“Pata Cluj Roma Inclusion”

The author, Enikő Vincze was invited to make a presentation with this title at the 7th Dialogue of the Council of Europe with Roma and Traveller Civil Society, “Protecting family life by securing housing and preventing evictions” Strasbourg, 11-12 April 2019 – Working group 2: Housing and Cities in a time of change: are we focusing on People? The overall objective of the working group is to explore and develop concepts for analysing institutional and organisational change and dynamics in affordable housing provision. Government policies, management reforms and rapidly changing social and economic contexts have placed new expectations on social and public landlords. In addition, policies encouraging partnering with the private sector and/or direct private market provision of social/public housing have blurred the lines between public and private housing activities


While discussing about the “Pata Cluj” project from Romania,[1] as a contribution to the organizers’ aim “to explore concepts for analysing institutional and organisational change and dynamics in affordable housing provision” I am proposing to make use of two concepts:

(1) externalization of the accountability of public authorities in what regards housing provision for low income people;

(2) rescaling the solution of territorial desegregation from the level of the city to the level of metropolitan area.

But before discussing about how “Pata Cluj” project contributed to the trend of externalization and rescaling housing provisions, I would like to critically address two interrelated issues:

  • On the one hand: the phenomena mentioned in the description of this working group, i.e. “government policies, management reforms and rapidly changing social and economic context” – I am going to talk briefly about them under the heading of changing housing politics under the conditions of post-socialist capitalism;
  • On the other hand: the formation of the deprived housing area from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, called Pata Rât, as a local manifestation of the general phenomenon of housing crises, which is exactly the area on which the “Pata Cluj” project focused on between October 2014 and April 2017. 

At the end of my presentation, I will read the “Statement on Pata Rât” of the movement Căși sociale ACUM!/ Social housing NOW! from Cluj-Napoca.

My presentation might bring three contributions/ recommendations to the discussions of this meeting of the CoE on housing, which are the following:

  • A need for mainstreaming the “housing policies for Roma”, since the major manifestations of housing crises that affect impoverished ethnic Roma are part of a larger systemic problem that needs to be solved by the means of changing housing politics altogether.
  • A need to address the responsibilities of the EU, and in particular of the EC on the domain of housing, and formulate demands in what regards the need to modify some major aspects of the compulsory economic policies (such as the competition rule, and the fiscal surveillance of the countries), so that member states could invest public money into public housing.

A need to address all the housing issues faced by impoverished ethnic Roma people as a whole, i.e. when looking for measures to legally recognize informal settlements, to provide measures for social protection, measures for legally forbidding forced evictions and also compulsory measures for providing public social housing as alternative housing solutions. The demand for security of tenure should be applied in the case of several types of tenure.

[1] The references made to the project are inspired by a study made by Foundation Desire as member of the consortium of the RELOCAL research project with the financial support of Horizon 2020: Bădiță C and Vincze E (2019) The Pata Cluj Project. Residential Desegregation of the Landfill Area of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. RELOCAL Case Study N° 25/33. Joensuu:
University of Eastern Finland.

Atelier RELOCAL – Inegalități spațiale și locative, dezvoltare teritorială și efectele acestora asupra comunităților rome din România

În cadrul Atelierului de Lucru, echipa RELOCAL România a făcut următoarele prezentări:

Cuvânt deschidere – Atelierul de Lucru în cadrul cercetării RELOCAL,
Enikő Vincze

Manifestări ale nedreptății spațiale în locuire, Enikő Vincze

Locuirea informală și proiectul Mălin-Codle, Iulia Hossu

Segregarea teritorială și proiectul Pata Cluj, Cristina Bădiță

Zone rurale defavorizate și proiectul Mara-Natur Maramureș, George Zamfir

Regenerare urbană și proiectul Plumbuita-București, Ioana Vrăbiescu

Atelier de Lucru, RELOCAL – România, 30.01.2019

Agenția Națională pentru Romi și Fundația Desire, organizație parteneră la cercetarea RELOCAL (Resituating the Local in Cohesion and Territorial Development, http://relocal.eu), derulată printr-un proiect Horizon 2020 în perioada octombrie 2016 – septembrie 2020,

organizează Atelierul de Lucru cu tema Inegalități spațiale și locative, dezvoltare teritorială și efectele acestora asupra comunităților rome din România.

Acest cadru oferă oportunitatea ca reprezentanți și experți de la instituții și organizații de la diverse nivele (național, regional, județean și local) implicate în procese ale dezvoltării teritoriale, precum și cercetători din domeniu, să aibă o dezbatere internă despre:

– modul în care planurile de dezvoltare răspund la realitățile inegalităților spațiale și locative în România de azi;

– măsura în care proiectele locale beneficiare de fonduri nerambursabile pot contribui la creșterea coeziunii sociale și teritoriale;  

– felul în care strategiile de dezvoltare răspund la nevoile comunităților rome afectate de disparități teritoriale.

Programul Atelierului de Lucru

se va desfășura între 9.30-18.30 în cadrul următoarelor sesiuni:

Sesiunea 1. Reducerea disparităților socio-spațiale – obiectiv guvernamental al  dezvoltării teritoriale

Sesiunea 2: Inegalități spațiale, locuirea în sărăcie și dezvoltarea teritorială

Sesiunea 3: Locuire precară și intervenții pentru îndreptarea injustiției spațiale

Sesiunea 4:  Sub-dezvoltare în zone marginalizate, și intervenții de regenerare socio-economică și urbană

Discuții despre temele Sesiunilor


Forms of spatial injustice and actions embedded in territorial governance structures – cases of Romania [ Enikő Vincze, Cristina Bădiță, Iulia Hossu, Ioana Vrăbiescu, George Zamfir]

We propose using the analyzed actions as cases, which illustrate larger processes of development in Romania both in the sense of the production of spatial injustice manifested in numerous forms, and in the sense of the solutions that different stakeholders conceived at the crossroads of several territorial governance structures in order to tackle them. Starting from how RELOCAL understands spatial injustice (as “the spatial dimension of social injustice”, which is about an unfair “distribution in space of socially valued resources and the opportunities to use them”[1]), this paper proposes the politicization of the concept by addressing it as a phenomenon created by uneven development,[2] at its turn being an endemic feature of capitalism as a political economy that generates a development, which inevitably produces inequalities including “spatial imbalances”, as the above quoted World Bank statement reflects. 

This contribution to the RELOCAL working papers from the part of the Romanian research team is developed in five chapters, as follows:

  1. The production of spatial injustice in the larger context of changing political economy
  2.  The actions embedded in the existing territorial and policy structures of Romania
  3.  Case study 1 – Pata Cluj
  4.  Case study 2 – Mălin Codlea 
  5. Case study 3 – PIDU Plumbuita 
  6. Case study 4 – Mara Natur

[1] Ali Madanipour, Mark Shucksmith, Hilary Talbot, Jenny Crawford: Conceptual Framework for the ReLocal Project, 2017

[2] E. Vincze: Uneven development, racialized spatial injustice and the case of (de)segregation in Cluj Napoca, Romania, manuscript, conference paper 2018, https://www.desire-ro.eu/?attachment_id=3624