The 3rd of October 2016 was celebrated as the Worldwide Habitat Day, an event established by the United Nations General Assembly to remind every year of one of the 1976 HABITAT Agenda objectives, which is to ensure a decent home for every inhabitant of the planet.
In the context of this event and the urgency to raise awareness on the informal housing problems in Romania and to debate possible means of actions on this issue, we organized together with Fundația PACT a thematic debate-visit in the community of Valea Corbului – Călinești, Argeș County. Valea Corbului is an informal settlement of 280 houses and 1,500 inhabitants developed gradually over the last 70 years. With its accumulated problems, Valea Corbului is one of the most significant settlements of this kind, with an alarming number of homes built outside the legal buildable area of the village, with no ownership documents or construction permits and in unsuitable living conditions.
Informal settlements are a social and spatial reality in Romania that can no longer be ignored. Their systematization and organization require coherent public policies and complementary interventions by public authorities, both at central and local level, with responsibilities for housing, cadastre and territorial planning, education and social assistance. Therefore, the workshop brought together several representatives of relevant institutions, such as the Prime Minister Cabinet; The Ministry of Labor, Family, and Social Protection; The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration; National Agency for Roma Comunities; National Agency for Cadastre; Arges County Council and Village Hall of Călineşti.
The workshop was structured in two parts: (1) field visit and analysis in Valea Corbului, dring which the participants identified and documented a number of typologies of housing needs and (2) presentation-debate about informal settlements in Romania and possible courses of action on the issue. During the second part, the following themes were addressed: the definition and typologies of informal settlements in Romania; context and statistics of such settlements in Romania; Shared responsibilities in the informal housing; Possible approaches to urban regeneration in areas of informal housing; Types of actions and responsibilities.
You can read a detailed description of the workshop and its conclusions here.
We will gradually update the “News” section of our website with our efforts on this issue. Meanwhile, you can explore some pictures of the workshop in Valea Corbului here.