Bucharest disconnected from nature

Edited by: Emanuela Matei

Bucharest is becoming a city suffocated by the lack of greenery and disconnected from nature

Urban biodiversity means the totality of living organisms, from genes and species to ecosystems in the city. Bucharest has an extraordinary diversity of organisms, in a restricted place and with different living conditions.

The species are divided into three categories:
species from the original ecosystems, for example: species of amphibians, reptiles, waterfowl, insectivores and raptors, foxes, otters
species introduced intentionally by human society, for example: pets (especially dogs, cats, parrots, fish, but more recently also tarantulas, crickets, iguanas, snakes, ferrets, rabbits), as well as ornamental plants (for example, orchids, geraniums, figs, yucca, Japanese roses, cacti, aloe, agave), or plants grown on urban land (especially vegetables, aromatic plants)
urban species eg: pigeons, sparrows, rats, countless kinds of beetles, semi-feral dogs and cats

Urban nature in Bucharest

The association of the terms “nature” and “urban” is increasingly used by researchers in urban ecology.

Inthe municipalitywe can find the following four types of urban nature:

  • initial ecosystems (type 1 urban nature), the Băneasa Forest is included. The forest area of the municipality of Bucharest is 668.4 ha.
  • agricultural ecosystems (type 2 urban nature) representing 3,052 hectares. 84% of them are arable land, 12% — pasture and 4% — other categories
  • landscaped green and aquatic spaces (type 3 urban nature) representing parks, gardens, squares, street alignments, sports bases. 4,506 hectares, and the aquatic ones — 908 ha
  • renatured ecosystems (Urban nature type 4) which represent the areas in the process of renaturation, with or without human intervention

The green infrastructure of Bucharest

Components of the green infrastructure of the city of Bucharest

In 2011, the Capital City Hall completed the green cadastre of the Municipality of Bucharest. According to the document, Bucharest has 4,512.2 hectares of green spaces, which means 23.21 m2 of green space per inhabitant. From this surface:

  • 3,174.1 hectares are: green spaces such as street alignments, gardens related to housing complexes and institutions
  • 669.6 hectares are parks
  • 668.4 hectares — forest-park.
spații verzi în București

1,717,339 trees were inventoried, of which 194,000 were in forests. Of these, 110 trees are protected. If we relate these data to the number of inhabitants, it turns out that the average for Bucharest is 0.88 trees, given that the European Union recommends 3 trees per inhabitant.

Bucharest park user profile

According to CCMESI (2015) data, the Bucharestpark user profile is defined by:

  • preference for parks in the neighborhood (53%), or accessible by public transport (27%);
  • 68% of visits last 1-2 hours;
  • preference for passive recreation activities (75.8%): relaxing, walking (including with the child and/or the dog) and less for active activities (for example, 7% come to practice a sport);
  • 70% prefer to come to the park on foot
  • very little use of very dynamic spaces (amusement parks, restaurants, etc.);
  • appreciates silence, green space, minimal amenities and cleanliness;
  • 60% visit the park 2-3 times a week
  • they are bothered by noise, overly dynamic spaces and dirt.

Special preferences in various categories

Also according to CCMESI (2015) data, the Bucharestparkuser profile is defined by:

  • People with small children: prefer quiet areas and playgrounds.
  • Teenagers and young people prefer the experimental and sports areas.
  • The elderly prefer quiet spaces, with possible equipment for gymnastics or more passive activities (chess, backgammon, rummy, etc.);
  • People with pets prefer areas specially arranged for this purpose, but also extended lawns.
  • People who practice sports prefer areas with less traffic, but also with the existence of minimal facilities.
  • Cyclists prefer traffic areas.

Blue infrastructure components

The urban aquatic spaces in the municipality of Bucharest include rivers, lakes and their banks. According to the information extracted from the orthophoto planes, aquatic spaces urban areas in the municipality of Bucharest covered an area of approximately 1208.8 ha in 2017. 111 hectare se aflau în interiorul spațiilor verzi. Of these, 89.2% were represented by lakes.

  • lakes
  • Most of the urban water spaces in the city of Bucharest are represented by lakes.
    • they cover areas between 0.87 ha (Circus Lake) and 241.6 ha (Mill Lake) and are mainly located in the peripheral areas of the city and in urban parks.
  • Rivers and canals
    • The two main rivers that cross the city (Dâmbovița and its tributary Colentina) belong to the Argesu river basin.
    • total length of 65.7 km and are completely anthropogenically transformed.
  • Marshes
    • The swampy areas represented one of the specific landscapes of the Bucharest area during the Middle Ages.

Urban nature is an essential component of the city of Bucharest, which must be managed in such a way as to bring the most consistent ecological, social and economic benefits. All forms of urban nature are important for ensuring the sustainability of the city. The responsibility of effective management involves ensuring adequate quantity, quality and accessibility of urban nature for all citizens.

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21st Greentury