeppelin Association, an NGO involved in both practical city-thinking projects and research. Zeppelin publishes online articles and editions in print to inspire communities to develop a sense of civic responsibility as a lively factor of urbanity. Cosmina and her team led the European project Connected. Things about future, cities and people. Hosted in Bergen, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Bucharest, the multi-disciplinary project addressed the future impact of new technologies on urban dynamics. Cosmina is at the forefront of the transition taking place in Bucharest. ‘Critical challenges are activating public space, preserving urban heritage, and the tension between excessive regulation and a lack of government support’, she says. Change is slow, but she emphasises


that the number of urban interventions and events is becoming increasingly visible every year and people have started taking more responsibility when it comes to creating a better city. This was intensified by a tragic fire accident at a nightclub last autumn which killed at least 64 people. It provoked tens of thousands of young people to take to the streets of Bucharest calling for an end to corruption, ultimately leading to the prime minister’s resignation. ‘All the bottom-up initiatives mobilised, together with a group of experts’, says Cosmina. ‘Now, these initiatives are acting together in order to reset the rules and make a shift possible. We can now actually say that civil society is making the cities in Romania today.’