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Urban Policy and Urbanisation in the Transititon Romania

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Author(s): JÓZSEF BENEDEK

Journal: Romanian Review of Regional Studies
ISSN 1841-1576

Volume: II;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Urbanisation | Transition | Settlement network

ABSTRACT
- The main goal of this paper is to offer an analysis about the urban development strategies in Romania. The focus will be on the transition period (after 1989). Although we can not abstract the outcomes of the urban strategies from the previous period, when the communist state regulation had full controll on the urban policy. Urbanisation was the main goal of communist developments based on the idea of modernisation of the society. Therefore we will offer a brief overwiew of the communiste urban planning strategies. It has been resulted an unbalanced urban hierarchy dominated by the capital city of Bucharest and with a weak level of small cities both in terms of functions and infrastructure. The change of the political system in 1989 has established a new environment for the urban system in Romania, marked by the EU and NATO integration process, by the further globalisation of the romanian economy, privatisation and liberalisation of the urban land- and housing market, decentralisation and growth of the weight and importance of local level. Under this circumctances a new urban development strategy has evolved based on the following elements: a) development of a polycentric and balanced urban system, diminishing the overhelming role of Bucharest and reinforcing the second level of urban centres and the level of small cities; b) a new urbanisation wave has started in 2002, where the main aim is the declaration of new towns. It relies on the fact, that in 1997 the dominant internal migration form became the urban-rural migration, without precedent in the modern history of Romania and therefore the urban population of the country is declining. As result the urbanisation level fo the EU candidate country Romania is well behind the EU level (52%), a situation which should be mastered by the new strategy of urbanisation.
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