Integrated Strategic Plan for Cluj-Napoca Metropolitan Area
The new integrated strategic plan for the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area represents, firstly, a change of paradigm under the conceptual umbrella “Problems first!”. We do not start neither from foreign concepts and thinking patterns that are against local level thinking or the financing opportunities that can orient the vision of local politics towards the development of un-needed projects. On the contrary, we have pursued the development of a strategic plan that looks beyond the bureaucratic and technical substantiation of the use of grant funds, capable of attracting and creating opportunities for private investments, through an inclusive and perspective process.
We have approached these challenges with the aid of a dialogue-oriented methodology, already experimented in other European cities – the STATUS Project methodology. In this approach, the decision is shared between essential stakeholders, in a participative planning process. The local communities are, first of all, the protagonists of the planning process, co-designing the strategic plan along with the public institutions.
The development of the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area strategy was based on three main principles:
At the base of an integrated strategy’s design we must have an open and inclusive planning process.
The participatory planning process must be oriented towards the identification of clear pathways of development (conceptual strategic axes) for the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area.
It is necessary to prioritize a coherent, strategic and integrated set of representative projects, feasible in short-medium term, around which a structured action plan, with support and complementary projects, can be organized.
The new strategic plan for the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area is not a set of documents and a list of projects, but a permanent process which launches a multi-actor metropolitan dialogue based on the creation of a Metropolitan Task Force for the area, open towards all interested parties and based in a Metropolitan Centre.
At the centre of the strategic plan lies the Governance Pact. It is based on a local collaboration between all important stakeholders supporting the transformation of Cluj-Napoca and the surrounding communes; it represents a transformation that must be balances and capable of defining a clear governance framework to facilitate the decision-making process between the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca – the promoter of development at metropolitan level – and the other 18 municipalities.