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ArgumentNo. 4/2012

Bucharest in search for Europe


At the beginning of the 19th century, Bucharest started a long process of reform. The city chose Europe as a model in order to solve its problems related to the city's expansion, the urban density, the construction regularity. Under the prevailing French influence were introduced the legislation, the city organization, the education, the new architecture, the urban reform using building alignments and haussmannian street openings. At the beginning of the 20th century, the influences diversify by the English Garden City concept or the German building classes.

In the 1930's, the administrative system and the urban achievements brought Bucharest the worldwide recognition. The reports of the international conventions of that time revealed that Bucharest's Urban Science is equated only with Paris. The Romanian capital wins gold medals or first prizes at international exhibitions.

After the cleavage from the West endured in the communist period, the Bucharest of the years 2000 seems to have regressed with more than a century. The key of solving its nowadays problems is both the implementation of the European commitments and the return to its own traditions shaped under western influence.