DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B53/S21.070

WHEN RURAL TURNS TO URBAN: A SHORT STATISTICAL ANALYSIS ON THE ROMANIAN POST-SOCIALIST URBANIZATION

I. S. Jucu
Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2014, www.sgem.org, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-19-3 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 19-25, 2014, Book 5, Vol. 3, 529-536 pp

ABSTRACT
Scholarly interest in the process of urbanization, especially in the former socialist
countries from Eastern and Central Europe, has intensified over the last decades. In this article, I focus on how the Romanian cities and towns numerically increased, framing a false process of post-socialist urbanization under the recent capitalist power. Looking back on the communist Romania, during the last decades of the Romanian statesocialism, the former socialist political system ruled a false urbanization based on industrial development in order to portray so called socialist economic improvement. Hence, the number of the Romanian cities and towns continuously increased fuelling a large process of false and unreal urbanization. It was proved by the broad decline of the Romanian cities and towns after the collapse of the former communist regime (especially mono-industrial and low-specialized industrial towns). Their decline was engendered by the failure of the Romanian planned economy that turned to the market economy. This adjustment was crucial for the new post-socialist urban formation. On such a background, despite all the social and economic problems in the Romanian urban system, the post-socialist national policies endorse further post-socialist interventions in increasing number of the cities and towns. It, somewhat, shows the apparent postsocialist urban development in Romania disguising the urban problems that cities and towns face with. As such, the number of the urban settlements in Romania multiplied counterpart revealing a deep rural everyday life embedded both in the urban landscapes and in the cities and towns patterns and functionalities. Considering these issues, the paper examines the phenomena of Romanian urbanization in the last two decades unveiling the growth of the number of the urban settlements under the post-socialist policies. Beyond this recent urban (re)production, many Romanian towns remain rural and under-developed related to the contemporary EU policies demands. The methodological design of the study bases on the recent key literature in order to set the scene of the contemporary trends of current urbanization and on the available statistical data in Romania. The findings of the article frame the circular argument of the paper whereby the increased numbers of the towns in post-socialist Romania rather suggest an artificial growth of the urban at the national level than a functional urban evelopment, the most post-socialist Romanian towns being rather settlements with rural ways of life and landscapes than modern towns or cities.

Keywords: urbanization, post-socialism, towns, development, Romania