Join us on this four-day field trip to Bucharest and meet your professional peers and local City Makers.
The political landscape dramatically changed since the national elections in November 2014 with the victory of Christian Liberal candidate Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic Saxon German and mayor of Sibiu who nobody had expected to win.
One year later, tens of thousands, mostly young people, went out on the streets of Bucharest calling for an end to corruption and for better governance, following a fire in the Bucharest nightclub Colectiv on 30 October 2015 that killed at least 64 people. The mass protests led to the resignation of the Prime Minister of Romania, Victor Ponta. As a solution Iohannis installed a government of technocrats for 1 year until the national elections due in autumn 2016.
“Romania is doing surprisingly well. Romania’s economic growth rate compares very favourably to that in the rest of Europe” and “Romanian people are concentrating on the right things. They’re fed up with corruption”, according to Robert D. Kaplan U.S. analyst and writer, who just published his new book about Romania ‘In Europe’s Shadow’.
Bucharest is changing. Slowly, but surely moving forward. People take responsibility and action for a better city. The number of urban interventions and events that take place throughout the city become more visible every year.
What will the Bucharest Metropolitan Field Trip 2016 entail?
We invite you to explore the developments that take place in the southern part of the city: new initiatives, cultural and social businesses, transformed industrial spaces and protected species in a green delta on an abandoned and forgotten land.
‘Bucharest South’ traditionally has a more negative image than the prosperous and better developed northern part of the city. In the field trip we will visit some of these urban initiatives that create value for the neighbourhood. We meet with City Makers that reveal that the south side of the city is now being discovered and explored by creative minds and young entrepreneurs. The field trip takes places a few days after the local elections on June 6. We don’t know the new political context yet but it surely will be one of the topics to be discussed during the field trip.
With a broad perspective on transition and social innovation in urban development we will study Bucharest as a city and a metropolis. We will meet local City Makers, professional peers, residents, entrepreneurs, and study the small-scale, often informal urban interventions.
Why should you join the Field Trip to Bucharest?
Because you are (actively) engaged in the transition of cities, or urban development in general. You want to broaden your horizon and witness how things are done elsewhere in Europe. You want to meet new people within your field of interest or profession, and want to establish sustainable (inter)national contacts. And first and foremost, you want to get a unique perspective on Bucharest, in the company of an inspiring group of peers and have the practicalities fully taken care off.
Practical information & Booking
Participants are responsible for booking their own transportation to and from Bucharest.
Day 1 | Thursday June 9
- 15:00 Gather in lobby hotel and welcome
- 15:15 Leave from Hotel
- 15:45 Arrival at Timpuri Noi Metro station. Introduction on Bucharest South by Constantin Goagea and Meta van Drunen
- 16:15 Visit site Colectiv Nightclub. The devastating fire on 30 October 2015 had a massive impact on politics and led to strengthened enforcement of building regulations.
- 16:30 Visit La Firul ierbii, an initiative group created as an open urban center for active local communities and creative industries in Bucharest to meet, debate, organize events or simply interact with each other. Through this project, they build and promote a culture of public dialogue and active involvement.
- 17:00 Tour at NOD Makerspace. A cluster of creative industries in a former cotton factory, presentation by Florin Cobuz and Tamina Lolev. In five months time this factory floor was transformed by a group of young architects into a centre for makers and creative entrepreneurs.
- 18:30 Creatieve Industries Network-drink in collaboration with Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands and Netherlands Romanian Chamber of Commerce (NRCC), with presence of Her Excellency Stella Ronner-Grubačić, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Romania (to be confirmed) and Sebastiaan van Hese, President of NRCC and director of Fokker Engineering Romania.
- 21:00 Performance:In search of Europe by Lucas de Man, about a new generation awakening in Europe that is ready to fight for change. Who are the visionaries? How do they see our time and society? How do they deal with issues such as new democracy and (the enclosure of) the commons? Lucas de Man relates the current European generation and the transition period of our continent, to the previous paradigm changing period: the shift from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Is something similar happening now?Location: Rooftop Deschis Gastrobar, with spectacular view on Bucharest.
Day 2 | Friday June 10
- 10:00 Gather at lobby
- 10:30 Leave from hotel
- 11:30 – 13:30 Vacaresti Safari – Asmita gardens. A tour in this hidden green delta in the middle of the city. (Don’t wear open shoes) We will be welcomed by Dan Barbulescu of the Association Nature Park Vacaresti on the panoramic deck on the 17th floor. From there we will enter the special area and we will make a walk through the urban delta. On an abandoned hydro construction site (south -east of Bucharest) an unexpectedly rich natural ecosystem has developed in recent years.
- 14:00 Lunch at local place
- 15:30 Ateliere fara Frontiere. We visit the social initiative Workshops without Borders (Ateliere fara frontiere), a Romanian foundation, operational since 2008 and focusing on the social and professional integration of persons in difficulties. The workshop is located near the South Square (Piata Sudului) in a former industrial space.
- 16:30 Leave by taxi
- 17:00 Halele Carol Garden. We will visit the exhibition Post Industrie that opened in May 2015 in the factory garden at Halele Carol. The exhibition consists of a path with art installations and design in the outdoor spaces of the factory. The installations comment and reflect the value and the history of the place, the link between the industrial site and the park. Under the name of Halele Carol (Carol Factory), Zeppelin Association and Eurodite initiated a process of transformation to address the topic of transformation of industrial areas and iconic industrial architecture and to set an example for reuse of the factory site of Halele Carol in Bucharest in the Carol park.
- 18:30 Fabrica – drinks and dinner. We will have a cold drink at the terrace of Fabrica, located in a former socks factory and converted into a venue for concerts, café and small shops for urban culture and craft studios.
- 20:30 Free evening programme
Day 3 | Saturday June 11
- 10:30 Bucharest walking tour 1,5 hrs – Hidden gems and city in decay. Guided tour by urbanist and city guide Livia Morega. Start from hotel, ends at Casa Ion Mincu.
- 13:00 Visit Casa ‘Ion Mincu’. Presentation and guided tour by Stefan Ghenciulescu, editor-in-chief of Zeppelin magazine and co-founder of the Zeppelin Association. Stefan teaches at the Ion Mincu University, and is a practicing architect. Additionally, he is author, co-author, and editor of ten books and several exhibitions and research projects.Casa Ion Mincu is the former home of Romanian architect Ion Mincu and today’s headquarters of the Order of Architects (OAR). After years of careful restoration and renovation the building opened its gates to the public in 2012.
- 14:00 Street Delivery – free programme and lunch. A busy central street turns into a pedestrian area and festival terrain for one weekend per year. In small groups we will make a tour along the social and cultural initiatives that are presented and will interact with the citymakers.
- 16:00 City-walk with architectural highlights on the way. Stefan Ghenciulescu will take us through the city. We will pass by the housing complex at Strada Dogarilor designed by Romanian architecture bureau ADNBA
- 17:00 Visit Modulab, art, science and technology center. Presentation and technology workshop. We will actually make and produce something innovative. Drinks, dinner and discussion in future garden.
- 22:00 Autobaza party (optional) An industrial hall filled with old school Volkswagens. The initiative started as a garage for oldtimer cars by classic VW enthusiasts. They love to repair the cars in the weekends and on spare moments. The place is more than a garage. It is a place for workshops, discussions, events and music. Autobaza started their own radiostation. At this evening they celebrate the birthday of one of the VW models. By the way, they also like bicyclists.
Day 4 | Sunday June 12
- 11:00 Rooftop terrace, Sunday brunch and wrap-up. National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) in the the Palace of the People. Welcome and presentation by MNAC director Calin Dan. Impressions and conclusions from participants
- 13:00 Closure Bucharest Metropolitan Field Trip programme. Suggestions for the afternoon: Visit MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art and visit Palace of the People – guided tour (bring passport/ ID)