Modelling the Cognitive Map of the City Centre: A Case Study of Bucharest, Romania

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012


The city centre is a place of emblematic significance for the urban community, where the essence of the socio-urban identity is condensed. The centre of the post-socialist city has travelled varied meanings and extensions that have been perceived differentiated between sequences of generations. Functionalist stratifications have induced in the collective imagination a superposed series of centres: historical, tourist, economic, cultural, each dilating or contracting the urban centre’s limits, depending on the significance that has been inoculated to the receiving subject. It was starting with year 1977 that the political will imposed the achievement of a new “Civic Centre” which was desired to be an imprint of the cultural and scientific progress of that moment. Communist interventions attempted to uniform the urban landscape by inserting visual and emotional mutations. The present analysis regards the perception of Bucharest`s centre and offers a perspective on the relation between residents and place, considering that human behaviour indicates some inconsistencies related to the urban planning of the post-socialist city that deals with intense processes of identity transformation.

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Authors Affiliations

University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, Bucharest, Romania


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