Transition movement in Romania

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Romania in Transition Association (established in 2009) and Romanian Permaculture Research Institute (established in 2015) were born in 2011 out of the Transition Initiatives workshop in Cluj and subsequent seminars in eight Romanian cities in 2012. By 2020 the two partnering organisations had established themselves as engines of community-led projects across the country as well as partners in international projects. [1]


The Romania in Transition ART Association has been the national HUB of the Transition Network since 2013, an organization meant to inspire, encourage, connect and train communities responding to current global challenges. Active local Transition hubs exist in Bucharest, Cluj, Alba Iulia and Hunedoara.

The association's objective is to serve as an instrument to the Romanian grass-root emergent movement and to promote community-oriented projects focused on sustainable development.

ART activities are related to macro-regional and international networking, local community empowerment, social economy, education for social change, social entrepreneurship and training, communication, mass-media. ART is working actively to establish a macro-regional network in the Danube Region that is connecting initiatives across the Danube related to sustainable development. This will serve as a platform for exchanging know-how, support and training within the macro-region. ART shares the know-how of the network that represents and also takes deep advantage of the connection with the global movement of Transition Towns. ART is also a founding member of ECOLISE.

Under its umbrella, ART has developed the ARISE Education, an international project that brings together different approaches, trainers, dedicated to the emergence of a new generation of inspiring leaders and empowering individuals, communities and organizations to make positive social change, in service to the planet. ART is also partner of Restart Edu, a national innovative educational community.

Purpose of the Transition movement in Romania

History of the Transition movement in Romania

Narrative of change

Read more about the concept of narrative of change

Scope of the Transition movement in Romania


Iniatives in numbers


Links to key examples

Several local transition initiatives evolved under various projects and organizations (listed here in alphabetic order):

  • ARISE Education - an integrative project of people, tools and educational experiences [2]
  • Aurora Community (intentional ecological community) [3]
  • Bucharest Curtea Școlii school garden
  • Gradinescu Community Gardens [4]
  • Permaculture Institute, a network of professionals supporting the practice of permaculture through research, consulting, mentoring, education and implementation [5]
  • Seminte Libere, Romanian Free Seeds movement [6]
  • Terra Livre Association to free the land and particularly to protect it from illegal logging [7]

"Grădinescu" urban community gardens

The "Grădinescu" project consists of a network of nine urban community gardens, of which three are located on the roofs of Kaufland stores, four by the parking lots or behind the shops, and two in schools in the Capital. The aim of the project is to create a friendly urban environment for people and nature by educating, informing and integrating the local community next to urban gardens.

The project has a lively Facebook page.[8]

Free seeds national movement

The project was initiated in January 2014 Adina M. Moise and developed under the umbrella of Romania in Transition. It is a network project for the promotion, protection, distribution and multiplication of traditional seeds, currently with over 13,000 members.

The project guards biodiversity by preserving traditional seeds, open-pollinated or with a source of origin as transparent as possible. Seeds are donated from people's own surplus. Seeds can be sent via mail or donated on "Free Seeds" events that are organized at the beginning of each year in several cities: Bucharest, Cluj, Brasov, Sibiu, Alba Iulia, Bistrița, Rădăuți, Suceava.

Seed house, community seed bank

Starting with November 2018, the Seed House - Community Seed Bank project was born - in partnership with Arche Noah Seed Savers Association [9] with over 30 years of experience in saving seeds. [10]

School gardens

Bucharest Curtea Școlii Garden is a social integration and development project focused on gardening and ecological education initiated in November 2012 at the Ferdinand school in Bucharest by Ionuţ Bădică.

It is the first garden in the schoolyard in Romania that has an integrated permaculture design, containing a vegetable garden, a "Food Forest", an outdoor classroom, a compost area, a rainwater collection system and two ponds. The project won the Ecology Award at the "Bucharest TU Gala".

The project develops the tools for schools to plan and implement a sustainable, healthy and sustainable educational system. Children assimilate the basic ecological concepts, learn practical skills, experience social integration with adolescents, gain theoretical knowledge, participate on gardening workshops, learn about creative recycling, preparation of seedlings, seed stratification etc.

Urban Community Gardens - Bucharest

A modest and unconventional 100 m2 terrace garden on the roof of the General Directorate of Social Assistance of Bucharest Municipality, started between January 2014 and May 2016, has inspired more than 70 people to become involved in education, research, development and care for the garden. The garden laid the foundation for the establishment of other urban gardens in Bucharest, such as the Botanical Garden and the Transit Garden.

When the roof garden was discontinued, Laurențiu Cernat, its initiator, started a collaboration for the development of the Kultivă project, and some of the plants were moved to their project site.

The Gura Siriului Garden started in 2013 as an experiment to regenerate a plot of productive land in an industrial area located on the outskirts of Bucharest. The small community garden is evolving into a food forest. The garden hosts community and educational events, and other activities that support the downshifting movement, host travelers and grow food. [11]

Glade with Permaculture - Bucharest (Domnești)

In 2011, an experimental gardening, permaculture and community building center was launched in Domnești by Teodor Terpez, hosting gardening workshops, community meetings, permaculture courses and offering gardening lots for the community.

Between 2011 and 2013, the center was one of the meeting points for people interested in permaculture and transition in Bucharest and its surroundings, where various thematic meetings, gardening workshops and other activities in the eco-social sphere took place.

After 2014, Poiana cu Permacultură was on hold, with no meetings or workshops being organized. In 2018, the center returned with new projects of community building and plot sharing.[12]

Aurora community

Aurora Community, located in the Carpathian Mountains, is an intentional community and an eco-social innovation and educational center, actively promoting a simpler way of life with beauty and meaning, healing space for reconnecting with nature, permacultural practices and re-building community.

Terra Livre Association =

"Natural landscapes belong to everyone," says the Romanian free-the-land organisation, because "mountains, forests, lakes, rivers are for the good of everyone, not for the profit of some."

Terra Livre raises funds to support communities to engage in the conservation and regeneration of worldwide natural landscapes at risk of disappearing, either by the effects of climate change or people's negligence of Nature.

Terra Livre raises funds and channels it to local communities for the conservation and regeneration of natural landscapes.

Permanent Culture House at Cluj Napoca

This community urban space for experimenting with system thinking, permaculture and community construction opened in August 2013, evolving from a social and economic experiment of decommissioning a small guesthouse. Later a paradigm of collaboration, abundance and voluntary simplicity was developed in which each participant contributed within the gift economy to the development of the community.

The Permanent Culture House hosted 1200 people from Romania and other countries over 800 events on various socio-cultural fields and was a space for experimentation for a number of activities in the field of the circular economy, horizontal systems, community building and decision-making, cooperation and collaboration for responsible and sustainable use of energy and material resources.

The House hosts the Social Circle Association[13] for the development of resilient and collaborative models of the circular economy. It continues the activity of Repair Cafe Cluj[14], the EcoTradiții festival and is becoming an important pillar in the Cluj community in terms of creating a community vision for the city.

The vision of the Social Circle and the House of Permanent Culture is inspired by concepts from the Transition Towns movement. They imagine the city as a complex, holistic network, managed in a participative, sustainable and integrative manner by the local community.

There are many other similar projects such as Eco Ruralis Romania.

Numbers of people involved, and indirect beneficiaries

Impacts of Transition movement in Romania

Ecological impacts

Social impacts

Economic impacts

Impacts in other dimensions

Research on Transition movement in Romania


Civil society steps up for seeds in Romania, an article on ARC 2020 website, published on 14 September 2015.