When we say environment, our first thoughts run towards nature, forests and green areas. But the environment is a very vast field, which comes with problematic topics such as urban development, infrastructure, protected areas, natural disasters, pollution prevention and much more. We started our research in the environmental area in Civic Labs in 2018, by looking at a very pressing issue for Romania: earthquakes. An earthquake can hit our country at any moment. But we embarked on this journey trusting that with the help of technology we can build a more prepared society and that we can support rescue efforts with automated solutions and solid digital instruments.

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Every year we meet with hundreds of people, experts, specialists, institutions, journalists, researchers, NGOs and citizens. We find out mountains of useful and interesting information which helps us identify the most pressing issues of the field, but - most importantly - the solutions to those issues. We want to open all this knowledge for the larger audience, so we would be very happy if you subscribed to our newsletter and we kept you up to date with the results of the research and the identified solutions.


Identified problems

Although there seem to be a lot of overall problems, the solution lies in a methodical and systemic approach. Using a triangulation system that relied on consulting the relevant available scientific literature, validation of the hypotheses through expert interviews or focus groups and the consultation of available public data. This allows us to have a list of problems that is both valid and validated.

Romanian media about the earthquake

Media plays a crucial role in informing and educating the population about earthquake preparedness. With the exception of a few short published briefing guides, the most common materials in the general press either just report events about earthquakes or statistical data, or play a critical role in the authorities. Here are some examples of how the media talks about earthquakes in the past 12 months.


For a thorough understanding of any problem one of the first necessary steps is consulting the scientific knowledge already available. The bibliography lists all of the major scientific sources used in building of the stakeholder maps, working hypothesis, assuring a nuanced understanding of the discovered problems but also of the available solutions. Open this document to see where we got knowledge from.

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Stakeholders - Disaster Prepardness and Relief

We have discussed with many organizations and specialists on the subject of earthquake preparedness, but also on the intervention procedures for such a major event. Rescue efforts will be the duty of everyone, a major disaster being devastating for both Bucharest and the rest of the country. We tried to map the main actors involved in seismic issues. This list will continue to be updated as we continue to research and develop solutions in this field.

Key role in consolidation

A key role in consolidation, as well as information, is played by the owners' associations. They are the ones who can help all the inhabitants of a building to keep up with the legislation in force, with data on the building they live in, with advice on disaster preparedness, them being those who come in contact very frequently with all the people who own or rent space in the building. Make Better has produced an educational material that helps associations keep their informed residents and guides them through the legislative hardship of consolidation, a guide you can download from here.