Metropolitan Field Trip Bucharest – 24-27 may 2014

Who is joining for a 4-day Field Trip to Bucharest from 24-27 May 2014?


Bucharest is growing and changing like never before. The city is expanding and changing its appearance, the city is becoming a metropolis. Pakhuis de Zwijger, de Vereniging Deltametrool and Brainville are organising together with Eurodite a 4-day metropolitan field trip to Bucharest, where we will examine the dynamics of this Eastern European city. How does planning work? How do the local authority and central government act and how are citizens and entrepreneurs involved? How do cultural entrepreneurs operate in the city and what is the role of vacant buildings in these turbulent developments? What about the enormous wealth of cultural heritage: how will this be safeguarded for future generations?


The Romanian capital of Bucharest once used to be the Paris of the East. Communism put an end to the belle époque episode. Meanwhile Romania has left behind this period. Now the post-socialist government leaves its imprints on urban development. The megalomaniac palace of Ceaucescu remained. And the grey housing blocks that were built in the communist era still dominantly determine the image of the city. However, a new layer of urban development has been added onto the past consisting of shopping malls, office towers and vast expanding housing areas (urban sprawl) that hardly fit into strategic planning documents. On a smaller scale, in the city center, interesting initiatives are visible and generate hope for higher quality of city life. City parks are being maintained, bicycles gain terrain, cultural initiatives flourish and the beauty, the legacy of the belle époque has been rediscovered. Empty buildings are redeveloped on a low budget basis into new functions for art, culture and night life.

What are we going to do in Bucharest?

From a broad perspective we will study the transition of Bucharest as a metropolis. We will visit the studios of the metropolitan planners, but we will especially look around in the city and beyond, we will meet with colleagues, citizens and entrepreneurs and search for the many small-scale and often “informal” urban interventions.

It is the first of a series of field trips in which we aim at developing sustainable long-term relations within a European network of people and organisations that are active in ‘shaping the metropolis’. One of the activities targeted is establishing a cultural embassy in Bucharest.

 Why should you join for Bucharest?
Because you are active in the city in transition, in metropolitan development and you want to broaden your perspective and find out more on the urban practice elsewhere on the European continent.  You like to meet with other experts and to build up sustainable international relations for the future. But especially, because you like to explore the mechanisms of urban transition together with a vibrant and inspiring group of Dutch professionals with different backgrounds and travel around Bucharest.

Confirmed participants so far (to be updated):

You would like to join? Find out more about the programme and register at the website of Pakhuis de Zwijger