Bucharest is currently going down a rocky road insofar as urban regulations are concerned, which have gone through a real odyssey, from being judicially and administratively suspended, to some of them ending up by being finally cancelled by the administrative litigation courts. The symptoms of illegality have set in slowly but surely, starting with the chaotic development of constructions until such breaches were finally established by administrative authorities and courts of justice. The cancellation in first instance court a few months ago of the general urban plan ("PUG") of Bucharest caused a potentially major crack in the very foundation of urban regulations at the capital city level.
Pursuant to art. 10 of Law no. 350/2001 on land management and urban planning, urban planning is mainly aiming at stimulating the complex evolution of localities through the development and implementation of spatial, sustainable and integrated development strategies, in the short, medium and long term. Although the purpose established by the law is clear in principle, things end up by becoming increasingly confusing in the transition from principles to details and from theory to facts, while the urbanistic situation in Bucharest amply illustrates this.
At the same time, a metropolis such as Bucharest requires an enhanced coordination between the various administrative sub-divisions (sectors) and the various urban functionalities. That is why the so-called "sector coordinating zonal urban plans" (in Romanian: planuri urbanistice zonale coordonatoare de sector) have been adopted, despite the fact they lacked a distinct definition under the law. As such, they are, from a legal nature perspective, just ordinary zonal urban plans ("PUZ"). Unfortunately, rather chaotic or excessive and even illegal regulations have been introduced under these PUZs, contrary to their official goal of coordination.
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