For the past weekend, Kaleidoscope has been privileged to visit and work together with the NGO Urban Insight Center, Urban INC, with Irina Paraschivoiu and Anamaria Vrabie in Bucharest, Romania. The aim of the collaboration which is supported by the EEA program, through the Bilateral Exchange Fund, is to exchange knowledge and promote bi-lateral connections, but also to delve into a case study about how to define a strategy for citizen-initiated urban regeneration in the context of the business district Pipera in Bucharest. We arranged a workshop where local architects and urban planners were invited to work together with us and are now moving further on to publish an article and a workbook as a result of the collaboration. As a part of the workshop we held presentations and discussions about Kaleidoscope as well as the Uusi Kaupunki collective, and even got to film short video talks about our ways of working. A busy and rewarding weekend in other words, happily rounded off by a visit to the local spa, Therme Bucharest, in order to balance out the work-leisure ratio.
This was the first trip to Romania for Kaleidoscope, and we can't wait to get back. We are looking forward to publishing our case study to address the potentials alongside the challenges of the growing Pipera district. The young generation of designers and planners is bound to make a difference in the way cities are built and regulated in Romania. The awareness of the power of people has started to rise in Bucharest and we can expect to see a change towards the positive, hopefully also in the way the citizens can affect the city they inhabit.