It is unsustainable for Bucharest to remain, in the long run, a city geared towards motor vehicle traffic. This statement opens the study we have undertaken since 2020, with the help and guidance of the World Bank Group, and that is included in the integrated strategy for Bucharest’s development. Our work may be accessed free of charge following this link:
Bucharest. The Minor Structure vol.1 investigates the status of the central secondary streets of the city, and questions the definitions, norms and standardised solutions to their design as solely traffic instruments. The role of the street as public, social, economical and cultural space is thoroughly diminished, as the reality of its use focuses on occupying and territorializing any area that may be subtracted from traffic, be it pedestrian or vehicular. The parallel and disciplined flows of the ideal street model actually translate into a patchwork of parked cars, refuse bins, guard cabins, infrastructural distribution boxes, advertising panels, that, altogether, forces a constant negotiation (either passive or vocal) and adaptation from both pedestrians and drivers.
We chose for our applied urban research the area that lies between four major central boulevards and roads, in the heart of the Creative Quarter: Calea Grivitei – Dacia, Stirbei Voda, Popa Tatu, Calea Victoriei. During our study we monitored the occupation of the street space, noting parking patterns during the workweek, week-end, night and day: 1601 cars are parked during a regular work day, occupying a quarter (2ha) of the available public domain. Out of the 1601, 127 pay for the service, and 308 are parked in marked areas. 81 are parked in unmarked areas on private lots. 1192 cars are parked illegally, and 594 of them (37%) abusively occupy zebra crossings and crossroads, creating accident-prone situations. Residents count, both legally and illegally parked, 760 cars.
Therefore, we ask: how do we reclaim the street as public space?
The project is coordinated by Alexandru Belenyi, authors Irina Belenyi, Maria Duda, Caterina Roșca, Alexandru Belenyi, Matei Bogoescu, coordinator from the World Bank Group Marcel Heroiu, collaborator Corina Chirilă, editorial design Radu Manelici, Andrei Grosu, vorsatz Florin Pantilimon, Streets of Bucharest