From paradise to Faust's no-way-outs: a discussion on the relation between reception culture and development in Southern Romania


  • Αργυρώ Λουκάκη



Environmental planning, Spatial development


The Danube Delta as a valuable aesthetic, environmental and economic resource for Romania as well as for Europe poses urgently today two issues; on the one hand the obligations that accrue from forms of ideal spatiality like the Delta for Romanian and European society with reference to the context and the limits of Romania's (presently an EEC associate member) development, and on the other the dynamics of culture as a vehicle for development. The discussion also refers to tourist and industrial activity in the area, and, more generally, to national development during the present transition from a centrally designed and controlled economy to market economy in a globalized environment. The analysis stresses the sectional role of Romanian architectural and territorial design and planning experts and the existence of aesthetic similarities and differences of the area in question with other countries of the Balkans and of Western Europe. Important, although not always positive parameters in the social, political, and development process are ideologies related to Romanian nationalism and the process of "imagined communities" formation in the Balkans, the historical country-city dichotomy, the "popular passivity", and the legacy of deplorable past spatial and development choices. The dialectic of similarities and differences in the Balkans can be turned to advantage towards metaphysics of the aesthetic as a value per se, as well as for pursuing a development mode! that is sensitive towards the present historical and cultural juncture. This model must respect the historicity of the Weltanschauung in the geography of the Balkans, as well as the natural, cultural, and mnemonic environment, and to incorporate them creatively into future development policies.