Project deliverable Open Access
This policy brief showcases a successful initiative to improve urban liveability through the implementation of smart city technologies as a coherent measure to prevent and mitigate further demographic decline in Timișoara, a middle size city in western Romania. Following the city’s successful popular uprising against the communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1989, Timișoara has experienced a comprehensive transition towards a multi-party democracy, a pluralist society, and a liberal market-based economy.
Romania’s legalisation of abortion in 1990, combined with a gradual introduction of the pan-European freedom of movement regime during the 1990s and early 2000s, has led to further social changes across the country: birth control, out-migration, and rampant urban sprawl have resulted in Timișoara losing well over 50,000 inhabitants. Though the present population has stabilised at around 330,000, the city’s geographical proximity to five major European capitals, and its excellent highway connections with western Europe remain a constant pull factor, putting a pressure on the municipality to increase the city’s attractiveness and liveability. Building on local knowledge and the stakeholders’ experience in implementing this project, this policy brief demonstrates how smart city solutions can contribute to liveability in the inner city as well as in the broader metropolitan area. It also offers a set of policy recommendations on how to enable such an effective public intervention on a city scale.