ro_RO Română

Case study on four decaying cities

The dawn of the socialist industry and the Romanian small towns

What is the future of hundreds of communities, small towns, artificially overdeveloped under communism? Can they survive, or must they disappear? Can they adapt in a competitive environment, or are they simply unsustainable and the state must think of some sort of “smart shrinking”, to help the locals cope with industry restructuring in a decent way? And, last but not least, is there any one-size-fit-all solution, or must each community find its own way?

Siemens has organized a competition for students to come up with ideas for a sustainable future for one such town, Victoria. We met the “challenge” function in this process. That is, we prepared a policy brief  with four case studies showing the practical limitations of policy makers in choosing the right solution. And we were part of the jury assessing the students’ projects, asking tough questions. There is hope, however: projects prepared by the five finalist teams were excellent, even better than the average policy documents in real life.

See the paper here (RO only). This is the report published for project “Victoria 20.20”, in partnership with Siemens Romania.

Also, read some of the press quotes about the project

Are you living in a small or medium sized town? See if yours is doomed to perish, EVZ May 24, 2011
One in ten Romanians live in towns that are close to disappear, Adevarul, May 25, 2011
One in ten Romanians live in communities doomed to dissapear, Capital, May 24, 2011
10% of Romanians live in towns to be phased out. See which are the localities in danger, Romania Libera, May 24, 2011
Economic crisis drives small towns in a survival crisis, Saptamana Financiara, May 24, 2011


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