Summer School


Home institution “Babeş – Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Facts and figures: 39 625 students, 21 schools, 30 colleges in the country, 160 major topics in Romanian, 77 major topics in Hungarian, 14 major topics in German, 14 major topics in English.

The objectives of the proposed summer school

  • Knowledge of areas subjected to major changes in terms of occupations, land use and resources used by the community;
  • Identification of environmental, economic and social impacts;
  • Finding solutions for the sustainable development of the studied areas.

The problems to be approached will include environmental problems induced by 2,000 years mining activities, mono-industrial vulnerable local communities, existence of abandoned and orphan sites, lack of sustainable development measures of the areas, as well as proposed technical solutions for mine closure. Others aspects to be addressed will cover the proposed post-mining land-use, the use of the environmental bonds and economic opportunities of these areas, independent of mining, or related to the former mine.
Romania and Central Europe are characterized by a 2000 years mining tradition, with a great diversity of resources: precious metals (gold, silver), oil, salt and construction materials (limestone and stones). These mining activities are accompanied by risks induced by the 24 tailings dams, the mono-industrial nature of the activities and by the existence of vulnerable communities. A detailed analysis of the community identity profile will be conducted during the summer school, with special focus on the geographic profile (spatial location of the community, main features of the natural and built environment), historical profile (historical processes and events that have influenced the community), cultural profile (material cultural features, cultural rules and routines) and traditional occupations.

Summer School Agenda

The 3 to 4 weeks school agenda will include sustainability and cultural aspects in Romania and Central Europe:

  • Hungary: Ajkai (alumina plant – alumina sludge spill, 2010 (red mud), 35 million cubic feet of liquid waste released) – Puszta (grassland biome) – Budapest (tourist city)
  • Romania: Cluj-Napoca (university city) – Turda (chemical plant & salt mine – successful rehabilitation project) – Rosia Montana area: sustainability issues related to former industrial and mining activities and vulnerable communities (gold and copper mining) – Alba Iulia (historical city) – Maramures area (mining activities and local traditions)
  • Bulgaria: Chelopech (Gold/Copper Mine) – Kozloduy (Nuclear Power Plant, safety issues and partial shutdown – crisis with EU) – Sofia (Bulgarian capital)

Expected outcomes of the summer school

The outcomes of this summer school will materialize in comprehensive case studies with reports presenting sustainability solutions on the following aspects:

  • reduction of industrial hazardous wastes;
  • ecological agriculture – improvement of life quality;
  • environmental rehabilitation;
  • rehabilitation of historically contaminated sites;
  • environmental risk communication with the local population;
  • characteristics of the socio-economic environment on the selected mining sites;
  • protection of the cultural/archaeological heritage;
  • mitigation of local communities vulnerability;
  • sustainable development of the local community and transfer of these sustainability solutions to visited communities;
  • development of participatory processes.