Societal changes and social innovation in the landscape of a small post-socialist industrial town from Romania
Andreea-Loreta CERCLEUX, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, Romania
Elena BOGAN, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, Romania
Cosmina-Andreea MANEA, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, Romania
The industrialization in the communist times followed by the deindustrialization in the early capitalism engendered in Fieni, a small industrial town from Romania, important societal changes in 50 years of urban experience. The fast flourishing of industry meant mass arrivals of population in a small community that became town in 1968 . The partial loss of the production function after 1990 was related to significant difficulties in adapting to the technical innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit, specific to capitalism [2,3]. Both professional workforce conversion and former industrial buildings? functional reconversion proved to be challenging processes. The laid off workforce could not be largely absorbed by services or new small businesses in industry and agriculture. The present paper focuses on the analysis of the social innovation importance for the town development , in a shrinking context , taking into account the industrial past, its place in the collective memory and therefore its consideration as an advantage for future growth, next to traditions and local resources. The main research methods are the semi-structured interviews applied to population and the local stakeholders’ consultation.
In the results section are highlighted examples of former social innovations, next to innovations recently implemented, projects in progress or just ideas to reflect . The study demonstrates that older generations are more connected to some types of social innovations projects relying on industry versus younger generations for whom ideas are more in relation to other local assets and creative activities in which technology is seen as an opportunity.
The participation of social innovation in the local regeneration is weighed through activities that may arise both directly and indirectly and contribute to a better urban image, strengthening the local identity and attachment to the place.
Mots clés : industrialization|deindustrialization|social innovations|Fieni|Romania