Urban plans and projects

Planuri și proiecte
evolution of Bucharest zoning map / neighborhoods, 1916 – 1919 – 1930 (maps are redrawn based on original maps from: “Parcela” și “blocul” în constituirea orașelor (“The Lot” and “the bloc ” in city development), PGS|21, Pentru București. Noi studii urbanistice. … (For Bucharest. New Studies. …)

Planul General de Sistematizare (Bucharest General Urban Plan) approved in 1921 (PGS|21)
Bucureștii în viitor. Studiu asupra planului general de sistematizare al Capitalei, urmat de un anteproect de lege asupra stabilirei, construirei, desvoltărei și sistematizărei comunelor. (The future Bucharest. A study on the Bucharest Master Plan, followed by a preliminary draft bill concerning village design, construction, development and planning.) Bucharest, Jokey-Club Printing House (84p. + 32p.)
From July, 1914 to January, 1915, C. Sfinţescu and the planning department worked for the new Bucharest urban plan, based on the existing plans. In January 1916, the plan was approved by the Technical Committee and the General Council of Bucharest; a few sections were also approved by the Superior Technical Committee and the Ministry of Internal Affairs as urgent needs.
The approval process was suspended by the German occupation of Bucharest during the First World War. In 1919 the works resumed and the draft urban plan was updated to the new situation. In October 1919, the plan was approved again by Bucharest General Council and in November 1919 was debated in the Superior Technical Committee. Although unapproved by the Superior Technical Committee, the General Urban Plan was approved by the Council of Ministers and decreed by King Ferdinand on 18th April 1921 through the dilligence of the minister of Internal Affairs at that time, C. Argetoianu. The corresponding draft bill annexed to the plan remained unapproved.
PGS|21 included:
The memorandum “Report on the general urban plan” (85p., 5 illustrations, 8 charts) comprising a “project section” and an “applied section”
Detailed urban plans for alignments, 1:10 000
The preliminary draft bill “With regard to urban design, construction, development and planning” (31p., 84 articles)
PGS|21 was drafted on several urban design layers, being both a master plan and a detailed alignment plan, but also on several perspectives when approaching the city, comprising a “project section” with proposals (for the city and for its connections with the exterior) as well as an “applied section”.
The main proposals were:
  • a vision for 50 or 60 years, for a population of 1 million inhabitants and an area of 6000 hectares, more than double the current population and area,
  • the plan limits included the city and the neighbouring villages up to the railway in the proximity of the ring road forts,
  • the delimitation of the city through a ring road together with an approximately 300m-wide green belt
the city structure:
  • a densely built mixed central area, also containing low-rent homes, surrounded by specialized neighbourhoods (low-cost housing, villas, homes for workers) and satellite villages,
  • 4 ring roads and several radial arteries,
  • 7 (urgent) traffic squares,
  •  a dense network of parks in the city on available plots of land and on plots having certain characteristics that hindered the construction process (low-lying plots and moor lands).
the principles:
  • counteracting building in the peripheries by intensifying the building of low-cost homes in the central area,
  • attracting the industry and the labour force,
  • supporting “home industry”,
  • compact buildings without visible blind walls
  • continuous-façade buildings in the central area, especially along the central bordering roads, on the thoroughfares roads connecting the road rings and on all commercial streets.
  • the uniform distribution of parks on every empty land inside the city, and  a belt of parks along the main ring road, to reach the 9% of green surface out of the city’s surface and an adequate index  green space per inhabitant,
  • the proposed road system was in accordance with the general principles established by Bucharest Technical Committee on 20th April 1914, elaborated by Vintilă Brătianu (mayor and general counsellor of Bucharest):
  • 3 concentric rings on existing streets, only accidentally cutting through the urban tissue,
  • a radial road system transformed into penetrating arteries outside the ring road; rings connected by 12m-width radial roads, gradually enlarging from one ring to the another to 30m-width outside roads,
  • a network of large boulevards (30m or wider)
Studies for the new Urban Plan of Bucharest, 1931
Pentru București. Noi studii urbanistice. Delimitări, Zonificare, Circulație, Estetică. (On Bucharest. New studies on urban planning. Delimitations, zoning, traffic, aesthetics.) 1932. Institutul de Arte Grafice Bucovina (362p., 157 illustrations and 46 maps)
This is in fact the research phase for the new urban plan of Bucharest, debated since 1928, when the Bucharest Planning Committee was founded. C. Sfinţescu elaborated this study during July 1930 and May 1931, initially as specialized reports for the Planning Committee:
Territorial limits in Bucharest area, July 1930 (18 p.)
Criteria to limit Bucharest and its suburbs, July 1930 (2 p.)
Territorial limits of Bucharest and its suburbs and public green spaces, September 1930 (11 p.)
Urban Planning Legislation, December 1930 (30 p.)
Bucharest planning law, proposal, 30 bills, (17 p.)
Necessary improvements for Bucharest suburbs (according with public finances), 1931 (15 p.)
Bucharest zoning, February 1931
Bucharest zoning, part IV. Preliminary studies, March 1931 (23 p.)
Bucharest zoning, part III, V. The areas, March 1931 (20 p.)
Traffic and transportation in Bucharest, May 1931 (30 p.)
All those reports were revised and published in the Bulletin of the Polytechnic Society in September 1930, March and April 1931.
In May 1932, the entire study Pentru București. Noi studii … (On Bucharest. New studies in urban planning. …) was distinguished with an award from the Vasile Adamachi Science Fund of the Romanian Academy (5000 lei), based on the report elaborated by Prof. Ion Ionescu (Engineer General Inspector, corresponding member of the Academy).
The studies for Greater Bucharest Urban Plan were displayed at the International Exhibition on Urban Planning at the 13th International Congress for Housing in Berlin, in June 1931.
Bazargic Urban Plan
Ancheta documentară și programul planului de sistematizare al orașului Bazargic (The research phase and the program for Bazargic urban plan), Monitorul Uniunei Oraşelor din România VIII, 1-3 (January-March 1930): 2-49
Memoriul justificativ al planului urbanistic al orașului Bazargic și Regulamentul de construcții al orașului Bazargic – proect (Bazargic urban plan and the regulations / building code – a project), Urbanismul XV, 1-2 (January-February 1938): 3-40
Sfințescu started working at Bazargic urban plan in 1928, the research phase and the program were drafted in 1929 and approved by the Bazargic General Council in June and September the same year. The elaboration was delayed by the execution of the requested cadastral plan at suitable scales and updated with the new constructions and properties, landlords, natural landscape, public buildings and equipment; the cadastral plan was drafted by engineers D.Ciurileanu and P.Teodorescu. The final version of the urban plan was presented in August 1936 and debated in the Superior Technical Council in June 1937.
The Bazargic urban plan contained:
  • the research  section (132 p., 102 photos, maps)
  • the  presentation report (22 p., 9 photos and maps)
  • urban regulations / building code (18 p., 140 articles, 6 sections)
The presentation report comprises formulae for the vulnerability coefficient in relation to the functional areas and 4 charts: population density in relation to the areas, existing and developing commercial streets, and different buiding areas.
Proiecte de urbanizare. Urbanizarea comunei Băneasa. (Planul de sistematizare) (Urban planning projects. The urbanisation of Băneasa village. (The urban plan), Urbanismul IX, 7-8 (July-August 1932): 252-257
The project preserved the ideas and principles from Pentru București…, which urged the start of urban plans for each suburb within the view of Bucharest regional development. Băneasa urban plan was the first step towards this goal.
The railway along Dâmboviţa River
Asupra liniei ferate traversând capitala dealungul Dâmboviței (Regarding the railway along Dâmboviţa), Buletinul Asociaţiunei Generale a Inginerilor din România VII, 9 (September 1925): 171-197
Observațiuni asupra anteproiectului de cale ferată dealungul Dâmboviței, (Comments upon the preliminary project for the railway along Dâmboviţa), Monitorul Uniunei Oraşelor din România, III, 2-3 (February-March 1925): 15-17
The scientific paper presented at the 5th Congress of Romanian Engineers, Chişinău, 13th-20th September 1925
This project is the result of several previous proposals for a new Central Station and was initially mentioned in the General Urban Plan for Bucharest in 1921. In 1925 it was published as an alternative to, as well as a protest against the adopted decision of extending Bucharest North Railway Station. The project was drafted by Sfinţescu together with Eng. Teodor Rădulescu and Arch. Jean Burcuş and it proposed a double crossing line along Dâmboviţa River, with 3 main stations and special routes for food transportation linking Bucharest slaughter house to the Central Market House.
The structure of that article-project (26 pages, 20 illustrations) was:
  • the principles to be followed for a railway system within the city
  • the analysis of the possible solutions, according to the CFR (Romanian Society of Railways) and the city’s agenda
  • the detailed presentation of the proposal
  • the formulas to assess the advantages of 3 railway stations within the city
  • examples of foreign cities with central railway stations
Other projects
Aplicarea exproprierilor pe zone la deschidere Bd. Nord-Sud al Capitalei (Expropriation necessary for the Bucharest North-South Boulevard), Buletinul Societăţii Politecnice XLIII, 2 (February 1929): 146-168
A project for enabling the extension and paving of Brătianu Avenue between Romană Square and Brătianu Square
Relațiuni asupra amenajărei lacului Băneasa în vederea asanării lui parțiale (Regarding the development of Băneasa Lake and its partial draining), Monitorul Uniunei Oraşelor din România, VII, 7, 8-9 (July, August-September 1929): 1-8 (5 illustrations and photos)
Memoriu asupra studiului pentru amenajarea lacurilor râului Colentinei (A report on the study for the development of the lakes of Colentina River), Monitorul Uniunei Oraşelor din România, VIII, 4-6 (April-June 1931): 1-46, 7-9 (July-September): 18-49 (a 146-page volume, 54 illustrations, 25 sketches)
(Together with Eng. T. Rădulescu) Noua Piață a Gărei de Nord din București (The new square in front of Bucharest North Railway Station), Urbanismul, X, 1-2 (January-February 1933): 91-94
In October 1924, Bucharest Cadastral and Planning Office submitted for examination to the Municipal Technical Committee (as a reply to an official letter from the Railway Department) a plan containing the proposal for the use of land belonging to the old Railway Workshops till 1923, for the extension of the North Railway Station. The proposal was approved but never realized. Consequently, the Municipality and the Railways General Department realized a joint proposal for another square.