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urban planning office

Expanding the central area of the city of Giurgiu-key factor in its social, cultural and economic recovery


The theme chosen for this project is "Expanding the central area of the city of Giurgiu-key factor in its social, cultural and economic recovery.”

Central areas are the places that connect, polarize interests, activities and people; therefore their presence in an urban area is vital.

The site chosen for study is an area of interest for residents and local government due to its central location, and the good links with other important areas of the city. The existence of a generous size plot, free of buildings, right next to the center of the city, currently represents a problem, but can be transformed into a great development opportunity in the context in which Giurgiu is situated on the Danube river and may be considered in the near future a satellite of Bucharest.

The area in study presents great urban development potential for the entire city, as it is currently a largely occupied disused railway infrastructure, thus being incompatible with the central-type activities. Also, the use of land is currently very low. This area represents the main point which can accommodate economic and residential developments in Giurgiu, and offers the possibility for an accelerated implementation. A project of urban restructuring in this area provides opportunities for a significant improvement in terms of public, residential and economic development, at the same time increasing the number of employees in the area and prevents urban sprawl.

The real challenge of this plan is to achieve economic, physical and social development for the area, and therefore for the city, by: exploiting the potential of the site, raising the quality of life in the area, the creation of several landmarks in the city, and creating a space of both architectural and urban design quality.


The urban development of the city of Giurgiu will have to take advantage of all the assets which result from its geographical position (near Bucharest and next to the Danube), and to create an attractive and competitive destination, which will be able to house  a large variety of activities of local, regional, national and international importance.

Giurgiu is a city with a high potential for development, being located on two pan-european corridors: corridor VII - The Danube, and corridor IX. Also, the distance between Giurgiu and Bucharest is rather small - 60km. 

The proximity to Bucharest, high accessibility within Western Europe because of the Danube - Maine - Rhine channel, the construction of a future airport within a 40km radius from the city, and the bridge across the Danube (connecting Romania to The Balkans), are some of the reasons why this city should be an important economic, cultural, social and tourist hub.

The main objective regarding the evolution of the city over the next 20 years consists of the development of the city as a dynamic European city on the river Danube, having a specific regional, national and international role.

The purpose of this project is to examine and understand the process of developing a central urban area and apply this knowledge in the recovery, extension and transformation of the central area of Giurgiu, as a mixed area, identifiable in the city, with its own character, which is meant to be the engine of economic, social and cultural city development.

The reason I chose to tackle such a problem is that currently, the city is not enjoying the advantages that such an area could offer in developing and promoting the city, the existing center is very poorly developed in terms of diversity  of the activities which should be included in such an area.

The vision for the new center of Giurgiu consists of a vibrant center which combines housing, retail, office, culture and leisure activities, creating a sustainable destination with a clearly defined and distinctive character. It is the place where people can live, work, and use the space during the day, but also during the night, a social interaction space, a space for all types of events.

Its position in relation with the whole city, but also the variety of means of transport provides an increased level of accessibility and mobility on both the north-south axis (in conjunction with Bucharest City) and west-east axis (in relation to Alexandria City and Russe City). This extension of the center is also an attractive area for pedestrian and bicycle users.

Main Objective

The development of the city as a dynamic European city on the river Danube, having a specific regional, national and international role.

Most new developments give special attention to the sustainability of the project. The newly created urban tissue is located on an underused territory (railroad infrastructure brownfield), despite the fact that it is right next to the old city center and the new civic center which was built under the communist regime.

The aim of the project is to reach a high level of sustainability concerning alternative means of transport, encouraging walking and cycling, by creating a pedestrian and cycle friendly public space system.

Another goal is to increase the effectiveness of the public utilities system and to gradually switch to the use of alternative energies.

The new development creates links with the adjacent neighborhoods, consisting in physical links (streets), but also visual links through the gradual changing of certain types of buildings nearby according to the surrounding existing buildings. The new constructions also help create and improve the image / perception of the street.

The development offers a system of open spaces, ensuring the need for relaxation and recreation facilities, but also being able to offer residents cultural events. The new proposed cultural axis, plays an important role in the area, but also in the entire city, becoming it's "backbone".

In defining the different areas of varying function, the project tried to create certain areas with a local identity, and not single-function areas. Activities such as retail are found throughout the development, and especially at the lower levels of buildings, which were designed to provide public uses such as cafes, restaurants, commercial spaces, exhibitions etc. I used this to ensure continuity of the ground floor activity frontage on the main streets, and to activate the public space edges (very important interface between the building and the space which it defines).


Project name/ Expanding the central area of the city of Giurgiu-key factor in its social, cultural and economic recovery


project location/ Giurgiu city, Giurgiu county

project type/ urban design - urban renewal, Study project

size/ 46 ha

year/ 2010

office/ Urban Synapse


Proiect participant la concursul internațional de arhitectură durabilă ”Holcim Awards 2011”

Secțiunea Next Generation

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