Industrial afterlife: a tale of three cities


  • Monica-Mihaela FRANGULEA “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism , Bucharest, Romania
  • Iulia TOADER “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism , Bucharest, Romania


historical landmarks, old building reused, emblematic buildings, famous structures , recycled architecture


Decommissioned old factories constitute valuable real estate assets as they are often placed in important positions inside the urban areas, they can be quite large in size and surface and they used to play a key role in the past in the development, economic and social life of the communities. Along the historical value, the sheer size of those “dead spaces” in our times, built according to long time gone size and structure of the cities or communities formed around them or even created specifically for their functionality, give today a new meaning to these structures that can hold a great potential of developing new focus points for the smart cities we are trying to create. For those reasons these buildings are reinvented as mixed-use spaces incorporating commercial, residential, cultural and recreational uses. The latest trend is to focus on the buildings' original features, such as brickwork, metalwork, arches and high ceilings, while incorporating contemporary technologies and modern amenities. Reusing these structures helps to preserve the area's historical character while introducing new life into the community and reconnect old circulation routes between the surrounding areas. In addition to boosting local economies and property values, these repurposed factories also reduce the environmental impact of new construction projects. Urban planners worldwide are recognizing the potential of these structures for revitalizing cities. We are going to present two Romanian old repurposed factories that were a valuable addition to the cities in their proximity, and the story of the oldest oil refinery in Romania that is now in the process of being totally transformed, hoping to bring new life to the city that was built around it. Three cities with three interesting stories and three historical industrial landmarks that are making the future of those cities look brighter, smarter, environmentally friendly and beautiful.




How to Cite

FRANGULEA, M.-M. and TOADER, I. 2024. Industrial afterlife: a tale of three cities. Smart Cities International Conference (SCIC) Proceedings. 11, (Jun. 2024), 87–104.

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