International Urban Greening Week: bringing together Urban-Green Specialists in Bucharest, Romania

4 minute read

The International Urban Greening Week (IUGW) brought together an enthusiastic group of students and experts from the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Finland to tackle urban greening challenges in Bucharest, Romania. This event, hosted by the Romanian Center of Vocational Excellence in Urban Greening, served as a vibrant platform for participants to explore, analyze, and propose innovative solutions for enhancing urban green spaces in the city. The week was filled with enlightening field explorations across various neighborhoods, interactive workshops with leading architects and landscape designers, and an abundance of sunshine, embodying the spirit of collaboration and learning that defined IUGW in Bucharest.

Bringing Together Minds and Expertise

From April 8th to 12th, Bucharest played host to a diverse group of participants eager to delve into the city’s urban landscape. These participants were guided through a structured Innovation Camp process, which involved identifying and solving real-world challenges related to urban greening. The exploration took place in the 6th district, a bustling area known for its mix of residential, commercial, and green spaces. Guided tours and fieldwork allowed the teams to immerse themselves in the district’s unique landscape, providing a firsthand look at the issues and opportunities present.

Hands-On Exploration and Problem-Solving

One of the highlights of the week was the detailed exploration of the Drumul Taberei neighborhood. Over the first three days, participants freely navigated this area, engaging with local residents and observing the interplay between urban development and green spaces. The Drumul Taberei neighborhood, known for its parks and open spaces, provided a rich tapestry of experiences for the participants to draw upon. This immersive exploration phase allowed them to identify specific challenges, such as the need for better green space management, more sustainable urban planning practices, and increased community involvement in greening efforts.

Learning from Experts and Contextual Insights

To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the urban greening landscape in Bucharest, participants attended two in-depth sessions with a variety of experts. These sessions covered the historical, legislative, institutional, and social contexts that shape the city’s approach to urban greening. By gaining insights from seasoned professionals, including urban planners, environmentalists, and policy makers, the participants were able to contextualize their observations and identify key areas for improvement. The sessions were held by:

  •  Arch. Alex Axinte, Garaj Deschis / OPEN Garage
  • Teodora Morar, Centre for Innovation and Urban Design Sector 6
  • Mihai Balint, Innovation and Urban Design Centre Sector 6
  • Raluca Mihai, landscape designer, part of the rpr_biroul de studii contemporane
  • Mihai Culescu, landscape designer, part of the rpr_biroul de studii contemporane
  • Andreea Stan, 2nd year student at USAMVB and resident in Drumul Taberei neighbourhood

Collaborative Innovation and Solution Development

Following their explorations, the participants formed mixed-nationality teams to work on developing solutions to the problems they identified. The Innovation Camp process facilitated a collaborative environment where diverse perspectives and expertise could converge. The teams brainstormed, debated, and refined their ideas, ultimately proposing innovative solutions aimed at enhancing Bucharest’s green spaces. This collaborative approach not only fostered a deeper understanding of urban greening practices across Europe but also honed the participants’ communication and teamwork skills.

Showcasing Results and Proposing Solutions

The week culminated in a series of presentations where each team shared their findings and proposed solutions. These presentations were an opportunity to showcase the innovative ideas developed during the week and to discuss their potential impact on Bucharest’s urban landscape. Solutions ranged from introducing new green infrastructure projects to enhancing community engagement in local green initiatives. The discussions that followed were vibrant and constructive, reflecting the participants’ commitment to making a positive impact on urban greening in Bucharest and beyond.

Conclusion: A Week of Learning and Impact

The International Urban Greening Week in Bucharest was more than just an educational event; it was a dynamic forum for cross-cultural exchange and collaborative problem-solving. The experience provided valuable insights into the complexities of urban greening and demonstrated the power of international collaboration in addressing environmental challenges. As the participants returned to their respective countries, they carried with them a renewed passion for urban greening and a wealth of knowledge to apply in their own communities.

The Romanian Center of Vocational Excellence in Urban Greening represents WorldSkills Romania, Liceul Tehnologic “Cezar Nicolau” Branesti and AsoP Romania within the framework of the international platform – European Platform for Urban Greening.