How to redevelop the city, where to find new jobs and what to do with abandoned production sites?

Life used to flourish in cities that became industrial centers. However, nothing stands still. Mankind is forced to abandon outdated heavy industry, which is harmful to the environment and does not bring profit. Questions arise: how to redevelop the city, where to find new jobs, and what to do with abandoned production sites.

Katowice is the center of the Silesian Voivodeship in Poland. It was founded later than other major cities in the country, so it differs significantly from neighboring tourist centers. Starting from the lack of typical architecture to an interesting dialect of the inhabitants. The city developed due to the coal and metallurgical industries. There used to be more than 50 mines on its territory, now there are three. Such a significant reduction was due to economic reforms. Their goal is to move from heavy industry to small business. However, the city authorities do not abandon the coal past, but, on the contrary, use it.

What to do with closed mines?

For example, turn them into creative spaces. The Silesian Museum was opened in one of the closed mines in the center of Katowice. Its purpose is to create a basis for dialogue between the past and the present. It is underground, but some rooms have daylight from the glass roof. Most of the exhibition is dedicated to the history of the region and local artists. Historical events are presented chronologically and form a kind of tunnel. Through it you can get from the medieval hall with classical music to the presentation of traditional weddings and funerals. Then walk between the suitcases, which symbolize the people who fled from the Second World War, to the “Soviet” period of sad concrete high-rises. Some of the exhibits can be viewed online. In addition, temporary expositions are constantly changing in the museum. Mostly, they represent contemporary art, which then spreads on the Instagram of fashion influencers.

In the mines of the neighboring town of Zabrze, Guido, they left their equipment and lead tours through the tunnels that once served the miners. There are several routes of varying difficulty, and you can end the visit with a beer and a beer in a pub at a depth of 320 m. Also, the mine hosts parties and concerts, and even has its own hostel.

Another mention of the past is the Nikishovets district, which was built in 1908-1918 especially for miners. All buildings in it are united by urban style and red brick. There is a museum on the territory, which shows the working life, in particular the interiors of the rooms and the city laundry, where the women miners worked.

In the mines of the neighboring town of Zabrze, Guido, they left their equipment and lead tours through the tunnels that once served the miners. There are several routes of varying difficulty, and you can end the visit with a beer and a beer in a pub at a depth of 320 m. Also, the mine hosts parties and concerts, and even has its own hostel.

Another mention of the past is the Nikishovets district, which was built in 1908-1918 especially for miners. All buildings in it are united by urban style and red brick. There is a museum on the territory, which shows the working life, in particular the interiors of the rooms and the city laundry, where the women miners worked.

 

Reconstruction of the city center

In 2017, the reconstruction of the central square of Katowice, which lasted 6 years, was completed. More than PLN 263 million was spent on it. They changed the transport connection, added pedestrian zones, arranged a place for fairs and concerts. The small river Rava, which was previously underground, was taken outside. There are sunbeds near it now, and palm trees in the warm season.

Of course, not everything can be perfect, so there was criticism. Residents complain about too narrow roofs over tram stops, constant malfunctions of ice lamps on the tracks, which should warn of approaching transport, and unsightly vertical flower beds.

Перебудова центру міста
Tomasz Kozioł

International congresses

Tourists rarely go to Katowice. For the most part, it is associated with the airport and low-cost carriers. However, thousands of people visit the city to participate in international events. To do this, they built the International Congress Center, which seats 15,000 people.

The topics of the events are various: from small and medium business, startups to cardiology and ecology.

In 2018, the UN Climate Change Conference was held in Katowice. At that time, the city also did not hide its past, but, on the contrary, showed how heavy industry is now used. Emphasis was placed on reducing emissions from production and alternative use of raw materials. The entire stand of the city was made of coal, guests were offered shampoos and soaps from it. The city authorities have been using this technique in promotion for a long time. Coal is depicted on logos and jewelry is sold from it. However, foreign visitors were criticized. They were environmental activists from around the world.

MCK – Międzynarodowe Centrum Kongresowe w Katowicach – © TOMASZ KAWKA

 

Alien arena

Перебудова центру міста
Tomasz Kozioł

Spodek is a concert and sports arena located next to the Congress Center. It looks like a giant UFO that landed in the city center. There are sports tournaments or concerts. One of the most popular events in “Spodka” is IEM (Intel Extreme Masters). This is the World Counter-Strike Championship. Fans from all over the world come to it.

Why learn from Poles?

Industrial cities have the same prospects for development as tourism. Enterprises closed due to reforms can be turned into creative spaces, museums, galleries or business centers. This will provide new jobs and leisure for the city’s residents.

In Ukraine, an example of such changes is the project “Industrial equipment. Renovation “in Ivano-Frankivsk. This is an innovation center that emerged on the basis of the plant. Such initiatives support decentralization and attract talented people to the regions.

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#ревіталізація #катовіце