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Russe und Giurgiu: Nachbarstädte an der Donau

Russe and Giurgiu: neighbouring cities along the Danube
[journal article]

Waack, Christoph

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Abstract The neighbouring cities of Russe (Bulgaria) and Giurgiu (Romania) form the largest pair of cities along the Bulgarian-Romanian border, on both sides of the Danube. Historical and currently relevant prejudices, large language differences, an insufficiently developed economic exchange, a lack of family relations and state interest have lead to the low level of interactions between the cities prevailing up until now, despite their close location as neighbours. Both cities have experienced considerable grath as a result of the industrialisation of the seventies. Large housing estates were created next to the old city centres, in which the majority of the population now live. Inhabitants from the neighbouring regions have almost completely disappeared from both urban features. The current relationship between the neighbouring cities is essentially based on shopping relationships which, however, as a result of the economic framework conditions in both countries, are unstable. The volume of traffic at the border crossing Russe/Giurgiu -the location of the only road and rail bridge between Romania and Bulgaria- has increased considerably (1993: 3.5 million travellers). Nonetheless, this is mainly transit traffic. The possibilities for contact between the two cities are made more difficult by the measures implemented by the state at the border (long controls, customs' charges). However, since 1992, the respective municipal administrative bodies have been meeting on a regular basis in order to exchange information, primarily in the sector of environmental protection. The relationship between the two cities has been improved greatly by the establishment of a monitoring plant for the supervision of emissions from the chem ical industry in Giurgiu. Giurgiu in particular, as the smaller and consequently economically weaker city, hopes to gain advantages from good contacts with Russe. The future structure of the relationship between the two neighbours will be dependent on both the will of the respective populations, as well as from external factors. The model role of the European process of integration should not be underestimated in this context.
Keywords Romania; Bulgaria; border region; town; urban development; traffic; retail trade; agglomeration area; local factors; cross-border cooperation; town planning; population development; infrastructure; economic relations; cooperation; environmental protection; culture; city center; social relations; contact
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Sociology of Settlements and Housing, Urban Sociology
Document language German
Publication Year 1996
Page/Pages p. 1-12
Journal Europa Regional, 4.1996 (1996) 3
ISSN 0943-7142
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications