The ‘Cincinat Sfinţescu’ project,
Archive organisation and theoretical interpretation

This project emerged from our wish to bring Cincinat Sfinţescu, the founding father of Romanian urban planning, back to the public scene and into discussion, but also out of a higher ambition, that of arousing public interest for the history of this field, still insufficiently studied. At another level, our efforts come naturally to reveal and onset a history that somehow remained, until now, unwritten. Therefore, our project gathers, organises and faithfully renders (but also theoretically interprets) an archive which must become a fundamental pillar of any research on Romanian urban planning.

Cincinat Sfinţescu was a reputable public figure during his era, extremely active and present in all urbanism related events. Later, during the course of his lifetime, he was (deliberately or not) outshined and cast aside. Now, after (too) much time, we believe it is time to place him again, hopefully for good, in the centre and at the origin of the Romanian urban planning discipline.

Sfinţescu’s legacy consists of an extensive written work (published especially in Urbanismul magazine). The work is rich in information, subtleties and ideas describing an era; his system of thinking being a continuum of innovative developing ideas that complete and enrich each other. Yet this work needs to be gathered and restructured in order to be delivered through a consistent and coherent message.

In addition, we believe that there is a specific style and method developed by Sfinţescu, a thinking pattern and pattern of action which are easy to grasp from the way in which he launched, tested and applied his ideas. His working model is extremely eloquent for understanding more complex issues related to contemporary urban planning.
This is the reason why we think it is necessary to have an instrument suitable for public information, a sort of introduction to his work, which would render possible a deeper understanding of any urban planning aspect in any era. Therefore, our wish is to obtain an articulated, coherent, consistent and, particularly, an accessible representation of his entire work. Moreover, our goal is to turn the results of this project into a knowledge platform for possible debates on the origin and foundation of Romanian urban planning.

The first outcomes of the project are meant to initiate a vast movement for popularising Cincinat Sfinţescu’s personality, being at the same time useful instruments for future research. Thus, this site is an essential product of our research, being the interface of an extended archive presenting his entire activity and also serving as a preliminary monographic outline. We have also published a volume (Cincinat Sfințescu. The Beginnings of Romanian Urban Planning) containing some (still fragmentary) explanations and interpretations on Sfințescu’s entire work, and theoretical reflections on a few significant planning topics.