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ArgumentNo. 10/2018

Participatory Planning for Dambovita

  • / “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania
  • / “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania


The Dâmbovița River was one of the key factors for the emergence of the city of Bucharest. However, with the hydro-technical works at the end of the 19th century, the successive stages of turning a river into a more artificial than natural element began. Now, Dâmbovița and the boulevard along it are an axis designed almost exclusively for car traffic.

Initiatives in recent years (including Bucharest's application for the European Capital of Culture competition for 2021) aimed to change the perception of the inhabitants of the Dâmbovița River. At the same time, a series of projects have been recently developed along the river, having different stages of maturity or even implementation, thus revealing the importance of the river's axis in the evolution of Bucharest.

The article analyses two examples of reconfiguration of public space in Europe's watercourses (in the cities of Poznan and Lyon), highlighting elements of planning processes which could be adapted to Bucharest’s case.

In this context, we propose the collection, in an online database, of the projects and of the specific transformation initiatives around the river, as well as the organization of professional debates aiming to formulate, in a participatory way, an action plan regarding the way in which this transformation could be made.

This article is the result of a process of preparation for a process of participatory planning. We believe that the Dâmbovița axis could be both a green corridor and a red thread through the city that could link places for culture to economic development spaces, through high-quality public spaces.


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