On 21st October 2021 the European Committee of the Regions will co-organise with the Cluj-Napoca City Council, the European Commission, the National Union of County Councils, the Association of Romanian Towns and the Association
of Romanian Communes, an event focused on addressing the urban-rural divide. Special attention will be given to how the Conference on the Future of Europe can act as a launch pad for responding to this issue.
Discussion will explore how cities attract human capital and resources but are also threatened by uncontrolled urbanisation putting pressure on local rural identities. Local ecosystems can respond to threats such as gentrification by proposing better models, based on collaboration and innovation. The EU can support communities to develop from this perspective, giving them the opportunity to use local resources efficiently and add value to the market, creating models that can be replicated in other cities and regions. Extending and building new local ecosystems that include the rural areas around cities is a way to fight inequalities and unbalanced development which otherwise risks pushing rural communities towards poverty and social inequalities.
The first Rural-Urban Hub in Transylvania – Cluj-Napoca – Petreștii de Jos is a long term approach in balancing local development in an integrated way. The objective is to fight depopulation and integrate diversified and transformative socio-economic development initiatives. These will be developed and implemented with the local public administrations in Cluj-Napoca (the city) and Petreștii de Jos (the rural community). The Hub proposes an integrated approach in the use of local resources as a model for synergising and working collectively to offer access to both types of communities and find ways they can benefit each other.
The event will be hosted by the Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, Emil Boc, and attended by CoR President, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, and European Commission Vice President, Dubravka Šuica. Streaming links to watch the event live in English or Romanian will be available here.