Location of timbre test site in Hunedoara, Romania
Location of timbre test site in Hunedoara, Romania

Hunedoara (Romanian pronunciation: [hune’do̯ara]; German: Eisenmarkt; Hungarian: Vajdahunyad) is a city in Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania. The city was first documented in 1265, although there are even earlier signs of human inhabitation and iron extraction and processing in the area. Before the middle of the twentieth century, the population grew only slowly but showed a steep, almost five-fold increase after the beginning of the socialist-era industrialization in the early 1950s. According to the latest census (2002), the number of inhabitants in Hunedoara was about 71,500, down from a peak of 89,000 inhabitants before 1989. This demographic decline paralleled the industrial decline experienced by the steel plant in Hunedoara, which went from a production of 3 million tons of steel and 2 million tons of metallurgical coke in 1989 to virtually nothing at the time of the closure of the plant ten years later (1999). Interestingly, the closure coincided with the 115th anniversary of the Hunedoara steel plant (1884 – 1999).

Since 2004, ECO SID Ltd., a company owned by the Hunedoara local council, took over the administration of the 138 ha large site and began “the noble task of giving back to the community a place in which the future will show that nothing is impossible”, according to the company’s web site.  Concretely, this involved the demolition of the former structures of the Siderurgica steel plant – including tall furnaces, coke ovens, classic Siemens Martin ovens, electric ovens for sheets, wires or steel profiles - in order to salvage the iron and concrete rubble which could be recycled or reused by interested buyers.

The current brownfield is located in the South-West area of Hunedoara, not far from the city center and the Hunyad castle, a well-known tourist attraction in Hunedoara. The current state of the brownfield includes various forms of contamination, including tar compounds, heavy metals and naphthalene. Preliminary investigations of soil and groundwater pollution have been carried out by the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest (UTCB) in 2010.

In October 2011, a first timbre stakeholder's and experts' meeting brought together many actors interested in brownfields regeneration in Romania and in the revitalisation of the ECO SID site in Hunedora in particular.

Impression from Hunedoara Workshop

Following the Hunedoara workshop in October 2011, the dialogue with stakeholders has been carried on through several smaller meetings which have taken place in Bucharest. The aim of these meetings (November 2011 – January 2012) has been to gain a better understanding of decision making processes and possible obstacles in the revitalization of brownfields in Romania. On the other hand, the TIMBRE partners have provided updated information on the TIMBRE project and its interest to develop a tailored approach to brownfield revitalization in Romania.

The detailed discussions and active involvement of stakeholders and TIMBRE partners have been a real benefit to all the participants. The upcoming meetings and discussions will take place in Hunedoara and Deva in the spring of this year.

group discussion at Petrom City, Bucharest 
(January 30, 2012)

 sites identified on the map of Romania (January 30, 

 updated information on the Hunedoara site (January 30,