ArgumentNo. 3/2011

Urban transformers _ A case study on urban transformation. Bucharest between two worlds and the forces shaping the city

Abstract

Keywords: urban actors, forces, urban transformation.

World cities strive to provide an answer to the issues of human development under the stress of global or local challenges. In these important times of urban evolution Bucharest, still numb and anchored in the recent history of Eastern Europe, has the chance but also the historical need to regain its vocation and find its future. By contrast, cities of the Old Europe are quite active in the field of urban transformation. With the intent to present at least a partial overview and to identify some of the factors that contribute to the dynamics of this transformation the article proposes case studies of projects located in Bucharest, Berlin and London. Along with Canary Wharf and Potsdamer Platz are introduced Bucharest 2000 and the more recent Esplanada. Drawing from Dejan Sudjic’s hypothesis on the success of urban transformation as the result of collaboration between the urban actors – this is an attempt to identify, within the case studies, the relationships between the political-theoretical-practical forces and the impact on success or failure of studied projects. A selection of statistical data on the three studied towns as well as on their urban development governance tries to offer a comparative picture thus concluding on few strategic recommendations towards the success of urban transformation in Bucharest.

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