The Northern Train Station Esplanade
Habsburg urbanism, communist systematization
The way we live in our city and how we interact with it is continuously shaped by an ensemble of rules that dictate where buildings should be placed, how public spaces should be configured and how the urban planning process should unfold. This process itself is subject to different paradigms specific to each historical period. In this tour we focus on a boulevard that showcases two important stages in Timișoara’s development, as a base for further discussions about urban principles.
The route follows the northern part of General Ion Dragalina Boulevard, from its two sides that show radically different approaches to riverfront design, to the Northern Train Station. The route, although short, offers the chance to observe and discuss about urbanism concepts such as street alignments, plot typologies, contrasting urban fabric and how all these influence our perception.
We propose a brief insight into the urbanism field and its guiding principles along different times, tracing the neighbourhood’s history from its Cartesian design by the Austro-Hungarians in the XVIIIth century, through the large scale systematization (urban planning program carried out by the Romanian Communist Party) process and finalising with future opportunities, including how we, as citizens, can shape our cities.