Plumbuita PIDU – Regenerating a micro-urban area in București
‘Plumbuita PIDU’ (‘Integrated Plan for Urban Development for the Area Plumbuita—Steaua Roșie—Petricani from District 2, Bucharest’) was the action implemented by the local authorities of District 2 in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania. It was partially supported by the Regional Operational Program of the EU Funds, being implemented between 2010–2014, with some components finished later. It targeted a disadvantaged area within a developed locality. The Action was defined as a ‘long term strategy for area development aiming at job market and economic growth. This strategy will be implemented by individual projects identified in the Action plan’. It had several objectives: physical regeneration of the urban environment; infrastructure rehabilitation; economic development via growth of economic activities; employment opportunities; and ethnic group integration. At the end of the day it obtained financial support only for two components of the project, namely the streets renovation and video-camera system.
The most challenging feature of the targeted area is its regimes of multiple ownership and geographical characteristics, which drove stakeholders to compete instead of collaborating with one another, including: local authorities of District 2 (PS2), Romanian Waters, the Romanian Orthodox Church, the heirs of Ghika Palace, private land restitution claimants. In this context, the poor inhabitants of the area, among which Roma ethnics, are hardly represented at the local level, and their needs were not addressed in the Action.
The Action aimed at micro-urban regeneration and restoration of the defined area of District 2, with a clear consequence of improving the quality of life for the inhabitants. But the scarcity of the implemented projects left the area almost at the same level of under-development and with no foreseeable plan for further evolutions. Moreover, the ‘integrated urban policy’ should have addressed all the aspects of Plumbuita’s societal life (including the most disadvantaged areas and population), which could not happen via the ‘urban regeneration plan’ mostly targeting infrastructural development. As a result, the Action ended up not serving the needs of the poorest, but implemented one program that re-enforced their stigmatization, the video surveillance system.