When you are blocked in traffic and curse the mayor and the city, remember this. The population density in Bucharest is 8,260 people on square kilometer. This is double or triple compared with capital cities of the region countries. That is no excuse for the mayors, all of them are guilty for that.

Remember when the city was developing chaotic, more chaotic than today? When the developers were building office buildings or commercial centers or residential projects in areas with undersized transport and utilities infrastructure? Well, the situation hasn’t changed very much from the past 15 or 20 years ago.

And the problem is getting worse because the city remains to small for its own good. Bucharest, as a surface, is one of the smallest capital cities in the region, with only 412 square kilometers of the urban area, 20 percent smaller than Budapest, with around 100 square kilometers smaller than Warsaw, and around 80 square kilometers smaller than Prague or Sofia.

And this even if as official population, Bucharest is the most important city in the region, with 1.9 million inhabitants, compared to Warsaw with 1.77 million, Budapest or Prague with 1.6 million.

Population density, close to a crisis

”Population density is indeed, even three times higher than the rest of the capitals in the region, being mostly concentrated in the urban area. Being so densely populated, the city is generally affected by the fact that business, recreation and living areas can no longer be defined. Today, the city is a mix of all three components – business, recreation, living, and the lack of infrastructure does not allow access to new areas for decongestion of the city,” said Ioan Nastase, consultant land&development department at JLL Romania, the real estate consultancy firm.

Bucharest has a density of 8,260 people on square kilometer, compared with  3,314 people on square kilometer in Budapest. Prague’s density is 3,366 people on square kilometer and Sofia only 2,448 people on square kilometer.

As an effect all capital cities in the area have more air to breath than Bucharest, more space for urban development, and unfortunately, more and better ideas to built a greener and smarter city, with happier people.

”We see an attempt to convert former industrial platforms into real estate projects – office, retail or residential – depending on the location. This move will create new business poles, which will take over from the agglomeration of already established areas, but on the whole, the issue of access from the urban area to the metropolitan area will be maintained. At the same time, we see that more and more people living in the metropolitan area, but working in Bucharest, are looking to return to the city to live in order to avoid the tiring commute of every day,” Nastase explains.

And solutions are not many. As long as the city stays strangled and the Metropolitan area project is not developed, Bucharest will be a crowded city, polluted and populated with unhappy and nervous people.

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