At the request of Pro.Do.Mo. Asociația and Pro Patrimonio Foundation, in 2016 the international organization World Monuments Fund nominated Bucharest among the world’s most endangered historical sites. The WMF chooses sites and heritage objectives that have international urban value and has been interested in saving worldwide architectural and cultural heritage for over 50 years.
The capital of Romania has been nominated for the category “Historic Center in Danger” on the 2016 World Monuments Watch list due to demolition or abandonment of heritage buildings, uncontrolled development and destructive rehabilitation interventions. As a result, the city has been included in a monitoring program regarding public policies for heritage protection. The imminent risk of a massive earthquake jeopardizes most of the city’s heritage buildings.
On 3 March 2017, Watch Day 2017 focused on a call to action for the Capital, facing imminent threats and challenges from the perspective of heritage vulnerability and seismic risk. The event had two components: Watch Day – Vulnerable Bucharest – Debate. Book Launch and Watch Night – Vulnerable Bucharest, informal meeting – Book launch, movies and experiences..
Bucharest, the European capital with the highest seismic risk, abounds, especially in its central area, in buildings with a grade I seismic risk, which implies an imminent collapse at the first major earthquake. In the case of an earthquake like the one in 1977, today’s Bucharest would lose a large number of modernist blockhouses and nineteenth-century houses that sheltering thousands of people today. The human, material and city losses would be major (see http://blog.seismic-alert.ro/).
As an example, Magheru Boulevard is itself an archive of modernist buildings with an internationally recognized cultural and architectural value. 15 historical monument buildings, 9 buildings with a class I seismic, 5 buildings with a class II seismic, 65,000 sqm of built environment in danger, 150,000 sqm area in danger, 2000+ inhabitants, 5000+ people in daily transit are figures that outline the current situation of boulevard.
Here’s an awareness-raising film made by Pro Patrimonio Foundation, World Monuments Fund and Association Pro.Do.Mo.:
World Monuments Watch is a global program launched in 1996 aiming to attract international attention to cultural heritage sites around the world. The program provides an opportunity for nominated sites to raise public awareness, promote local participation, encourage innovation and collaboration, and highlight alternative solutions.
Watch Day 2017 – Vulnerable Bucharest was organized by the Romanian Center for Innovation in Local Development (Centrul Român pentru Inovație în Dezvoltare Locală)), MKBT: Make Better, the Order of Architects in Romania – Bucharest Branch, with initiators Pro.Do.Mo and Pro Patrimonio.