How Green are Romania’s Cities? A Quarter - Century of Green Area Policy
1 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Centre for Research on Settlements and Urbanism, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
Abstract. Green areas are one of the most essential - but more often than not overlooked by planners, officials, and local governments - functional parts of a city. This paper examines the evolution of such zones in 42 of the most important urban areas of Romania (the county capital cities) focusing on two years, 1993 and 2015. Furthermore, the paper links the evolution of green area developments to different legislative policies and planning practices that emerged after the fall of communism and the emergence of capitalism in this part of Europe. We conclude that the apparent expansion of green areas masks an unfortunate and somewhat dangerous situation, as a quarter of a century of territorial, regional, and local planning has failed to create not only good public green areas, but also enough square meters compared to built areas. Solutions can be found in improving the existing legislation and implementing new, more steadfast urban development schemes that put green areas at their very core.
K e y w o r d s: green areas, urban, county capital city, policy, planning