The town of Ploiesti has developed since the 17th century. It was founded on a piece of land bought by Michael the Brave from the people who owned it and step by step it replaced the old Wallachian fairs from the area becoming the regional centre.
Its evolution was accelerated by the industry especially after starting the massive exploitation of oil deposits in the area, thus becoming ‘’The capital of the black gold’’.
Now, its economic activity is based on oil processing, but there are other industries as well. For example constructions (houses, blocks of flats), manufacturing or maintenance of electrical equipment.
Our topic will focus on the living quarters, the aesthetics and residential profile of the town. The population of Ploiesti rose gradually in the industrialization period; this rise was determined by the work force migration from the rural to the urban areas. Starting with January the 1st 2015, for the 234,969 inhabitants of Ploiesti the existing 66,633 flats and 25,143 houses seem to be insufficient.
This is why the city is full of real estate ads, for example, ‘’house for sale’’, ‘’I’m buying house’’, which is a normal thing for a big settlement. It is normal that the design and the aesthetics of a city play an important role in its evolution and development; all these seem to be just minor issues that the inhabitants of a town have to deal with. For some people it is a lucrative business, while for others it is only inheritance.
Ploiesti is divided into five large areas named geographically North, South, East, West and Center or downtown. There is a significant discrepancy among these areas, as some neighbourhoods are considered desirable, while others are thought to be not only undesirable but also dangerous. What caught our attention was an ad on Ion Creanga street.
Foto 1 : DSCN 0144
The house is in the Bucov Crossing neighbourhood in the East part of the town. The reason why it caught our attention was that nearby there was a foundation whose construction started some years ago (we approximate as far as three years ago). On the site a residential complex was supposed to be built – apartments, studio apartments, and two-level living quarters.
The project was a very attractive and profitable one, especially because these houses are considered to be the most economical types of constructions and they are beneficial to crowded urban areas which have in their possession narrow parcels of land with the intention of obtaining an aesthetically pleasant design.
At the beginning of the project everything went according to the plan until the moment to lift the crane came. Exactly when the construction was becoming quite a promising one, everything fell into pieces. The town’s municipality banned such sites to continue their activity, without disclosing any motifs; therefore the investor was forced to sell the property, succeeding in recuperating a small sum of his initial investment.
Foto 2 : DSCN0934
It is quite a strange situation. The people who need affordable housing can’t have it because the construction was stopped and the locals are driven to sell their properties because everything is going down: safety, stability, opportunities, looks.
Even if it is recommended that the public projects and the development plans that target a certain category of people include the same people, nobody seems to be doing anything.
At the moment the construction site is referred to as “private property” so we took the liberty to ask some of the passers-by if they knew anything about it and also what their opinion was on the fact that the poster on the fence says “Work in progress!” , although the site is obviously abandoned.
We were appalled at the state the place was in; the foundation was full of garbage, the falling fence was supported by a pole, everything presenting a hazard for the people living there.
Foto 3 : DSCN0935
The answers we received were very honest:
“I don’t know what this place was supposed to be, but I think it will be a long time before somebody does something about it.”
“I wouldn’t recommend this neighbourhood to anyone!”, said another passer-by.
“No wonder poor people want to move away… what is there to be seen here? The garbage and the dogs behind the house? They invested for nothing”.
“The people responsible for this should be ashamed of themselves; there are many pedestrians who often pass by this place and it is very difficult to do that because of the dogs wandering around!”
Foto 4 : DSCN0139
What solutions can we find for this situation?
Signing a petition addressed to the mayor’s office that attests the fact that the citizens want the work on the construction to be taken over again.
Developing proactive behavior, of tolerance and support towards the people who are in need.
An active partnership between the authorities and the citizens, but especially for the ones directly affected by this construction site.
Collecting funds and raising awareness of the importance of the development of urban areas.
Periodical cleaning and checking up of the area.
“Citizens of Ploiesti, you must take a stand, because everything matters!”
The 2014 annual report concerning the environment in Bacau County and done by the Agency for the Protection of the Environment reminds us that technology development simultaneously leads to the irreversible degradation of the health of urban residents. Declining birthrates and increasing mortality (Ch. VIII – Urban Environment, Health, and Quality of Life) which led to a natural decrease of -2,2 in 2014 compared to -0,5 (1000 inhabitants indicators) in 2008 in Bacau county are just an example.
Air pollution is one of the decisive factors concerning health condition together with poor quality of water and hygiene. Its effects lead to an increasing number of ill people and new diseases to become chronic: respiratory diseases, allergies, infertility, birth defects.
The climate in Bacau County is constantly influenced by a series of factors (construction materials, green spaces) whose effects are enhanced by some secondary factors (global warming, environmental purification).
Thus, the air which is contaminated by the emissions of the economic agents situated on the industrial platform in the south of the area together with the exhaust fumes lead to the diminishing of the air quality in the central urban area.
It is a fact that people living in the urban area, especially in the high traffic areas or in the industrialized ones are contaminated by a prolonged exposure to air pollution. The inhabitants of Bacau County face many environmental issues:
- ”Residential Heating”, ”Road Transport”, ”Asphalting” and ”Other Processes in Chemical Industry” are the most significant sources for NMVOC emissions - volatile organic compounds (the most representative volatile compounds are: benzene, toluene, xylene, butane, isopentane, hexane, acetone, chloroform, esters, phenols, carbon disulfide) in Bacau, 2014;
- Not enough monitoring of the needed indicators for the assessment of the air pollution: according to the Annual Report regarding the environment in Bacau County, 2014, there are some malfunctions:
”NOX analyzers in BC1 and BC2 did not work in 2012 and 2013.”
”In July – December 2014 the analyzers in the two ammonia monitoring stations in Bacau did not work”
” CO Analyzer in BC 3 in Onesti area did not work properly in 2014”
” Due to the fact that in 2014 they failed to collect a minimum data capture contrary to the legal regulation and also, the analyzer in Onesti area was inaccurate, we cannot estimate the air quality and the tendency of CO indicator ”
” PM 2,5 indicator was not monitored due to technical reason in Bacau, 2014”
”NOX analyzers in BC1, BC2 and BC3 did not work in 2014.”
- Heavy traffic in the area: the city does not benefit from an alternative route for through traffic and E 85 crosses the city. We are witnessing a an annual increase in the number of cars with 8000 cars per year which leads to a constant increase in the air pollution according to 2014 Annual Report on Environmental Issues;
- Not enough green spaces which leads to higher temperatures especially in the suburbs;
- Air temperature can also influence the chemical reactions and some elements can rearrange themselves to form other more dangerous polluting substances.
All these problems adversely affect the health of the population, urban and economic development of the city. This is why it is imperative to tackle these problems in the local politics, in an integrative manner, adopting short and long term strategies:
- The involvement of the authorities, the school and the research institutions in the area to initiate studies regarding the air pollution and its effect on population;
- Educating the population in order to make it aware of the effects of air pollution on people’s health and the disastrous effects in the future;
- Facilitating the conditions for using the clean technology and stimulating the population towards using it: construction of bicycle lanes and using bikes as an alternative to cars and other polluting means of transportation, using electric cars or cars with solar energy or using public transportation;
- Initiating activities in order to increase the area of green spaces: planting trees, adapting new species of trees with high capacity of absorption capacity of air pollutants, ecological parking, green terraces, etc.
Not even one single intervention will be enough to replace the lack of the involvement of the population and the fact that the action and the responsibility of each of us is the main way to preserve our children’s health and our future.
What can be nicer than a day spent outside, playing? Every day becomes much more beautiful if it is spiced with moments of relaxation which take place in open air.
Every child dreams about nature being their friend and the friendship with nature is easier to get by playing with it, by relaxing in the middle of it.
People have always searched for this kind of moments since childhood to their old age.
What can we do when those who should be friends with nature, protect it, help it blossom and renew year after year are more than indifferent, sometimes even careless? Seeking some moments of relaxation, occasions to become friends with this everlasting good which is nature, I came across a place in which children, who should never see such woeful sights, have to spend their spare time surrounded by garbage that nobody is interested in. Probably the only ones who were interested in it were those who left it there.
I think that, unfortunately, that kind of places are more than a few, but what really stunned me was the fact that the garbage cohabits with the church and the playground, places intensively visited by people, where they stop to find peace for their souls. I also feel sad when I see the burned grass, without any chance of survival, and I wonder: ‘Whose responsibility is it to take care of those places and who should make a minimum effort to turn those landscapes into hospitable, nice, healthy ones?’ In my opinion, blaming someone, in particular, is often useless and those who can take the first step are those who notice the problem.
People must understand that protecting nature is their job and theirs only!
Today, humanity is dealing with one of its biggest threats so far: pollution. It has extended at the same time as the evolution of the environment and of the technology. Pollution has started to affect every place on the planet: the forests, the settlements, the water. Water is a necessary element for life. Without it, a human cannot live more than three days. Close to the settlements we will always find a source of water.
We are from a small town in the north of Romania. Being close to the mountains, our town is surrounded by numerous rivers. Their water was once clear, pure and clean. In summer, people used to come and swim in the cool water. The landscape used to be wonderful! Now, it seems that people forgot about these places… They go there just to throw garbage around. Mountains of garbage gathered on the banks of the rivers. These affect so badly the vegetation and the fauna. The water level has decreased in a considerable manner, but not only because of the rubbish. Although we live close to the mountains, the temperatures have increased in a significant manner, too.
The civilization is visibly damaged by these climatic changes, but those who fight against pollution, global warming and deforestation are very few.
The population must be told about the devastating effect of pollution and other forms of destroying the planet that we all share. Mother Nature gave us a priceless gift and we are destroying it without noticing that this will lead eventually to the extinction of the human race.
The living organisms cannot live in places that are so polluted. We have to stop this disaster. We can do it if we are together! Let’s fight for leaving behind a clean world for the future generations!
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CCDG este o organizaţie neguvernamentalǎ ce furnizează programe educaţionale de calitate, în scopul unui mediu sustenabil.
Obiectivul nostru este de a oferi programe care promovează relaţii durabile între copii, adulţi şi mediul înconjurător, realizând că educaţia eficientă trebuie să se extindă dincolo de sala de clasă şi că principiile de ecologie, justiţie şi egalitate trebuie să fie evidente la toate nivelurile societǎţii.
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