Gdynia on the Vision of Development

Gdynia on the Vision of Development

500 speakers, 96 discussion panels and 17 thematic groups. The biggest economic event of northern Poland, organised in Gdynia, is attracting experts in strategic economic areas. We will also become familiar with ideas aimed at improving the quality of life in the city.

The Forum, held on 25 and 26 June in Gdynia, is centred on the current and most important challenges facing Polish economy. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has taken honorary patronage over the event. The guests of honour at the Forum are: Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology, Elżbieta Rafalska, the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy, and Jerzy Kwieciński, the Minister of Investment and Economic Development.

The Forum participants were welcomed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who called Gdynia the city-symbol of the Second Polish Republic. The President of Gdynia, Wojciech Szczurek, also referred to the history of the city.

Gdynia is a modern city that is proud of its history. When we speak of a vision of development, there is no better place in Poland to search for a historical example. If we look at the history of our city, it is Gdynia that became, in extraordinarily difficult times, the place where dreams about making good use of Poland’s access to the sea came true. Today Gdynia continues to be a city that exploits its own potential, also because it implements its vision of development on the local level,” Wojciech Szczurek said.

The participants in the Forum are entrepreneurs, Members of Parliament, representatives of the world of science and economic institutions. The topics discussed at the Forum include issues concerning ecomobility, digital economy, the construction industry, the power industry, the automation and robotisation of Polish businesses, and the development of corporate social responsibility. On the first day, representatives of power industry companies — PGE, Enea, Tauron Dystrybucja, and Energa-Operator — and of the National Centre for Research and development signed a letter of intent on the creation of the first Polish commercial vehicle using a zero emission technology.

Participants in the thematic panels will include representatives of Gdynia’s local government. Wojciech Szczurek is going to take part in a discussion devoted to opposition experiences and their influence on the unleashing of the Polish economic potential. Marek Stępa, Vice-President of Gdynia, will speak in a debate concerning the directions of development of the area of transport, freight forwarding, and logistics, whereas Bartosz Bartoszewicz will participate in a panel concerning investment areas in digital economy. Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, Vice-President of Gdynia, will speak about the government programmes Mieszkanie + (Flat +) and Dostępność + (Accessibility +).

Additionally, innovative ideas aimed at enhancing the attractiveness of contemporary cities, taking part in the Smart City Hackathon — Vision of Development competition, will be presented at the Forum. The organisers are waiting for proposals for solutions improving the quality of life of inhabitants of present-day cities. The winner of the award for the best idea will be selected by a jury and the audience.

Fot. Karol Stańczak/Urząd Miasta Gdyni

What Tomorrow Holds for the City

What Tomorrow Holds for the City

The future of cities as an important centre in the lives of their inhabitants, the role they should play in the social scope, and the responsibility of urban planners and local government officials for their development were discussed by participants of the 6th Polish Urbanism Congress (VI Kongres Urbanistyki Polskiej) in Gdynia. Other topics under discussion were connected with the new district of Gdynia – Śródmieście Morskie and concerned the correlation between the development of the port and the port city and revitalising space as a way to invigorate this part of the city.

“What Tomorrow Holds for the City” is the topic of this year’s Congress and it refers to one of the first urbanism manifests which shaped contemporary thought on the city, penned by Ebenezer Howard, entitled “Garden Cities of Tomorrow”.
Participants of the three-day-long event held on 20—22 June of the current year during five panels discussed how our cities will be functioning in 10 or 25 years. Urban planners tried to address the question of what they could do to make the cities function better and become a place for their inhabitants to realize their aspirations. Local government officials talked about ways of raising the quality of life in cities and the role and place of the inhabitants in local communities.

The Congress participants also took part in 12 thematic panels situated in various urban areas in Gdynia. The subjects of the discussion were, among others, the problem of using water and blue—green infrastructure, urban farming and gardens open to the general public, designing spaces for
a large group of users – senior citizens, children, the disabled. The discussed topics also included problems connected with the Śródmieście Morskie – revitalisation which would liven up empty urban spaces, new uses for industrial plants within the cityscape, as well as the development of port cities and ports within the agglomeration structure.

“Gdynia is a dream city for an urban planner – not often do we get the chance to draw a city on
a piece of paper and then build it exactly as it was planned; and that’s how pre World War II Gdynia, today’s historical suburb, was conceive,” says dr inż. arch. Marek Stępa, Vice-President of Gdynia. “Us, contemporary urban planners in Gdynia, have it more difficult, however we still face challenges that inspire our colleagues throughout Europe and beyond. After all, we’re building the Śródmieście Morskie, Gdynia’s waterfront.”

The Congress was organised by the Polish Urban Planner Society (Towarzystwo Urbanistów Polskich). The Polish Urbanism Congress is not the first big event connected with creating trends in urban architecture to be held in Gdynia. Four years prior, the city hosted the jubilee 50th International Urban Planner Congress. Additionally, the Gdynia Urban Planning Summer School (Gdyńska Letnia Szkoła Urbanistyki) is being organised for three years now –it attracts young professionals from around the world who are educated by experts of international renown.

Fot. Jan Ziarnicki/Urząd Miasta Gdyni

The Sea City Brand

Śródmieście Morskie – a district of the city of Gdynia, changing before our very eyes, is raising increasingly more interest with our western neighbours. It is visited by organised groups of experts and also by the citizens and tourists interested in urban development.

Revitalising such a large post-industrial area located near the city centre is a chance for daring and creative investors and a challenge for the city’s authorities. Śródmieście Morskie possesses another advantage – it is located directly next to the Gdańsk Bay. Areas like this attract the best architectural design studios and thanks to their creations, become a calling card of their respective cities. Śródmieście Morskie where the old meets the new, is visited by many tourists interested in city planning and organised groups of experts. On 15 May of the current year the district was visited by researchers and students of the Osnabrück Polytechnic who toured the Fishermens’ Boardwalk (Molo Rybackie), the Gdynia InfoBox, the Seaport including the Grain Elevator, and the Gdynia Film Centre (Gdyńskie Centrum Filmowe).

The guests were very interested by the post-shipyard architecture which begins to ideally fit with new buildings constructed in the area – says Mr Jacek Debis, Director for Strategic Projects at the Gdynia Development Agency (Agencja Rozwoju Gdyni), the organiser of the excursion. – Śródmieście Morskie gains more and more recognition among urban planners, architects, and investors across Europe. We host many organised groups who wish to witness this unique moment in the existence of any city, when not single buildings, but entire districts are created.

Śródmieście Morskie was also on the route of the Open House Gdynia Festival. For one weekend in the year, the organisers open the doors of utility premises and beautifully designed residences for architecture buffs. The festival shows the transformation of public spaces and unveils the current nature of the city. Participants were able to go on a bicycle trip around the port, see the former Dalmore headquarters or the Port Authority building from where ships are being directed.

Discussion on the identities of cities in Gdynia

The participants of the second edition of the Real Estate Impactor conference, organized in Gdynia by the Rzeczpospolita daily in cooperation with the city, have discussed the identity of cities, their development and impact on the economy.

The theme of this year’s conference was “the Identity of cities – the impact in a global world”. In line with the latest trends, investors rely on the analysis of the potential of specific cities, rather than countries (as it was the case in the past) when selecting a place to invest. They implement their investments with respect to the real needs of the citizens, instead of focusing on business or the economy. Places where the comfort of living is the highest usually win the popularity rankings.
The conference in Gdynia gathered experts and members of local governments, who co-create modern cities, supplement their growth and build their potential. The visitors included, among others, professor Daniel Bell, the dean of the school of political science and public administration at the Shandong University and Richard Kokhuis, who works in Enschede in the Netherlands. Professor Bell told the participants about the ethos of a city as an indicator defining and building its identity. During one of the panels the participants (including Wojciech Szczurek, the mayor of Gdynia) pondered the importance of identity on the development of cities.

Nowadays, in many cities around the world, we often discuss identity and history and the bond built by the inhabitants of the city as growth factors. I’m very glad that this discussion, which offered new, worldwide perspective on the challenges facing Gdynia, strengthened our resolve in taking measures for the sake of the development of the city” said Wojciech Szczurek, the mayor of Gydnia. “This is another conference where we make an attempt to compare experiences of Gdynia to worldwide experiences in order to develop our city in a more effective manner – added mayor Szczurek.

Richard Kokhuis discussed the specificity of Dutch cities. Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, the Deputy Mayor of Gdynia, took part in a debate on the process of developing better urban spaces. Marek Stępa, the Deputy Mayor of Gdynia responsible for spatial development of the city, participated in the panel on the art of combining history with modernity when developing plans.

The first day of the conference ended with a gala, where the Real Estate Impactor prizes were awarded to representatives of local governments, city institutions and developers behind some of the most interesting and successful projects, which improve the quality of life in cities on a daily basis.

Port on the seaside

Żegluga Gdańska will start launching cruises at the end of April. You will be able to travel from Gdynia to Hel, as well as explore the third largest Polish seaport from the bay.

During the season, passenger ships sail few times a day. The summer season on the Gdańsk Bay begins at the end of April and lasts until the end of September. Tourists can choose from over a dozen options. Żegluga Gdańska can take you through the Vistula Spit, Gdańsk Bay, and all the way to Kaliningrad.

We would like to particularly recommend cruises along the Gdańsk Bay and visiting the Naval Port, Naval Shipyard, and the Nauta Shipyard. It is a one of a kind opportunity for an up close look at places which are normally closed to the public. In the Naval Port, we can see great warships, smaller vessels, and even a submarine. Near the Southern Pier, ships at anchor and port installations. Along the way, the ship passes the Węglowy Basin, where coal is transhipped onto larger vessels. The cruise route will lead towards the container transshipment port. The voyage will be enriched by the guide telling stories about the port’s history, providing information about the buildings and ships we pass along the way, and revealing many other little titbits.
So – Ahoy! Let the adventure begin!

Waterfront II

Soon, the Śródmieście Morskie district will lose the Gemini Centre located near the Kościuszko Square. The investor applied for demolishing the building.

The Vastint Company, the investor of the Waterfront I complex which included the Courtyard by Marriott hotel and an 11-storey office building at the Prezydenta Quay, is commencing with the second stage of the investment. The Waterfront II is to be created between the Waszyngtona, Hryniewickiego and Jana Pawła II streets. The area of nearly 75 thousand sqm will include residential, office and service buildings, a hotel, and cinema. The investor emphasises that an important element of the concept includes arcades with an open square and a landscape which will allow the inhabitants and tourists to enjoy the unique locale. The investor announced that they will create a space which is friendly for work, leisure and relaxation, as well as living. The Waterfront II building design, prepared by JEMS Architekci, draws from the modernist and white architecture of Gdynia. The area is located near the Kościuszko Square which is a location for concerts, festivals, and other events, and is to constitute an additional highlight and an alternative way to spend free time. Thanks to this new investment, the city centre will be closer to the Gdańsk Bay and the citizens will have fun, work, relax and live by the seaside.

Gdynia Port at Waszyngtona street

The Port of Gdynia will purchase a 62 thousand sqm plot at Waszyngtona 1 street from the Nauta Shiprepair Yard.

The Nauta Shiprepair Yard announced a tender for the sales of the land from which it withdrew its operations. The attractively located plot was finally purchased by the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A., which submitted the best offer. Urban planners drew up
a spatial planning scheme for the area which envisages the development of two functions – the downtown function and the port function accounting for the plot’s location and vicinity of the port.

“We have included the plot in the spatial development plan as an urban or port area. This way, we left the door open for potential investors. We did not exclude the option for the port to be the manager of this place” – says Marek Stępa, the Vice-President of the City of Gdynia. “It should be assumed that the decision on purchasing post-shipyard areas means that they will serve as ports. This does not however, negatively affect what is happening nearby – a posh district of Śródmieście Morskie is being created right next to the Baltic.”

Due to the residential development in such close proximity, no arduous production operations will be allowed on the plot.

“As a maritime economy entity, we are glad that the area near ul. Waszyngtona will remain an element of the port and hope that the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A. will use it for interesting projects which will bring many benefits both locally and nationally” – explains Paweł Brzozowski, Vice-President of the Nauta Shiprepair Yard.

Sea City in Cannes

Sea City areas were presented at the international investment fair in Cannes. The vice-president of Gdynia, together with representatives of 11 European cities, took part in discussions on the possibilities of waterfront development.

Every year, MIPIM – The World’s Leading Property Market attracts real estate representatives from all over the world. It is a great opportunity to present the city, its advantages and areas prepared for investments to entrepreneurs. Sea City is a very strong brand of Gdynia, which attracts investors’ interest due to its unique location.
This year, Gdynia, together with other 11 European cities with similar investment areas at the junction with water, took part in a debate devoted to “New opportunities in Europe’s Waterfront Cities”. Gdynia began a discussion of the second part of the panel attended by representatives of Hamburg, Liverpool, Lisbon, Newcastle, Rotterdam and Stockholm. Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, the vice-president of the city, presented Sea City investment areas the purpose of which is to be changed in order to create a new city district.

– We want to create a modern district, but, most of all, our goal is the city to remain a very friendly place to live, where people will be happy – said Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, the vice-president of Gdynia, during the debate.

The delegation of Gdynia also participated in the panel entitled “Urbanity: new rules for new cities” and in the debate entitled “Paying for the Waterfront”, devoted to the possibilities of financing key investments in coastal areas. They met with investors from the hotel industry and held talks with the Scottish Minister of Development and the representatives of the prestigious Urban Land Institute Europe.
Gdynia presented the investment possibilities of the city as part of a joint metropolitan position – Invest in Pomerania.

 

ULI Specialists on the Future of Gdynia

Urban Land Institute specialists inspected the area of Śródmieście Morskie and conducted two-day workshops where they discussed the best possible use for this land with local government officials. The result of the visit will be a report on the Sea City Transformation.

The experts visiting Gdynia included Tom Murphy, the legendary mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who was responsible for revitalising the industrial areas of the city which many considered a lost cause; prof. Greg Clark, a ULI specialist working with cities, businesses and institutions from all over the world; Angela Goodings representing TH Real Estate; and Lisette van Doorn – Chief ULI Executive for Europe.
During the first day of the workshops, the guests visited Śródmieście Morskie, learned about the value of its location and witnessed the newest investments. By organising the workshops, city authorities hoped to benefit from the opinions and experience of ULI experts who participated in revitalisation efforts for similar areas around the world.
– We have invited experts from around the world to discuss our reflections on transforming harbour areas and draw conclusions from similar processes conducted in other cities in the world. We wish to take advantage of our experts to shape the future of our city in the best possible way – says Wojciech Szczurek, the president of Gdynia.
The experts who shared their experiences in developing urban coastal areas included professionals from Belfast, Liferpool, Offenbach, and Meinz. Mr Murphy urged the local governments and investors not to fear ambitious undertakings going beyond one-dimensional projects.

– I believe you have a great chance to make the new developments a place where people would simply want to go. You have to be more ambitious with this project, not shy away from any proposals and instead look for opportunities to create something truly remarkable – Murphy said.

The two-day workshops will be concluded with a publication which will be a guideline for the local government and investors concerning the possibility of using Śródmieście Morskie with all its values, and developing it in a manner best suited for the needs of the citizens.
Urban Land Institute is an independent non-profit research and educational organisation with 30 000 members connected with the real estate market worldwide. The specialists willingly share their experiences and best practices, propagating the creation of a sustainable worldwide community.

Photo – Urząd Miasta Gdyni

Areas in the centre of Gdynia put up for sale

Nearly 6.2 ha of areas with access to the sea, after the Nauta Shiprepair Yard, have been put up for sale. Offers can be submitted until 26 February.

Such attractive investment areas are not a frequent opportunity. Due to their unique location, also the price can make your head spin. Potential investors have to expect an expenditure of at least PLN 90 million net. Today, at the Engineer Wenda’s Basin, there are warehouse, workshop, production and partly office buildings. The urban planners, however, earmarked the southern part of the area for residential and service purposes. The remaining area has been reserved for city-centre services or for purposes related to the functioning of the part. The immediate vicinity of port basins allows for the location of services in the scope of tourism, free time and recreation for the residents.

– The draft plan assumes that flats, hotels, offices and restaurants will be created in place of the Nauta Shipyard areas. It allows buildings up to 55-metre high. We estimate that about 400 apartments and 50,000 square metres of service area may be created here – says Marek Karzyński, director of the Gdynia City Spatial Planning Office. – The draft plan is ready, however, the City Council abstains from its adoption. If the Nauta plots were bought by the Port of Gdynia, the plan would need some alterations, as it assumes the development of city-centre area – the director adds.

The areas, which are called the Gdynia waterfront, have been waiting for an investor since 2012, when Nauta removed its production facilities from the location. Now, the areas are the centre of a new, nascent district – the Sea City.

– All over the world, land-sea boundary city areas are becoming real hearts. Either of an economic life or, if not used by the industry, of an attractive urban space. The major part of the area after the Nauta Shiprepair Yard is located on the development areas of the northern part of Gdynia city-centre – says Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, vice-president of Gdynia.