On 25 January, the mayor of Bucharest, Mr. Sorin Oprescu, has visited his Czech counterpart in Prague in order to learn from Prague’s successful experience in applying and using EU funds for the regeneration of its historic centre. Prague Old City is now one of the main tourist attractions in Europe and a vital revenue generator for the city.
Bucharest’s story is Prague’s reverse of the coin. The regeneration process of Lipscani, the historic quarter of Romania’s capital, is in dangerous disarray, the heritage buildings located there risking an irreversible degradation.
That is the result of years of procrastination from the authorities, two decades long protracted ownership disputes generated by the usurpations of the communist era and a property bubble that saw prices skyrocket to unsustainable levels, higher that in locations such as Paris’ Le Marais.