The first summary of the tourist season 2018

The first summary of the tourist season 2018

Cultural and sports events of a well-established reputation, as well as a rich offer of tourist attractions gather more and more visitors to Gdynia. Gdynia is also a city of industry meetings and an organizer of many thematic conferences. On the occasion of the World Tourism Day, the City Hall presented the data showing tourist flow in the city from January to September 2018.

This year, in nine months, Gdynia was visited by 2,491 thousand people. The City Tourist Information Center has already served over 65,000 tourists this year. Every year, the number of visitors to the city increases. It is influenced by the rich offer of cultural and sports events, which already have a large group of enthusiasts, but also properly designed policy of the city.

– We had something to enjoy in previous years, but this time it was even better. This shows that we have a strong potential and there is a lot to fight for, but it also indicates that our diagnosis to follow this and no other direction of the tourism market development was right,” says Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, vice-president of Gdynia. “Most of all, we want to offer our city as a city of meetings. We see the potential of the city in the organization of the industry tourism, in the organization of conferences and congresses, in the invitation of business here and in using the fantastic cultural and sports offer that has become a recognizable brand of our city in Poland and abroad – emphasizes the vice-president of Gdynia.

The popularity of the city is also influenced by its attractive location. The city centre adjacent to the beach and the marina is a perfect combination especially in summer months. Location and ferry connections allow tourist to reach the city quickly by sea. For several years, the city has been trying to include the former shipyard areas into the city centre, and thus expand the city centre area towards the sea. A new centre is being developed directly at the Gdansk Bay, which is to be inhabited by more than 10,000 people, the next one will work and spend leisure time here.

The most popular tourist attractions in Gdynia this year were – Gdynia Aquarium, Centrum Nauki Eksperyment, Dar Pomorza and Naval Museum. The Open’er Festival has been the most recognizable cultural event for many years, attracting 140,000 people to the city. This year’s Summer concert with Radio Festiwal at the end of summer holidays was also very popular and attracted about 110,000 people. However, the largest audience was attracted by this year’s Gdynia AreoBaltic powered by Lotos air BP, which was seen by 300,000 viewers.

Sustainable transport in Gdynia

Sustainable transport in Gdynia

Gdynia took part in the celebration of the European Mobility Week. This year’s theme “Mix and Move” promotes multimodality – the mixing of transport modes.

The largest European initiative organized under the auspices of the European Commission and devoted to sustainable urban transport is celebrated between 16 and 22 September. In this period European cities promote actions which enhance the quality of life in urban areas, emphasize the importance of safety of inhabitants in traffic the need to protect the environment. There is one goal – to raise people’s awareness of issues related to moving around cities, as well as issues concerning the health and quality of life of people living in European cities.

– Gdynia joins this initiative not for the first time. The week will witness many opportunities to actively participate in the celebrations. There are no limits, all you have to do is choose something that is most interesting to you. We encourage people to replace a car by a bicycle, to try what it feels like to carry something or give children a ride to school by bike – says Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, Deputy Mayoress of Gdynia.

Sustainable transport includes communications that both is economically advantageous and minimizes adverse impact on the environment. It focuses on both controlling emissions of harmful exhaust and promoting means of transportation that use renewable energy. It also limits devastation of urban space as a result of the domination of individual car transport – huge parking lots or cars parked on sidewalks and other space for pedestrians.

The European Mobility Week was topped out with the Car-Free Day. The local government encouraged the inhabitants to spend time in the city centre, where it was banned to stop or park a car in the area from 3 Maja to Mściwoja. Thanks to this the inhabitants could meet their friends, take a seat in restaurant gardens and take pat in the table tennis tournament.

Gdynia has been involved in the development of sustainable transport for a long time. As one of the first local governments in Poland, it introduced hybrid car sharing system. It participates in the development of the metropolitan bike rental system. This year, it has purchased 6 new electric buses. Currently, it is planning to purchase cargo bikes with electric motor to carry goods and people that could be used by schools, preschools and city institutions. It is also planning to open a cargo bike rental system for individuals. It is constantly developing the network of bicycle routes, motivating inhabitants to choose this means of transportation. It also participates in the development of combined tickets for public transportation system in the Pomerania and tries to connect the Pomeranian communication system with Blekinge region in Sweden.

8th Weekend of Architecture in Gdynia

8th Weekend of Architecture in Gdynia

Architecture enthusiasts, especially fans of modernism, will meet on 6-9 September 2018 in Gdynia during the 8th Weekend of Architecture. Thematic walks, lectures, debates, workshops, and even film screenings were prepared by the organizers of this year’s edition of the event.
Cooperation is the motto of the 8th Weekend of Architecture.

Without it, it is difficult to imagine effective operation of architectural design studios, effective implementation of ambitious plans for development and revitalization of cities and districts, or implementation of advanced projects in the public and private sector. It would be impossible without cooperation of residents, urban planners, architects and community workers,” says Jacek Debis from the Gdynia Development Agency, which is the co-organizer of the Weekend of Architecture.

Two lectures will be devoted to the concept of cooperation in the process of creating modern architecture. On Sunday, 9 September, speakers will discuss examples of cooperation in the field of Gdynia architecture. On 7 September, they will present examples of cooperation in the architecture of the Second Republic of Poland.

The Gdynia event will host eminent architects and experts in modernism, who will address various issues. On 7 September, Kazimierz Butelski will talk about “Humanitarian architecture in Polish and Chilean perspective.” Grzegorz Piątek will present the topic “How Warsaw discovered that it can have public space”, Michał Stangel will focus on “Public space – participatory design”, Maria Piradoff-Link will discuss “Life among buildings – Creative Banker.”The special guest of this year’s Weekend will be the Polish architect, Prof. Ph.D. Boleslaw Stelmach, who will give a lecture on “Time Notations. Theater under construction” on 9 September (Sunday) 2018. At the end, the speakers, as well as invited experts and architects will jointly consider the problem of participatory design of public space in the city.

Some of the lectures devoted to the architecture of interwar modernism will take place in the historic building of the Consulate of Culture, i.e. the former Seaman House. The building from 1936 has been modernized recently and is to be the centre of cultural events. It was designed by the Warsaw architect, Stanisław Płoski, to the order and from the funds of the Swedish institution – Care for Swedish Sailors.

An important point of the Weekend are thematic walks, which are a perfect complement to the lectures, as they allow you to look at the buildings often discussed during the event. Modernist buildings will be guided by architects, experts in Gdynia and modernist guides. The official opening of the “Weekend of Architecture” will be performed by arch. Grzegorz Mika during the walk in the footsteps of the fertileness of Warsaw architects in Gdynia. This year, the participants will visit, among others, the architecture of Oksywie, modernist roofs and terraces, Gdynia villa-apartment architecture and will see examples of combination of architecture with crafts. The lectures will be complemented by film screenings – Citizen Jane. Fight for the city, Barbicania, Great Architecture (Big Time), Havana – art of building ruins, New Frankfurt (Bauhaus Edition).

An important point of the program is the urban-architectural debate on modernization of post-war architecture organized jointly with Biennale Traffic Design (8 September, 5:00 p.m. – 7 p.m.).

The Weekend of Architecture is organized every year by the City of Gdynia and the Gdynia Development Agency. Admission to events is free of charge. The participants of the lectures are only asked to notify of their presence online.
Detailed program of the 8th Weekend of Architecture in Gdynia.

Port extension

Port extension

The Sea Port of Gdynia is preparing for the construction of a new deepwater container terminal. The new terminal will be capable of handling up to three ships of even 490 m in total length. The University of Gdańsk will prepare the environmental documentation for this investment.

 

Scientists from the University of Gdańsk will study and analysae the environmental conditions for one of the largest investments to be implemented by the Port of Gdynia – the Outer Port. The scope of analyses includes a survey of the bird life inhabiting the Nature 2000 Zatoka Pucka area, the local fish population and the benthos inhabiting the bottom of the investment basin.

Representatives of the Port of Gdańsk and the University of Gdańsk signed an applicable agreement in the beginning of August 2017.

This is the first agreement from a series of agreements. It will lay down the environmental conditions for the future Outer Port. It is a deepwater container terminal capable of handling all of the biggest ships reaching the port. Assuming that about 700-800 people will be working in the port, this will generate at least several thousand workplaces all over the country,” says Adam Meller, the CEO of the Sea Port of Gdynia.

In the documentation, university employees will verify the impact of Outer Port’s construction processes on Nature 2000 areas. The Outer Port will serve as an extension of the Śląskie Quay, reaching more than 1.5 kilometre into the sea. Its 1.5 kilometre-long quay will accommodate up to three ships of even 490 meters in total length at the same time. The Outer Port is planned to end with an LNG terminal with a gas power plant, used to fuel up ships, among others. According to the initial design, a barge used to fuel up other vessels with LNG will be built. In result, the turnover and the quantity of goods handled at the Port of Gdynia will be significantly increased. The construction is scheduled to end by 2028.

European experts’ report on Sea City

European experts’ report on Sea City

Experts from the European Organization of the Urban Land Institute published the report concerning the new district of Gdynia – Sea City. This is the effect of the February visit of European city planners, during which, together with urban specialists, they discussed the best directions for development of this part of the city.

The report contains studies performed by the international group of ULI experts on challenges and opportunities for the Sea City Center. European specialists assigned the role of an undisputed project leader to the city, which acts as an organizer of dialogue between investors, developers and residents, taking care of an even development of the land responding to the wishes of the widest possible community.

– Gdynia has the magnetism of a big city, and offers opportunities that are rarely found in large centers. It is not often possible to invest in areas situated in the very center of the agglomeration and to do something really big and important – we read in the report prepared by the Urban Land Institute.

Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychala, vice-president of Gdynia, believes that this report will increase Gdynia’s recognition as an investment location in the international arena.

– The group of world-class experts confirms that we have the project in Gdynia, which is an absolute pearl. For me personally, it is extremely important how strongly the report accepts the need to reconcile interests and look for good solutions that will allow to harmoniously combine the simultaneous development of the city, together with its most prestigious district and port – summarized vice-president Gruszecka-Spychala.

In the opinion of the members of the ULI, the successful development of the new district is dependent on its availability and openness to all residents. It will be supported, among others, by mixed use development and organization of generally accessible public spaces. The way to revive the new district as soon as possible is to be the use of buildings preserved in this area, such as: the ice house from the interwar period. Such places can be used, according to experts, to conduct artistic activities, organize meetings, workshops and consultations.
The ULI is a prestigious, international organization associating over 40,000 city planners, architects, real estate experts and investors around the world. In February 2018, members of the organization visited Gdynia and discussed the issue of developing over 71 ha of the plot adjacent to the Gdansk Bay.

Sea Tower as a symbol of a city of the future

Sea Tower as a symbol of a city of the future

Thanks to Internet users’ votes the characteristic Sea Towers building from Śródmieście Morskie (Sea City) will appear on board of a fantastic game Solar City. The building will be changed into a Sky Garden and in consequence it will contribute to reconstruction of the damaged environment.

Action of the game takes place in future, in 2035. Exploitation and degradation of the environment resulted in collapse of hitherto prevailing civilization. Countries have disunited, and human beings started to create smaller communities of hereditary nature. Players’ task will include helping in reconstruction of a city of the future and the degraded environment. Each participant will buy out municipal real estate and change it into sources of ecological food and renewable energy. The game aims at scoring the greatest possible number of solar points. They are a symbol of progress and strength of a player in the modern, human and environment friendly world.

The Games Factory studio is in charge of production of the game. Authors of the game placed green modern public buildings in it which will play a very important role. They will be transformed into Sky Gardens. Thanks to them, players will collect solar points and commence reconstruction of the natural environment, almost completely destroyed by civilization.

It is the Internet users that decided about what kind of buildings they will be. From among facilities characteristic of 6 Polish cities – Gdynia, Wrocław, Katowice, Poznań, Warsaw and Cracow they made the choice on zagramw.to portal. The Gdynia Sea Towers won with
1,079 votes.

The Games Factory undertook to conduct ecological activities also in the real world. For each game sold they want to plant a tree, making a contribution to struggle with pollution of the environment.

fot. gamefactory.pl
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.