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Romanian Regional Development Program-Enhanced Spatial Planning Report

March 18, 2014

Efficient spatial planning can lead to better economic, social, and environmental outcomes. That’s the idea behind a World Bank Report, which argues that such planning can play a strategic role in driving development.
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Damaris Cata is a 19-year-old university student who lives in the suburban development of Floreşti, in northwestern Romania.

She says the area could be perfect if the developers had only planned it just a little bit better.

“We don’t have medical service around here and the roads are not as they should be,” Cata says.

As countries progress, spatial planning- the methods used to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales-becomes more and more important.

This is especially true for Romania, which has basically learned to do such planning from scratch, following the collapse of the country’s centralized planning system back in 1989.

While it is clear to urban planners why spatial planning is so important, it is not always easy to convince others of this, says a World Bank Enhanced Spatial Planning report.

Open Quotes

We don’t have medical service around here and the roads are not as they should be. Close Quotes

Damaris Cata
19-year-old university student who lives in the suburban development of Floreşti, in northwestern Romania

“Spatial planning is the activity of laying down on earth, on surface, on terrain, various human activities for working, living, free time- all production, all activities that are related to territorial impact, so to speak, and this has to be planned, and the activity of planning, the use of service, of land, is spatial planning,” explains Eugen Panescu, an Urban Planner from the Romanian city of Cluj who helped prepare the World Bank report.

According to the report, coordinating new investments in space represents extra work for public entities – creating reluctance to do this. For private entities, regulations associated with spatial planning are often viewed as added restrictions on top of already existing public controls.

The World Bank report highlights the need for Romania to come up with a guide for its regional plans, which is accessible to all, easy to read, and clearly defines what local and state entities will be responsible for when making future spatial plans.

The underlying idea behind such a guide is that efficient spatial planning can lead to better economic, social, and environmental outcomes for Romania’s people.

Open Quotes

Spatial planning is the activity of laying down on earth, on surface, on terrain, various human activities for working, living, free time- all production, all activities that are related to territorial impact, so to speak, and this has to be planned, and the activity of planning, the use of service, of land, is spatial planning Close Quotes

Eugen Panescu
Urban Planner from the Romanian city of Cluj