Gentrification Is Pushing Romanian Sheep Out of Bucharest


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Gentrification Is Pushing Romanian Sheep Out of Bucharest

As the city grows, sheep are now forced to graze among the litter in the newly built suburbs.

This article originally appeared on VICE Romania

According to legend, Romania's capital of Bucharest was founded when a shepherd called Bucur settled his sheep in the area around 500 or 600 years ago. Today, Bucharest is a city of about 2.3 million people, and the region's shepherds have had to find other places to herd their sheep over the centuries.

These days, many shepherds live and work in villages just outside of the capital. Those villages form the outskirts of Bucharest but because of the city's growth, they are also the site of some new urban development plans. Now, a string of new neighbourhoods stand where a few years ago, you'd only have seen small farms, grassy plains and herds of sheep, goats and cows. New and old residents are now living together in this grey space between a rural and an urban area.


The new neighbourhoods don't have the kinds of amenities that city life generally has to offer yet – no public roads, shops or garbage collection services. The streets are covered in household waste, while it's unclear whose responsibility picking it up is – either of the new neighbourhood or of the old local administration. Until that's solved, the sheep on the outskirts of the city will graze among the litter.