Urban Bioregions and Territorial Identities in Romania. The Role of Information and Communication Technology
Adrian-Daniel MUNTEAN1, Remus-Adrian CARANFIL1, Oana-Ramona ILOVAN* 2, 3 * Corresponding author 1 Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Territorial Identities and Development Research Centre, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA 2 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Department of Regional Geography and Territorial Planning, Territorial Identities and Development Research Centre, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA 3 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Geography, Berlin, GERMANY
Abstract. This article explores the current measures and initiatives implemented in Romania to determine what is the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in creating bioregions, and especially in how cities, as potential urban bioregions, play a part in this process. The exploratory documentation and database creation was done through keyword-search on the Google search engine, because of the current COVID-19 restrictions. The initiatives found by keyword searching were then divided into two categories, ICT-related, and non-ICT, and represented in table format. The keyword-based search has led to several results, which were displayed using ArcMap 10.5 and analysed by being superimposed on the historical and development regions of Romania. Firstly, results showed that, in Romania, a bigger concentration of population did not necessarily correlate with a higher number of sustainable practices. Secondly, that cities’ bio/eco food demand, as well as fertile soil, created the premise for the start of numerous eco/bio-certified farms and businesses. Thirdly, cities, and especially the four major regional capitals (Bucharest, Iași, Cluj-Napoca, and Timișoara) had more practices and especially smart-based ones. Finally, results indicated a large regional inequality in terms of the number of sustainable practices, with eastern regions being shallower, while western regions and those counties in proximity to important urban centres being favoured. This exploratory study helps to understand the stage of reaching the aims of the bioregional paradigm in Romania.
K e y w o r d s:territorial resources, bioregionalism, eco-farming, smart initiatives, regeneration, sustainable development, inequality, regional development, COVID-19