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History of Iasi Metropolitan Area

In autumn 2002, The President of the County Council and the Mayor of Iasi, on the basis of the technical proposal written by the Chief Architects of the two institutions, requested the support of the GRASP Programme for establishing the Iasi Metropolitan area.

In a context of multiple pressures generated by the changes in the social and economic system, of development planning and implementation, as well as of various distortions and of diverse needs both in the urban environment and in the rural areas adjacent to the City of Iasi, the County Council and the City Hall decided to rise up to the challenge and to attempt the construction of a partnership amongst the local government units in the Iasi development region. The opportunity at the root of this approach was the Governance Reform and Sustainable Partnerships Programme GRASP, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) and by the Academy for Educational Development (AED) in the interval May 2003 - November 2004.

Starting from the need to harmonise the development processes and to strengthen the competitive advantage of the Iasi urban conglomerate, a team consisting of over 100 decision makers and specialists from the local and central government, from public services, from the business sector, the academic sector, non-governmental organisations, GRASP specialists and consultants, made possible, through a complex engagement of partnerships, the establishment of a regional development hub in North-East Romania, at the future border of the European Union The Iasi Metropolitan Area.

On April 8th, 2004, the Iasi County Council, the City of Iasi and 13 surrounding communes signed, in light of the common development objectives identified, and with the purpose of creating the appropriate partnerships for reaching these objectives, the founding convention fort the establishment of The Iasi Metropolitan Area and appointed the Iasi Metropolitan Council. The legal framework supporting this approach is represented by Law no. 350/2001 concerning urbanism and land management, Law no. 351/2001 concerning the approval of the National Land Management Plan and the Government Ordinance no. 53/2002 regarding the Legal Foundations of the Local Government Unit. (at the time being there are proposals for legislation which would diversify and detail; the existing legislation regarding metropolitan development, www.mai.gov.ro.)

The project for structuring the Iasi Metropolitan Area was the largest project approached within the GRASP Programme and the largest in Romania as far as metropolitan partnership is concerned. It meant integrated, inter-disciplinary, inter-institution and inter-sector efforts, it required contributions from the decision makers, from the Romanian consultants, working at local and central level. (we must mention the start in 2002 of a similar project, also financed by the USAID, the Oradea Metropolitan Area; in July 2005, the Oradea Metropolitan Development Agency was established)