Ghid de intervenție pentru punerea în valoare a patrimoniului de pe Clisura Dunării - Beta Competition
Graduation projects

Interventional guide for developing the heritage of the Danube Gorges

Project description

The question at hand is: What do we leave behind for future generations? Protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources are vital but at the same time preserving our tangible as well as intangible heritage plays a fundamental role in developing future communities together with their identities. A core paradigm shift is therefore necessary, comprising all the actors involved (communities, authorities, tourists, investors etc.). Conserving our heritage should only be done in a way sensible to the needs and values of the communities, therefore aiding in the development of their identity, promoting sustainability and endowing meaning onto a setting. As long as the community becomes aware of its true needs, the desire for growth and development is expanded. The Danube Gorges represent a remarkable landmark due to the natural and cultural riches offered, forming one of the most impressive natural ensembles in Europe as a result. The environment’s riches and landscape variety offer a compact and natural environment containing areas of untouched wilderness not altered by human activity. Despite a vast tangible and intangible heritage, defined by an ethnic, cultural, architectural and natural diversity, the lack of investments caused an accelerated degradation of the whole ensemble. This area has a remarkable development potential which sadly is not taken advantage of. In this setting, the material heritage suffers the fruits of negligence. The interventions in and around the banks -regardless if made in an urban, rural or natural environment- ignore or alter the community's relationship with the whole area’s landscape-defining element: the Danube. Starting with the development of a promotion and development strategy for the tangible and intangible heritage of the Danube Gorges and under the umbrella of a recognisable brand, the guide presents various principles aimed at course-correcting the current degrading trend. As a result of the conducted analysis, the true potential of a well-implemented guide became evident. To further underline the easiness with which it can be used, the guide presents clear examples of successful Danube-banks development projects from neighbouring countries. As a result, the project puts achievable and realistic case-studies in front of its reader, which often relate back to the common sense and responsibility we should have towards our heritage.

Author's presentation text

As students of the Architecture and Urbanism Faculty within the Polytechnical University of Timisoara, we began our collaboration from our earliest years of professional development. Despite differing personality traits, we were bounded by a common ideal, namely that of optimising the environment built around us as well as the communities populating it. Our thesis involved capitalising on the knowledge gained in our years of study, our personal traits and last but not least our group and individual aspirations. The challenges we encountered shaped not only our professional sides but also our characters. We hope that our study will motivate the local administrations in their endeavours of protecting and highlighting the tangible and intangible heritage, therefore contributing in a holistic development of the targeted communities.