Let’s take care of the sea

Let’s take care of the sea

In March, special observances will be held to draw our attention to our responsibility for the management and exploitation of the world’s seas. World Maritime Day is celebrated on March 17, and March 22 is the annual observance of Baltic Sea Day as well as of World Water Day.

The seas are our shared common resource. They produce the most of the planet’s available oxygen and also regulate the climate. They are the habitat of thousands of marine animal species. They help us to maintain many of our economic sectors and they provide us with nourishment. Many international organizations start voicing ever stronger demands for the protection of the marine environment. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) was created as early as 1948, and World Maritime Day was first held on March 17, to mark the date of its founding. Currently, the organization comprises 172 countries. It sets the regulations for maritime transport, in such a way as to counteract the environmental contamination generated by its operations. It also addresses the maritime safety as well as the problems of people who inhabit the seashores.

Baltic Sea Day is a relatively recent observance, as it was established in 1997 by the Helsinki Commission. The organization focuses on the significance of maritime transportation and maritime safety, the protection of the marine environment and the issues of people whose livelihood depends on the sea. Taking into account its relative shallowness, low salinity levels and the fact that it is semi-enclosed (landlocked), as well as utilized by many highly industrialized nations, it becomes of utmost importance that protective measures are taken to look after the Baltic Sea ecology. Each and everyone of us can assist in protecting the Baltic Sea ecosystem.

Greenpeace advises us on what we can do:

  • save water,
  • use biodegradable detergents,
  • tend your garden without resorting to the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers,
  • ensure that no sewage is released directly into our streams and rivers,
  • while enjoying your seaside holiday, do not leave any litter on the beaches and help to protect the dunes.

While doing your shopping, remember to:

  • use the “Dobra Ryba” guide – do not purchase fish from the Red List, and select shops that follow the responsible fish and seafood procurement policies
  • ask the retail staff to provide you with the exact name of the species or with its Latin equivalent. Frequently several different species can be marketed under one commercial name
  • select fish that is caught locally or reared in local fisheries. In this way, you will support the local fishing industry
  • familiarize yourself with a list of “responsible” retailers.
Former shipyard grounds for sale

Former shipyard grounds for sale

Nearly 7 hectare of real estate with direct access to basin Number 9 within the maritime port of Gdyniahave been put up for sale or long-term lease by the Naval Shipyard. At this site, the Investor will be able to conduct activities related to manufacturing, port- sector business or leasing of office space.

The property offered up for sale includes office buildings, warehouses, as well as the necessary energy-supply and road infrastructure. The future Investor of the real estate at Śmidowicza Street will be able to conduct activities related to manufacturing, running of port – sector business or leasing of office space at the site. The Shipyard’s plans to sell or lease part of its property are linked directly to the ongoing process of scaling down and consolidating its production space.

“For the past two years we have been successsively vacating production and warehouse premises located furthest away from the sites of construction and ship repairs and relocating the specific operations to be in closer proximity, thus eliminating time delays due to movement of employees and materials,” Konrad Konefał, CEO of the Naval Shipyard explains.

The Shipyard CEO also revealed the company’s development plans for the nearest future, funded by the proceeds from the sale.
“Our plans include the construction of a new production facility to be used by the mechanics, offshore pipelines and locksmith departments. With this goal in mind, we wish to secure investment funds originating from that part of our capital, made available to external stakeholders, that is not indispensable to our current operations,” the CEO added.

In the advertisement the Shipyard doesn’t limit or prohibit any stakeholders or businesses which could operate from its site. Offers made on part, as well as the sum total of the land and buildings are welcome. Nor is there any preferred method for the bidder to take over this real estate, both purchase and lease agreements will be accepted. The deadline for submitting offers is 13 March.
The Naval Shipyard was established in January 2018 following the acquisition of the assets of the Polish Navy Shipyard that went into liquidation. Polish Naval Shipyard Gdynia SA is part of the Polish Armaments Group.


photo: Naval Shipyard

The City of Gdynia released its statistics for the visitor numbers for the year 2019

The City of Gdynia released its statistics for the visitor numbers for the year 2019

More than 3 million tourists visited Gdynia in 2019, 30% of those arrived by sea, as demonstrated in the annual report released by the Gdynia Tourist Board. The most popular tourist attraction was the Gdynia Aquarium. Amongst the events organized in the city,  the greatest crowd pullers were as always – the Open’er Festival and the Polish Feature Film Festival.

In 2019, Gdynia was visited  by 3 121 000 tourists. This is an impressive number. More and more people visit us by sea. Last year 12 241 vessels of all kinds arrived in ports with a total of 952 924 passengers on board. The most popular means of transport are ferries, which brought nearly 700 thousand people.  At the Gdynia Marina, there were 60 passenger ships moored with 237 410 travellers and 11 238 yachts.

Both in the sector of leisure and hospitality industry, and the sector of business travel, Gdynia recorded significant growth. What we should all focus on, is consolidating and strenghtening this trend, so that every year the number of our visitors increases by another several percent. We aim not only to make Gdynia evoke postive associations as an interesting destination for those who like their leisure time or vacations to be an interesting experience, but also so that it is perceived as an optimal destination for organizing a variety of meetings and congresses.  We hope that such a message will be consolidated and reinforced both in Poland and abroad –said Michał Guć, Gdynia’s Deputy Mayor for Innovation.

Apart from leisure and event tourism the city focusses on business tourism. In 2019 there were more than 2 thousand congresses, conferences, fairs, exhibitions and corporate events organised in the city, attended by more than 177 thousand visitors.

The local government officials carefully study the tourist behaviour and the most popular choices made by the visitors. It turned out that more than a million persons (1 124 357) visited the Gdynia museums. The most popular, as always, was the Gdynia Aquarium, with 463 530 visitors. In second place came the Experyment Science Centre, visited by 231 266 people. The podium was also reached by the Polish Naval Museum, with 159 000 visitors.

What also serves as a strong magnet for tourists is the variety of cultural and sports events, which are being consistently promoted and developed by the organizers.  Amongst the cultural events with the largest number of participants, both local and international, is the Open’er Festival (110 000 visitors) and the Polish Feature Film Festival (65 000 visitors).  As far as sporting events are concerned, the most popular in terms of visitor numbers turned out to be the Verva Street Racing event, which attracted 300 thousand people. 310 000 visitors attended the Gdynia AeroBaltic air show. The Red Bull Air Race attracted an audience of more than 80 000.


The City celebrates its birthday

The City celebrates its birthday

On 10th February the City of Gdynia and its residents will be celebrating the city’s birthday. 94 years ago, on 10th February 1926, by the decree of the Coucil of Ministers, Gdynia has been granted city status. And that’s when it all began…

In 1920 Gdynia was identified by the engineerTadeusz Wenda, as an ideal spot for port construction, which was indispensable for the rebuilding of the economy. This changed the fate of this small town located on the Baltic coast and led to its economic boom. In 192F1 Gdynia’s population reached 1,268. Five years later, after the granting of city status, the number of city inhabitants reached 12 thousand. And shortly before the outbreak of WWII the population rose to 127 thousand. At present there are 246 thousand people on the Gdynia resident register.

The celebratory events to commemorate the granting of city status will commence on 8th February and continue until 10th February. On Saturday the city authorities invite everyone to the Gdynia Sports Arena. The programme is primarily aimed at senior citizen. Entrance is free of charge, however this is an invitation-only event: the invitations are available from January 28th at the Senior Activity Centre at 27 3 Maja Street. The events planned for that day include the screening of the film by Jacek Dworakowski “Biesiady rodów gdyńskich” [Banquets of Gdynia Families], a band performance by the VOX, as well as a variety of expert health consultations.

The City’s birthday is also celebrated at the Konsulat Kultury [Culture Consulate], which hosts a photographic exhibition entitled “ GDYNIA in photographs by Andrzej Jastrzembski”. The Gdynia City Museum will host a screening of archival films about Gdynia entitled “Dawno temu nad Bałtykiem”[A long time ago, on the Baltic coast] which depict the city’s early years in the 1920s. For the following day, February the 9th, the Museum prepared workshops, meetings with authors and new exhibitions.

The official celebrations with the participation of the city authorities have been planned for 10th February. At 12 noon, symbolic floral wreaths will be laid at the Maritime Poland Monument in Kościuszki Square. At 18:00 a celebratory session of the Gdynia City Council will take place, during which Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski Medals will be awarded “For an outstanding contribution to Gdynia” as well as the “Czas Gdyni” [Time for Gdynia] awards for best Gdynia investments.
In order to make it easier for Gdynia residents to participate in the events, a special public transport timetable has been prepared for the period of the festivities.

Program of 94 city`s birthday

Gdynia – a Learning City

Gdynia – a Learning City

Gdynia, as the only city in Poland,is a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Its goal is to promote thedevelopment of formal and informal education for all the city inhabitants at every stage of life. On the International Day of Education, the representatives of Gdynia institutions were discussing how to instill a mindset of lifelong learning in the daily experience of the city dwellers.

Gdynia was admitted into the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities in 2019. This organization was established in 2015, and at present it has 225 member cities from 53 countries from all the continents. The central idea for the GNLC members is the development of both formal and informal education in their respective cities, which will foster lifelong learning for all the city residents. The mayor of the City of Gdynia, Wojciech Szczurek, created a team which includes representives from various institutions involved in developing a broad-spectrum educational and cultural package for the city, whose task it is to develop methods of lifelong learning in Gdynia – the Learning City.

“Our task is to reinforce the lifelong learning themes within the various city policies,” explains Deputy Mayor Michał Guć, the Head of the team responsible for the implementation of the learning city idea. “We can offer a wide-ranging package of educational activities directed at all resident groups. This package is offered not only by the city institutions, but also by the non-government organizations. Thanks to the work of this team we will be able to broaden the package, so that it reflects the residents’ expectations to an even larger extent. I am convinced that the implementation of the ideas that we have developed will encourage Gdynia residents to broaden their knowledge and continue their education.”

The local municipal government has many institutions which are responsible for preparing a broad-spectrum educational package for the residents. They include the following: the Laboratory of Social Innovations, Senior Citizen Activity Centre, Culture Department at the Gdynia City Council, Education Department at the Gdynia City Council, Gdynia Library, ‘Experyment’ Science Centre, ‘Gdynia Rodzinna’ Family Centre, Gdynia Sports Centre. Representatives of these bodies and institutions met, in order to consider all the relevant options available in the city.

“We hope that we can thoroughly study the target group, identify any deficiences, pinpoint the groups that we, as the city should pay more attention to, and evaluate access to informal education in all of our city sectors,” said Maja Wagner, Head of Culture Department at the Gdynia City Council.

photo: UM Gdynia/Aleksander Trafas

2019 marked by investments in Sea City

2019 marked by investments in Sea City

2019 has brought a number of changes on the premises of Maritime City Centre. A new marina was handed over to mariners for use. Nearby there are buildings of a luxurious Yacht Park estate. Investors obtained a permit to construction of subsequent investments – Marine Office and Waterfront II.

Gdynia originated from the sea and dreams as well as today members of the local government very strongly emphasise the city’s association with the sea. Construction of the port was the first investment of the future city. On 23 September 1922, the Sejm adopted the Act on construction of the seaport in Gdynia. Thanks to this decision, within over a dozen years, the fishing settlement was transformed into one of the biggest and most modern ports in Europe, around which the city with more than 120 thousand residents was set up. In next years, the port was soundly extended and Gdynia quickly became one of the largest and most progressive ports at the Baltic Sea and evolves as a modern city.

After over 90 years as well as after political and economic changes, the city develops its potential also based on other attributes. However, its links with the sea are visible in numerous places. The released post-shipyard terrains in the city centre enabled creation of a new Sea City district. On 71 hectares of the area located at the sea at the President Quay, Fishing Pier and areas belonging to the Nauta shipyard as well as to the north of Jan z Kolna Street to the borderline with the port, a new city is formed with residential, business and servicing services. The new district will be resided by 10 thousand people and next 11 thousand will find jobs.

Sea Towers was the first investment of the Maritime City Centre, two residential tower blocks opened in 2009. Nearby, there is the Waterfront I complex which comprises the Courtyard hotel by Marriott and the 11-storey office building erected by Vastint Poland company in 2015. In July 2019, the investor received a permit to construction of the next stage of the Waterfront II. Two office buildings and two residential ones will be constructed between the Waszyngtona, Hryniewickiego and Jana Pawła II Streets.

The works are also pending in other regions of the Maritime City Centre. In June 2019, a new marina was handed over, located in the northern part of the President Basin. In July, the complex was benefited by participants of the Junior Sailing World Championships. Buildings of luxurious apartments of the Yacht Park estate have already been built near the marina. Polski Holding Nieruchomości is an investor of the facilities, which obtained a permit to construction of three Marina Office buildings in the Waszyngtona and Hryniewickiego Streets.
Several other housing estates with maritime names: Awanport and Portova are erected nearby. Their architecture refers to white modernism of Gdynia.

Gdynia was established thanks to the port. Today, the city absorbs terrains exploited by the industry and hands them over to residents and tourists. The process of creating the new district of the city has been in progress for many years. Proximity of water attracts investors and residents that were provided with a new place for recreation, rest and work.

Gdynia – a great place to live

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.

Marina Office with a building permit

Marina Office with a building permit

Polski Holding Nieruchomości [Polish Real Estate Holding] has received a building permit for an office complex called Marina Office located in the vicinity of Sea Towers. According to the investor, the construction works should start at the beginning of 2020.

The complex is to comprise of three five-story office buildings. Nearly 24 thousand square meters of office space will be made available to investors, whereas more than 3 thousand square meters will be used for commercial purposes. It will be a perfect place for restaurants and cafés that will be available to both the residents of the Yacht Park housing development located nearby as well as the residents of Gdynia who come to visit this part of the city. The underground part of the buildings will house a parking lot for 241 cars as well as 15 charging stations for electric cars. Between the buildings, there will be a publicly accessible park with separate zones for relaxation, active relaxation in the summertime as well as an ice rink in the winter. On the weekends, it will also be possible to organize markets offering fresh vegetables and healthy food as well as Christmas markets. Thanks to a stage that will be erased there, mass events and concerts will also be organized.

“We have just received a building permit for Marina Office in Gdynia and we are planning to select a general contractor as soon as this year. The turn of 2019 and 2020 is also the time when we are going to launch two other office investments in Warsaw as well,” says Marcin Mazurek, CEO of Polski Holding Nieruchomości in the press release.

Thanks to the fact that the office building is located near the city centre, it will be very convenient for employees to commute there using public transportation. Both buses and trolleybuses stop near the investment, whereas it only takes 20 minutes to get to the Main Railway Station in Gdynia on foot. A bicycle parking will also be provided in the buildings.

The architectural concept of the office buildings was prepared by the studio S.A.M.I. Architekci Mariusz Lewandowski i Wspólnicy [S.A.M.I. Architects Mariusz Lewandowski and Partners].

Modernism in Gdynia and UNESCO

Modernism in Gdynia and UNESCO

The modernist architecture of the City Center of Gdynia is a step closer to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city has been included on the Tentative List. It is the last stage before being placed onto the main list.

The information about this crucial event was communicated by Minister Magdalena Gawin, Chief Conservator, in the letter addressed to the participants of the 7th International Conference entitled “Modernism in Europe, modernism in Gdynia”.

I am pleased to inform you that last week, I sent an application to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris to request that the modernism City Centre of Gdynia be included on the list (…). Thus, we have started the procedure that will make it possible to place the urban complex of Gdynia on the UNESCO World Heritage List. I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate the municipality and residents of Gdynia. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that one of the most important international conferences devoted to modern architecture takes place in this magical place. I would like to congratulate the Mayor of Gdynia, Wojciech Szczurek, for filing the application with the UNESCO, the letter reads.

The efforts aiming at placing the City Centre of Gdynia on the UNESCO World Heritage List began many years ago. The Municipal Conservator’s Office, which was established twenty years ago, has taken care of the modernist architecture of the city. In 2007, the local government submitted an application for inclusion of the City Centre of Gdynia in the voivodeship register of historic monuments, which enabled the city to apply for the status of Historic Monument of Poland.The city was awarded this title in 2015 by virtue of the regulation issued by the President of the Republic of Poland. Thanks to this, the City Centre of Gdynia has joined a group of the most important historic monuments in Poland.

The self government kept taking actions whose aim was to promote and popularize both history and architecture of the city. Since 2007, Gdynia has been organizing international conferences under the slogan “Modernism in Europe – Modernism in Gdynia” devoted to the presentation of the latest research on modernist architecture and conservation issues related to it. Upon request of the city, Agencja Rozwoju Gdyni (Gdynia Development Agency) carries out a project of the Gdynia Modernism Trail which involves organizing experts’ lectures, themed walks around historical buildings, contests and various events.

fot. gdynia.pl

Maritime economy and tourism

Maritime economy and tourism

This year, 650 visitors and nearly 40 speakers from both Poland and abroad attended the 19th Maritime Economy Forum in Gdynia. Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, Gdynia’s Deputy Mayor, emphasized the significance and dynamics of the Sea City development, which is becoming a support network for companies operating in the maritime economy sector.

The main theme of this year’s Forum was “Development prospects of maritime economy in the EU countries in the context of world markets”. The experts discussions were conducted concurrently in four subject areas dealing with the latest trends and challenges in modern economy: Maritime Technologies, Sea Ports and Logistics, Law and Finance as well as Shipping.

“At present maritime economy is an exceptionally buoyant industry, which frequently utilizes the cutting edge technologies from the innovative sector. A close collaboration between intelligent technologies and effective management methods is an imperative in our modern reality,” stated Katarzyna Gruszecka–Spychała, Deputy Mayor of Gdynia who attended the Forum.

An example of such a collaboration provided by the Deputy Mayor is the Constructors’ Park in Gdynia, which is operating from the former shipyard premises.
“It is a place where companies can test prototype technological solutions. It provides a shortcut for the implementation of daring novel ideas – which is a way to modernize and develop the maritime industry,” the Deputy Mayor said.
The local government authorities stress the importance of the close relationship between the city and the sea. The re-vitalization of the former shipyard premises so that they are re-incorporated into the city and used by its residents, is another example of the city’s focus on the sea, as an important sector of the region’s economy.

“The Port of Gdynia achieves the best results in its entire history, which instils optimism and is a source of pride. A new Ferry Terminal is under construction, and a dozen or so large companies operate on the former shipyard premises.
A new component introduced at this year’s Forum was a seminar entitled On-shore Tourism [Turystyka od Morza] devoted to trends and tendencies linked to tourism in the coastal areas. During two thematic blocks experts discussed the needs and the changes taking place in both the cruising and sailing tourism components, in the Baltic Sea region. The panellists searched for links between changing needs of marine and cruise tourists , and the competition that is present on the tourism market in terms of tourist products, which included the example of the Scandinavian markets.

A representative from the Pomeranian Regional Tourist Organisation drew attention to the changing life style, which in turn influences the transformations in the tourism trends. Nowadays tourists travel more frequently, but their trips are shorter. Short trips of several days duration to destinations closer to one’s place of residence are becoming very popular. Hence the experts predict a increase in popularity of marine tourism, which offers the possibility of fast and comfortable travel. Another growing tendency in travel is the so-called leisure travel, which is the activity of combining business travel with leisure time. The seminar participants discussed the ways that these trends in tourism could be utilized in creating a holiday package that meets the needs and expectations of the modern tourist.

photo Paweł Kukla/UM Gdynia