The city of Bucharest is promoting sustainable growth and social cohesion through the creation of a multipurpose public park.
The creation of a public utility park in the Ion Creangă neighbourhood of Bucharest was one of the objectives of the 2nd District Integrated Urban Development Plan, financed under the 2007-13 Regional Operational Programme and initiated by the city administration. In line with goals for sustainable growth, the park was designed to integrate the social needs of the community with environmental protection, increase accessibility and mobility, and reduce disparities between the Ion Creangă area and more developed parts of Bucharest.
The large green space increases the communities quality of life , encouraging residents to take part in outdoor activities, and providing an opportunity for better connections between the Roma community and other residents. The park has significantly improved the urban infrastructure and quality of the environment, including efficient energy use and has helped change the public perception of the neighbourhood.
URBACT Good Practice Label
This project was awarded the 'URBACT Good Practice Label' in 2017.
The problems the Ion Creangă neighbourhood was facing before creating the green infrastructure, public utility park were: high percentage of petty crime, lack of facilities for people with disabilities, insufficient green space that contributed to the migration of young population to more developed areas, lack of recreational areas, air pollution, lack of awareness of environmental protection, a large amount of waste.
The projects general objective is it increase the quality of life and the level of social cohesion, by improving the urban infrastructure of the Ion Creangă neighbourhood.
The specific objectives of the project:
- Develop and implement an Integrated Plan of Urban Development;
- Increase the surface of modernized public areas, especially that of the recreational areas;
- Create new jobs;
- Improve safety in the neighbourhood
- Increase the level of environmental protection;
- Promote non-discrimination and social inclusion.
The Ion Creangă public utility park was implemented using a sustainable and integrated approach as part of the 2nd District Integrated Urban Development Plan, which was considered the right solution for the area after consultations between citizens and local government representatives.
A public utility park provides the following benefits to the residents of the neighbourhood.
- Educational value - a valuable resource offering numerous educational programmes that bring together community members of diverse ages, ethnic backgrounds, and economic status to learn from one another.
- Economic value – support public health, the economy, the environment, education, and community cohesion; high-quality public utility parks also spur economic development by attracting homebuyers and boosting residential property values by as much as 15 percent, meaning greater wealth for residents and increased revenues for cities.
- Public Health value - urban public utility parks support public health by cleaning the air that the residents breathe, outdoor activities in open spaces lower stress, improve physical and emotional health, reduce hyperactivity, and build stronger immune systems.
- Community value - residents’ sense of community ownership and stewardship is increased.
- Environmental value - natural landscapes are vital, sustainable and rational management of waste, increasing energy efficiency.
- Rehabilitation of the existing green area and planting of trees on a surface of 16,500 square meters
- Alleys with stabilized sands on a surface of 1,100 square meters
- Landscaping having visual impact
- Development of a lighting installation with solar energy having a length of 2 km
- Development of an automated irrigation network which will allow the irrigation of 16,000 square meters
- Development of 2 playgrounds with a surface of 1045 square meters equipped with a swing for children labyrinth, playhouses etc
- Development of a recreational area
- Development of bicycle lanes
- Fencing with composite materials WPC
- 772 ml and installation of access gates – 8 pieces
- Placement of drinking water fountains - 8 pieces; - Placement of toilets - 8 pieces
- Placement of 4 electronic information kiosks and 4 information panels and a video surveillance system with 8 cameras
- Installing 50 park benches
- Providing 30 trash cans for selective waste collection
The lead agencies for the project are the Romanian Government and District 2 of the Municipality of Bucharest with financial support from the EU.
The Total budget for the project:
Project total value: RON 9,705,063.16 (EURO 2,094,075.81)
- Contribution of the EU: RON 6,073,383.89 (EURO 1,310,463.01)
- Contribution of the Romanian Government: RON 1,258,517.01 (EURO 271,552.07)
- Contribution of District 2 of the Municipality of Bucharest: RON 2,373,162.2 (EURO 512,060.71)
The park's creation had positive impacts in terms of environment, health and community:
- It made the Ion Creangă neighbourhood more liveable; it offered recreational opportunities for at-risk youth, low-income children, and low-income families;
- It increased residents’ sense of community ownership and stewardship, provided a focus for neighbourhood activities, expose inner-city youth to nature, connect people from diverse cultures, improved the interaction and communication with the Roma residents in the surrounding areas.
- Provided a high quality environment for the community;
- Provided sustainable and rational management of waste by installing compartmentalised bins to educate the population to collect garbage differently;
- Increased energy efficiency through the automated installation of lighting and irrigation systems;
- Increased outdoor activities in open spaces, connection through sports and games between Roma children and Romanian children;
- Attracted homebuyers and boosted residential property values in the area by as much as 15 percent.
The project can be implemented in other cities that face similar problems to the Ion Creangă neighbourhood – areas where it is vital to create green space to increase the quality of life for the community, promote sustainable growth and protect the environment.
URBACT case study: Public utility park, Sustainable growth and social cohesion through the creation of a multifunctional public park: http://urbact.eu/public-utility-park
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