Bucharest 2025

A new paradigm

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Abstract

Bucharest is an urban palimpsest, its spatial characteristics bearing the trace of all ideological changes within its urban fabric. Its accelerated development in two stages (1850s- 1930s and 1950s-1989) generated a superposition of fragmented urban projects (signs of various stages of modernity) that were never finished. These stages in its evolution were generated by advances in technology and therefore the reformulation of the infrastructural framework, and changes in the perception of open-spaces as main arenas of publicness. After 1989, the inability of the City to produce a new infrastructural paradigm and its careless treatment of the open-space through market speculation produced chaotic development, extreme fragmentation, lack of public space, and last but most important, the lack of public trust in planners. With this problem setting in mind there are a few questions that become the backbone of this thesis: How could we use infrastructure and open-space to describe the future of Bucharest? Can they act as frameworks to produce a new paradigm for the city? Can Bucharest become a testing ground for conjectures that become relevant at a wider scale? These are the main questions to which this thesis research should be able to answer. By developing conjectures illustrating how Bucharest could be shaped around infrastructure and open-space, the ambition of this work is to produce guidelines and tools for an isotropic and permeable Bucharest.