Two years ago we started with an imagination exercise. What if Bucharest was a city of people, rather than one of central institutions, of large buildings or boulevards, remains of the communist age? What if we lived in a greener city, friendlier to pedestrians, with livelier neighbourhoods, whether its a concert, a film projection or a festival of diversity? What if neighbours got to know one another and planned together projects that made community life easier, more enjoyable? What if tourists around the world wanted to visit Bucharest? What if we were proud of our city? What if Bucharest was a European Capital of Culture?
This is a dream that can come true. Today, we’re closer to it than ever. Last year, the city of Bucharest made the shortlist for the European Capital of Culture title, together with Baia Mare, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara. Bucharest can hold the title in 2021. In 2016, we continued to develop the projects that support our candidacy. We transformed the city in an open lab for urban culture, where we invited citizens to experiment, to contribute with their ideas, with projects that can change the city. We asked everyone what they wished for. Because ideas, wishes and dreams can change the city. The idea of an open participatory process, in which citizens aren’t just consulted, but directly involved in the candidacy process, together with cultural organisations, public and administrative institutions of the city, including the business environment, is the base principle of our candidacy – the one that legitimises this process.
În 2014 ARCUB – The Cultural Centre of Bucharest Municipality started this process. After countless consultations, hundreds of events, festivals, financing projects initiated by the citizens of Bucharest, we reach the final act of this candidacy. The ARCUB-Bucharest2021 team submitted the final application to the European Capital of Culture today. We thank every one who became involved in this process along all this time. On September 14, the international jury who will evaluate the four finalist cities comes to Bucharest and on September 16 we will find out the results. Are we ready to change the city through culture? Change is already underway. Together we make Bucharest visible!