Brasov is one of the most beautiful Romanian cities. Located within the Transylvania region, the city has a millennian history that spans from the Ottoman Empire to the fall of the USSR. Its medieval ambiance has been used as a backdrop in many period films and attracts over 1,500,000 tourists per year. Therefore, tourism is one of the main pillars of the local economy. In addition to its significant cultural heritage, Brasov is also surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, making it one of the greenest cities in Romania.
Since being named the Green Capital of Romania in 2011, the city is committed to sustainability in all its forms, from promoting ecotourism to developing greener policies. Brasov works to boost local sustainable planning, transform public transportation, reduce energy consumption, and raise the share of local renewable energy sources. All this is part of an effort to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
Brasov embodies a constant search for balance between history and future, preserving its identity while being home to modern industries such as automotive, textiles, IT and a large brewery. The balance of Brasov is also in its multiculturality, being a city where ethnic Hungarians and Germans coexist in harmony with the majority Romanian population.
The city wants to become a people-friendly destination, a sustainable example for other cities, fighting neglect, museumification, and gentrification in the city centre.
The roadmap guiding the regeneration of the historic urban area is the result of a co-creation and co-design work conducted in the framework of the HUB-IN project. During the period June 2021 – May 2022, a series of participatory workshops, interviews and questionnaires involved local stakeholders and citizens. ABMEE, the local energy agency, led this process. In particular, ABMEE carried out a public consultation of the HoReCa (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes) community to determine sustainable tourism challenges and solutions. A bureau of architects supported the municipality in finding what needs to be transformed in the old town. Finally, a team of sociologists helped understand what citizens and tourists think about the historic urban area (HUA). When questioned about the main challenges, residents highlighted traffic congestion and the state of the buildings, as well as a lack of attractive events and job opportunities. Moreover, they asked for more quality services and events, more activities in the park, more areas for arts and crafts, more tourism services, and more activities for children.
The historic urban area involved in the HUB-IN project is a combination of architecture and nature. It includes the ancient fortress of Kronstadt, as well as the Drama Theatre, the Fortress Hill, the old centre – Unirii Square. This is Brasov’s touristic heart, the place to be.
Brasov HUB-IN is committed to fighting against the abandonment of the HUA caused by the touristification effects, the intense commercial activities and the lack of preservation of the local identity and heritage. The goal is to turn it into a people-centric, attractive for all ages, family-friendly but also vibrant destination, home to a range of innovative and creative entrepreneurs, where the local community thrives. Residents should feel like belonging to Brasov again.
Brasov’s HUB of innovation focuses on highlighting tangible and intangible heritage in the HUA, creating an equilibrated public space among its different functions (cultural, commercial, leisure, relaxation) and maintaining and attracting local residents, who are part of its soul and are the custodians of the local heritage.
It is an open-air HUB, with playful, educational and relaxation spaces. The HUB is using the discrete benefits of public seating as the cornerstone for revitalising social life and public involvement in the HUA. Speculating the under-the-radar benefits of public seating makes the Brasov HUB-IN innovative and a symbol of what it means for spaces to be shared. The invitation to sit makes no further demands; no price tag, dress code, minimum or maximum length of stay. The importance of people sitting and watching the world go by is fundamental to the vitality and safety of city places.
The future HUB will be an inclusive and vibrant place that promotes cultural exchange, learning and collaboration. It will feature creative and innovative public furniture, opened for each user’s interpretation and functionality, designed to foster social and educational activities, and create a balanced public space for all ages. The project aims to find and nurture an inspiring dialogue between old and new, heritage and innovation.
Sustainability, creativity, cooperation and tradition are at the heart of the Brasov HUB-IN. Find out more on the roadmap that will guide the implementation of a series of concrete actions aiming to enhance Brasov here.
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