The Centre for Regional Geography of Babeş-Bolyai University was founded in 2003 and accredited by the National University Research Council (CNCSIS) in 2004. It was born from the need of institutionalizing a new research direction initiated by Professor Pompei Cocean at the Faculty of Geography in 1997, when an exceptional project was awarded in terms of theoretical, methodological and practical load, namely The Inter-county Spatial Plan. Cluj, Bihor, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Maramureş, Mureş, Satu Mare and Sălaj Inter-county Contact Area. The project was followed, in a logical connection, by other important research projects and grants that led to a real specialization in spatial planning and in the elaboration of development strategies for all known regional taxa – region, county (zone), microregion, commune.

Therefore, the programme of the Centre aims at top regional issues such as the assessment of the natural and human potential of different geographical units and subunits; spatial planning; economic and social development strategies at regional, zonal, microregional, or local level; areas, nodes and axes of spatial gravity; economic and social or infrastructural disparities; territorial cohesion, etc. A recent concern of a group of researchers within the Centre is the issue of geographical mental spaces, where their contributions have already become significant.

The research results are hosted by Romanian Review of Regional Studies, the journal of the Centre for Regional Geography, an open-access scholarly journal since 2005. In 2011, the journal was ranked in the B+ category by the National University Research Council (CNCSIS).

Among the scientific results of the Centre for Regional Geography are the eight volumes published on the spatial planning of the North-West Region (the first spatial plan of this kind for a Romanian development region), some specific “ţinut”-type of areas (Mărginimea Sibiului and Hârtibaci), urban and peri-urban areas (Craiova and Bistriţa), the Someş River catchment area, several microregions (Tăşnad) or communes (Aiton, Sărmăşag), etc.

In addition, the Centre organizes an international conference every two years in October since 2004, focused on major regional issues such as territorial disparities, in terms of their typology, impact and management, impact geographical phenomena, regional development and planning, etc.

A project representative of the creative potential of the Centre was the Tisa Catchment Area Development, SEE A/638/4.2/X – TICAD, financed under the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme, elaborated together with prestigious institutions from Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine and Serbia between 2009 and 2012. Another major project of national relevance was Sinaia-Azuga-Buşteni-Predeal-Râşnov-Braşov-Poiana Braşov Inter-municipal Spatial Plan, meant to foreshadow the execution of the spatial infrastructure required by the organization, for the first time in Romania, of a White Olympics in 2022.

Professor Pompei Cocean
Founder of the Centre for Regional Geography

Statute of the Centre for Regional Geography
Regulation on the Functioning of the Centre for Regional Geography
Organizational Chart of the Centre for Regional Geography