Volume 1, Number 1, 2009
Authors: Daniela ZAMFIR, Cristian TĂLÂNGĂ, Ilinca Valentina STOICA
ROMANIAN SMALL TOWNS SEARCHING FOR THEIR IDENTITY
Romanian small towns - urban settlements of less than 20000 inhabitants, having a polarizing function with respect to the socio-economic activities in the deeply rural areas - are considered an interface between rural and urban communities. Determining the identity of small towns is rather difficult, because complex and varied political, social and economic changes occurred in the previous century. Thus, three distinct phases have been established: before 1950 the towns had a rather strong rural character; in 1950-1989 their identity was completely changed under the communist regime; after that, they somehow re gained their initial identity (the one before 1950), or promoted it at higher levels. There is a discrepancy between the present stage and that before 1989: the previous identity was conventional and constrained whereas today it develops in a natural process conditioned only by the town itself and by the choice of its inhabitants.Key words: identity, small towns, functional profile, Romania.