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€20 million EBRD loan for Romanian city of Arad

By Olga Rosca

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(l-r) Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria with Gheorghe Falcă, Mayor of Arad

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Improved parking management system is part of urban regeneration programme

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the city of Arad have signed an agreement today for a €20 million loan to improve local urban mobility thanks to the introduction of a new parking management system, part of the local urban regeneration programme.

Arad is a historic city in western Romania that dates back to the 11th century. Today it boasts a population of 170,000 but the available parking facilities fall far short of demand in the historic centre of Arad, as well as in the densely populated residential areas built during communist times.

In recent years, the city has launched a complex urban regeneration programme, with investments in parking and access roads, green areas and recreation. The plan also includes a modern, integrated parking management system. A clear pricing policy will lead to sustainable revenue generation for the municipality which in turn will allow for further investment and improvements.

The EBRD loan will be complemented by technical cooperation funds, under the EBRD Framework for Sustainable Mobility and Access to Road Transport (SMART), to assist Arad with the introduction of an integrated parking policy. SMART was established in late 2015 as a €120 million facility to support local authorities or local transport operators seeking financing for their urban infrastructure priorities, with the aim of enhancing the quality of local transport in Romania, a key sector in the country’s transition to an effective market economy.

Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, said: “We are pleased to sign this loan agreement today as it will allow us to make a strong contribution to the development of Arad – an important city in Romania’s past, present and future – through the local strategy for urban regeneration. Alleviating congestion and improving mobility will support economic development in the city and the wider region as it will boost local businesses.”

Gheorghe Falcă, Mayor of Arad, added: “The agreement today marks another phase in our plans to develop Arad. The urban regeneration programme will bring comfort and functionality to our citizens, who will benefit from a modern and accessible parking system for residential areas, green and recreational areas and children’s play areas.”

The EBRD has a longstanding relationship with the city of Arad that goes back to 2005. Previous EBRD loans were used for investments in urban infrastructure upgrades and improvements to public transport such as the new, energy-efficient trams acquired in 2014-15.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Romania. It has invested over €7 billion in the country to date and has also mobilised more than €14 billion from other sources of financing. The EBRD’s strategic priorities over the period 2016-18 for its countries of operations are to re-energise growth, strengthen regional integration and address global challenges.

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