Shaping the vision for future: How will the Romanian cities look like in 2050?

UrbanTalks Oradea – Romanian City 4.0 is one of our most successful editions. We managed to bring together development experts, entrepreneurs, government officials and mayors from the West region of Romania who spoke about the challenges of the development process and the opportunities for the future.

The book ”Romanian City 4.0”, which also gave the name of our debate, was written by 11 experts who wanted to create an educational product for those who want to better understand what cities will look like in 2050. Ionuţ Mărieş, Bianca Butacu, Alexandra Nae, Florina Ciuchiţă, Alexandru Popescu, Viorela Sfârlea, Oana Franţ , Corina Dovăncescu, Mihai Danciu, Adina Vinţan and Dan Silva sign the book that was announced and launched in Oradea within UrbanTalks.

The eight chapters (Vision, Development Principles, Implementing the Innovative City Concept, The Journey to Become, Children’s City, Digital Nomad’s City, City 4.0, Concepts for the Future) are not intended to be a guide for urban leaders to follow step by step, but a support for creating a vision for the future of cities. This future cannot depend entirely on the administration or the private sector. An integrated approach is needed in which all the resources that represent human capital are capable of generating change. We are talking about the public sector, the private sector, the university and the community because they manage to encourage, create contexts and support citizens who come up with innovative ideas.

The city for digital nomads

One of the essential ideas for how community can be involved in developing a city or a town is the example of one man who changed the destiny of his town. Stan Ioan Pătraș was a sculptor whose masterpieces attract tourists from all over the world because they are found in only one place in Romania: The Merry Cemetery of Săpânța. The stones he created contain anecdotes about the people buried underneath them, which makes the visitors smile and see live in a different manner. Those who visit can choose to spend a night in the town and enjoy local traditional cuisine. The example of Pătraș is about the genius in each of us that can gift something for the community through our own abilities.

The city for children

The panel following the book launch was about how Oradea attracts investors and about what the investors require from a city. The administration of Oradea and the Agency for Local Development Oradea demonstrated a proactive approach in regard to developing what the investors require: specialized workforce, locations, connectivity and strong partnership with authorities. Alina Silaghi, director of ALDO, discussed about the opportunities the city offers and expressed her belief that investments in human capital are a safe bet for building prosperity. Raluca Munteanu, Business Developer Manager IULIUS, talked about the expectations an investor has when it decides to start a multi-millions euros project. The most important aspect is having a reliable partner in the body of the public administration that will ensure the process of obtaining the necessary approvals runs smoothly because the investor has be considered reliable in his turn when he promises to deliver spaces or whatever else he is providing.

The first roundtable of the event had Daniel David (Dean of the University Babes-Bolyai), Tianu Burduja (Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization), David Achim (Make IT in Oradea) and Bianca Muntean (Transilvania IT Cluster) as speakers. The topic of the debate was innovating and developing specialized human resources. One of the main points discussed is the need of investment in the field of youth so that teenagers and young people are guided on a direction that helps them become independent on the job market.

The second roundtable had the mayors of West Romania invited to talk about limitations and opportunities regarding development. Florin Birta (Mayor of Oradea), Ioan Popa (Mayor of Reșița), Claudiu Buciu (Mayor of Lugoj), Călin Bibarț (Mayor of Arad), Ilie Bolojan (President of Bihor County Council),  Marcel Heroiu (World Bank) and Teodora Preoteasa (Department of System Coordination and Monitoring) discussed about how they see their cities in the future, how they can enlarge cooperation, invest in sustainable initiatives and bring innovation for their communities.

UrbanizeHub will continue on the path of bringing experts in front of the people to educate, inspire and promote best practice examples that are in the interest of communities and cities.

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