Christmas Editorial

Dear Urbasofiers,

As much as I would abstain from writing this editorial, I cannot escape my duty, as the end-of-year communication is up to me. Being the director of URBASOFIA is a source of great satisfactions, above all linked to the ability, to the great humanity and to the creativity of all the collaborators, external and internal.

There are also many satisfactions from our high-level partners, with great ambitions, with which we sketch grand and concrete development paths related to the themes of urban planning and territorial development, with great enthusiasm.

I would like to reserve the same words to our customers, cities, public administrations, political interest groups with whom we daily interlace dialogues and suggest solutions through our work as policy designers, strategic planners, but I cannot do that.

Even if I love to see the glass half full, this time I cannot be so happy with them. I cannot shut my eyes for not seeing the lack of professionalism within the public administration, the inability to structure professional work groups, the incapacity of managers to give one single winning idea, the paucity of politicians who are not able to propose and believe in medium or long term development or providing a vision, showing a possible way to go.

In Romania we grow, but we do not develop. We follow the models, but we do not contextualize them to our problems, we do not exploit them to improve our way of being and living: we are not smart!

We fail to develop a complex system for territorial governance , we are not capable to delegate and allocate the right skills in their suitable places, and slowly we go back, because, after all, to live in a system that satisfies everyone, nobody takes risks and responsibilities and we get used to cohabit with “low competitiveness” development models, an usual quality of life, or rather mediocre, following resigned the philosophy of: merge și așa!

The coming year will be better, as Lucio Dalla sang: il nuovo anno porterà una trasformazione e tutti quanti stiamo già aspettando.

Hopefully, it is a true transformation, that helps us to live the opportunities of contemporary life, completely, and that does not bring us back to modern utopias having a stale taste, and that do not have the real salt of life: The courage, the hope!

The hope of continuing to design, experiment and risk in 2018 for the new, for the unprecedented.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Urbasofiers!

Pietro Elisei
URBASOFIA director
December 2017

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