Cluj-Napoca – the cultural concrete jungle

Cluj-Napoca, the heart of transylvania, has always been considered a city of culture, inspiring people of all ages to live life at the fullest. Romania poest talked about Cluj as an insanely beautiful city, where the fall manifests itself in a special way. Tourists get to breathe the Transylvanian air by visitng Cluj. Every year people visit Cluj Napoca for its bohemian streets, cozy coffee shops, music festivals  and last, but not least for the well-known Transilvania International Film Festival..

In 2015 Cluj Napoca became the European Youth Capital and for a year it has to prove that it city deserves this title. Considering the fact that Cluj Napoca hosts every year thousands of students, the most important project of European Youth Capital is Untold festival: a celebration of electronic music and not only. However, while all is bright and shiny on the stage, behind the curtains things are a little more gloomy than one would think. SHARE Cluj-Napoca Federation, which supports youth communities, was accused of requesting an exorbitant amount of money from the local budged, even after the funds were already distributed. Grumpy citizens would say that instead of financing concerts and other events, The City Hall should invest the money in roads or transportation. However, people don’t mind living in a cultural city with a lot of potential for becoming as popular as other european capitals.

Every year ‘Zile de Cluj’ are celebrated with concerts, records, contests and many other events that give people the opportunity to escape from the daily craziness. Beside the European Youth Capital title , Cluj runs for ‘European City of Culture’. This project is meant to facilitate building a bridge between Cluj and Europe and encourage local development. Until 2021, the city needs to show that it has a lot to offer to its citizens and guests: opportunities, jobs, culture and of course, fun. Why this project is crucial, is because its aftermath will be felt long after 2021. It might be focuse on culture, but Cluj-Napoca has a responsibility to develop the infrastrucure and improve the means of transportation. When talking about changes the struggle is obvious: in the past few months important streets from Cluj are full of workers who try to ‘change’ the image of Cluj.  Even though now the city looks like a big mess with angry drivers and sidewalks almost nonexistent, the efforts should pay off.

One of the people who has a vested interest in all these projects being successful is Emil Boc, the running mayor of Cluj; since every singe one of these successful changes improves his chances of keeping his position at City Hall. He also took part in a series of outreach programs, trying to connect to his electorate; namely planting trees, helping the construction workers and such, which could all be seen as an early jump on his future electoral campaign.

These two undertakings represent the main projects meant to improve Cluj Napoca. Besides them, Cluj hosts weekly events that all those passing through the city are welcome to attend. These activities will bring people together and ensure that everyone will get a sense of Romanian cluture.


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