Published on: 24th July 2023
"Bears, Green Dreams, and Industrial Schemes: Exploring Brașov`s Sustainable Magic!"
On July 20th the European Commission shortlisted three large cities across Europe for the next EU Green Capital Award 2025. Although it was not a finalist, Brașov (Romania) won our recent online poll about eco-friendly cities, and we explore here on what it has to offer.
In our recent LinkedIN poll regarding eco-friendly cities across Europe, the city of Brașov (Romania) gained the first position as the place of choice in terms of air and water quality, noise pollution, and biodiversity. The city was competing to win the EU Green Capital Award 2025, but unfortunately didn`t make it to the finalist list. On July 20th 2023 the European Commission announced the three finalists for cities above 100.000 inhabitants: Graz (Austria), Guimarães (Portugal) and Vilnius (Lithuania).
Nonetheless, we believe Brașov is worth mentioning as a city that has proved in recent years that green is possible in large urban areas and has shown a true commitment to tackle environmental challenges. The city administration is determined to renew the entire fleet of busses to electric ones, benefiting from EU funding. Also, the city has been working on expanding its cycling infrastructure to encourage cycling as a sustainable transportation option.
Moreover, Brașov is the host of the largest green event in Romania - The Green Cities Forum (FOV), this year already at its third iteration, dedicated to environmental sustainability, that gathers experts and policy makers from across Europe.
During the recent heatwaves affecting Europe, Brașov is one of the few places in Romania where high temperatures are affecting in a lesser manner the community due to its numerous green spaces and the closeness to the mountains.
Bear in Mind
Brașov is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Romania, a city rich in culture and history that is surrounded by mesmerizing mountains and forests, also known for its medieval architecture, stunning natural landscapes, and rich history. Besides the native Romanian, the city has a substantial German-speaking community and Hungarian speaker community, and the German population has had a significant influence on Brașov's history and culture through many historic buildings and architectural influences.
The charming city with a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences, making it one of the most loved cities in the country, is filled with fascinating sights (e.g. the Black Church) and places that would leave anyone perplexed. Rising above the city, Mount Tampa offers panoramic views of Brașov and the surrounding area where visitors can reach the summit by hiking or taking a cable car ride.
The nearby Piatra Craiului National Park and Bucegi Natural Park are popular destinations for nature lovers. If you are “lucky” enough, you even might encounter wild bears that roam the forests nearby and sometimes descend into the city streets in search of food.
Brasov's strategic location on trade routes contributed to its economic and cultural development. Since 1925, Brașov has experienced a strong industrial development: heavy industry, aviation, automotive.
The city was at the forefront of the industrialization policy during the communist era, with an emphasis on heavy industry and automotive, attracting labour from all over the country.
The city has a large industrial park, home to automotive and electronics companies like Continental, Preh and Sennheisser, placed in a strategic area near the airport and highway. Starting this June, the city and the region benefits from the opening of its first international airport, connecting Brașov to other important destinations across Europe.
The Tourist Dilemma
As the city grows and attracts more and more people, it faces problems such as climate change impacts, deforestation, traffic congestion, but also backpackers instead of luxury tourists, and limited cultural offerings. Increased tourism, especially by budget travellers who may be more inclined to engage in outdoor activities, can have adverse effects on the environment. Overcrowding at popular natural sites, littering, and increased carbon emissions from transportation can harm the city's natural beauty and contribute to pollution.
With an international expertise, Time&Place Consulting can help with e-mobility and sustainability projects for local communities in Europe. We deliver strategic communication campaigns and media outreach that can effectively engage residents, businesses, and tourists, fostering a collective commitment towards sustainability, ultimately helping cities transition towards a greener future.