Once upon a time, Resita, Caras Severin county – western Romania, was one of the most industrialised cities in our country. But after having undergone industrial restructuring during the post-communist decades, Reșița is finding its own way to new businesses, while still retaining its core industrial profile.
How? A team of specialists lead by the mayor is currently promoting the surroundings through the “Invest in Resita” business plan. This team came with a vision and objectives combined with a lot of technical knowledge about areas such as the urban economy, community development, architecture, urban geography, civil en-gendering, public relations and communications. But what’s exactly happening there?
by Oana Vasiliu
“Invest in Resita project started in November 2016 based on starting from the problems of the deindustrialisation and restructuring of the local economy with the aim of attracting investors, urban regeneration, and by offering an excellent ‘home’ version for Resita residents and visitors. Cities are complex economies, so a huge number of factors impact this return. The project is related and in close connection to smart growth and this means planning for what lies ahead. The project was developed in order to keep a flexible guidance in development, we are increasingly adopting flexible urban plans that serve as frameworks into which we fit urban regeneration and local economic development projects proposed,” explained Sorin Dumitru, chief of the mayor’s office. Reșița retains a strong industrial profile having amongst its main employers long established industrial agents such as UCM Reșița (machine construction factory) or TMK Reșița (steel factory). Steel production is still a major activity, with recent investments in technological upgrade.
The official launch of this business initiative took place in April 2018, after almost two years of preparations. “It is difficult to quantify the results of the campaign in such a short time. Anyhow based on different elements we have seen an important change and increased visibility of the community at the national and regional level. We tried to attract companies and organisations to our industrial park or chosen clusters by holding regular conversations with industry leaders; forging connections between businesses, investors, and talent; and organising different events and conferences,” added Sorin Dumitru.
But what’s currently happening in downtown Resita? Asked about concrete changes and investments, Resita Municipality answered that they prepared and submitted projects for more than EUR90 million in the last two and a half years. Development projects refer to mobility – reintroducing the tram, streets, city center, bicycle tracks; social integration projects – multifunctional recreational area, sport and education centre, parks and residential area and education and residential buildings – modernising and energy efficiency projects.
In the future there will be projects for Urban Regeneration Area: Aqua Park, Events and exhibition centre, parks and residential area, projects for more than EUR55 million. “Another direction for us is to continuing identifying and putting in place competitive clusters in sectors can best support growth and focus on R&D, IT, other modern technologies,” underlines Sorin Dumitru from the mayor’s office.
But there is more than that. Currently, the touristic capacity isn’t much – 1,000 beds in town and connected with the touristic surrounding area (30 km, 15 minutes driving) goes up to about 4,000 beds. The region has wonderful sightseeing, being surrounded by the Semenic mountains, and a lot of activities happen there – the most notable one being Garana Jazz Festival, where thousands and thousands of tourists come every year for the jazz vibes. “If in 2016 we talked about 5,000 visitors, in 2017 that number doubled and in this year 2018, up until this moment, half of the year, we can talk for about 20,000,” says Sorin Dumitru about the current tourism trends. Worth visiting? We say yes. Worth investing there? Go have a look on www.investinresita.ro. There aren’t too many cities in Romania that offer this type of information.