Katowice, Poland

Katowice - from an industrial city to a city for people

Katowice is one of the fastest growing Polish cities. The capital city of voivodship of about 5 million inhabitants and the first metropolis in Poland. The image of this 152-year-old city is created by two faces - traditional with an industrial heritage and modern, creative and economically strong.

An important aspect of influence on the perception of the city is the reconstruction of urban space - nowadays called the "Cultural Zone", which is a landmark of the city.

In the 1990s, there was a mine operating here, and today there are three monumental buildings - the concert hall of the National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio, the modern building of the Silesian Museum and the International Congress Centre, where conferences and events of international rank take place. Katowice promotes itself as a city of great, prestigious events. Recently, the city's position has been strengthened by the title of the Creative City of UNESCO in the field of music awarded in 2015 and the title of host of the COP24 Climate Summit, which will take place in Katowice already in December 2018.

 

Katowice, a city of transformation

In connection with the transformation of the city, which used to be Poland's industrial heart into a city friendly to people, Katowice undertook the task of making a number of returns and transformations. The low-carbon economy plan for the city of Katowice defines strategic objectives in the scope of low-carbon economy, which is, among others, reduction of emissions of pollutants from installations in the city, including those coming from transport. One of the objectives is to promote and implement the vision of sustainable transport - including public, private and bicycle transport. For its implementation, tasks were presented concerning "individual transport" (promotion of the use of low-carbon vehicles, promotion of eco-driving),"public transport" (purchase of ecological means of transport),"urban transport system" (expansion/modernisation of roads, implementation of ITS, modernization and extension of the tramway system and use of electric buses in connection with renewable energy sources). A project was implemented to develop a system of cycling paths, replace the city's fleet of vehicles, conduct eco-transport-related social campaigns, reduce the negative impact of public transport on the natural environment and improve its quality. Bicycle in Katowice, apart from the recreational character, also starts to act as a mean of transport, which is evidenced by the record number of rentals in 2017 season.

 

Katowice 2030

Intensive development policy is being pursued with the participation of EU funds, which includes, among others all tram tracks in the city have been reconstructed and 2 new tram lines are planned, bus and tram lines are being replaced, investments are underway in order to eliminate bottlenecks on the road network (DK 81) and to bring traffic outside of compact buildings, the Tempo 30 Zone has been introduced and is planned to be extended, the centre of Katowice has been designed for pedestrians and bicycles, bicycle investments are being carried out, and an investment is being prepared in the following areas Katowice Intelligent Transport Management System, whereas in the scope of construction and point modernization, interchanges integrating various transport modes within the framework of the so-called "Interchange System" are implemented. Katowice's Integrated Interchange Node System, with parking lots such as Park & Ride, Bike & Ride, construction and reconstruction of stops, including roofed platforms, as well as waiting and exchange points for "door to door" travellers.

As part of the implementation of the City Development Strategy "Katowice 2030" adopted in 2015, investments of strategic importance for the future of the City are implemented. These investments are concentrated on four areas identified as the leading ones for the City's development: Quality of life, Metropolitanism, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Transport and Urban Logistics. In the coming years, the most important urban investments will focus on improving the quality of life of residents and increasing urban mobility.

In order to improve the quality of life of residents, the City will carry out investments related to energy efficiency improvement - comprehensive thermal upgrades of public utility buildings (including: nurseries, kindergartens, schools, social welfare centres). The construction of three swimming pools in the districts is an important investment for the residents. Each of the buildings will consist of a swimming pool area with a 25m x 16m sporting pool and a swimming pool, a slide and saunas.

The construction of a science centre is an important investment for the City for the coming years. The facility is to be based on interactive exhibitions in the fields of medicine, architecture and urban planning, energy, information and communication technologies with a roaming zone and laboratories and room of experience.

A very important investment from the point of view of improving urban mobility is the construction of the Katowice Integrated Interchange System. The aim of the project is to develop environmentally friendly and low-carbon urban transport systems and promote sustainable mobility. At the moment it is planned to build 8 interchange hubs within the territory of the city.

In addition, the City will implement many other investments in the coming years, which will serve the overarching goal of continuous improvement of the quality of life of the Katowice residents, including the development of culture, sport and promotion of a healthy lifestyle and daily recreation. These include revitalisation of existing parks, construction of new sports facilities and comprehensive revitalisation of degraded areas. In order to support residents, projects aimed at increasing social activity of inhabitants are planned, e. g. social activity programmes in all districts covered by the revitalisation programme.