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Gdynia – a great place to live

The quality of life in Gdynia has found appreciation amongst the international jury of the LivCom Awards, which compiles a ranking of cities worldwide based on their residents-friendly attributes. After detailed interviews, Gdynia came in the 3rd place, following Bergen in Norway in the 2nd place and Xicheng, a district of Beijing in China, coming 1st. Our city, as the only one of the Polish cities, made it to the top final 22 cities worldwide, considered to be best cities in the world to live. It is the best recommendation.

The co-organizer of the competition is UNEP – The United Nations Environment Programme. This remarkably prestigious and the world’s only ranking focusses on quality of life, awarding and revealing cities with the best comfort of living. The evaluation is conducted by an international jury comprising experts in management of the local environment and landscaping.” In the present edition of the competition the members of the jury panel studied a quarter of a million cities worldwide, and compiled a shortlist of 22 cities and 34 projects from more than 30 countries who were invited to the finals. Just to be included in that select circle was a considerable honour, especially seeing as Gdynia was the only city representing Poland. In the middle of December (11-13.12) at the University of Rome the final presentations took place, during which representatives from the award-winning cities talked about their initiatives enhancing the standards of living.

“The competition procedure took several months. Already in Rome itself we were required to give nearly an hour-long presentation on Gdynia, talking about local solutions focussed on the city residents and the quality of life. Each solution that was referred to had to be documented with hard evidence. We are very excited by this recognition and consider it to be a kind of an understated confirmation that we, the citizens of Gdynia are managing truly superbly,” Bartosz Bartoszewicz, Deputy Mayor for Life Quality, explained.

The presentations were divided into 5 categories according to population size. Gdynia which participated in the category of cities with the population of 150,001-400,000, reached the finals alongside Oulu from Finnland, Ambon from Indonesia, the Xicheng District in China and Bergen from Norway, overtaken only by the last two cities. The winners in the previous editions included Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Swedish Malmo, Port Fairy from Australia and Honolulu (USA).

“For years, we have been conducting a policy of sustainable development aiming to secure all the needs of both the current citizens and future generations of Gdynia. That is why we are immensely satisfied that an assembly of international experts validated our activities in economic, social and environmental fields,” Wojciech Szczurek, the Mayor of Gdynia, said.

The objective of LivCom Awards is to develop and share International Best Practice, with the further objective of improving the quality of life of individual citizens through the creation of ‘liveable communities’. This year’s edition was strongly focussed on climate change-related concerns. Every year, the communities whose representatives meet in the finals of the LivCom Awards, exchange Best Practice and experience with the objective of joining forces to face the shared challenges together.