Historic words of Mayor Krzysztof Żuk

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The 23th of September 2014 – ‘we reach ouf for high caliber arguments, in order to change the city in a way that standards that of such cities as  Copenhagen would be considered in planning and implementation of various investments and in the revitalization of the Downtown’ – said Krzysztof Żuk, Mayor of Lublin, during a press conference at te Cultural Center, to which he invited Marta Kurowska, Jan Kamiński and Marcin Skrzypek, so they could talk about the Year of Jan Gehl in Lublin and the project ‘City for people. Lublin pedestrian infrastructure standards’ inspired by the ideas of Jan Gehl.

Mayor Krzysztof Żuk about the project: ‘City for people. Lublin pedestrian infrastructure standards’:

This is a really nice project, but also a project that has to drastically transform our way of thinking about the city. We need it, in order to start thinking differently about the city. And even if we will have to build compromises that won’t be fully satisfying for anyone, it is worth to take this step, keeping this public space as a friendly space. I appreciate your initiative showing what is missing here in the city center, such as benches, but these are minor matters. Now we reach ouf for high caliber arguments, in order to change the city in a way that standards that of such cities as  Copenhagen would be considered in planning and implementation of various investments and in the revitalization of the Downtown. I agree with you that this will be a starting point to a totally different way of thinking about the city, and if we manage to popularize this approach than this will benefit for all.

A brief desrciption of the project ‘City for people. Lublin pedestrian infrastructure standards’:

Project funded through the Stefan Batory Foundation within the „Citizens for democracy” programme under the EEA grants. The grant beneficiary is Marta Kurowska’s Foundation „Tu obok” [„Right here”]. The authors of the project are Marta Kurowska, Jan Kamiński and Marcin Skrzypek.
The project is aimed at a joint elaboration and description by the citizens, clerks and councillors of the project and planning solutions for persons moving around the city at a speed of less than 6 kilometres per hour in four subject areas: flow of the traffic, needs of different groups of users, landscape conditions and activities in public spaces:

  1. Pedestrian traffic – issues related to the smoothness, flow and safety of the traffic of the main group of pedestrians;
  2. Special needs – identification of specific needs of different groups of public space users (people with children, disabled persons, youth, women, seniors, dog owners, etc.);
  3. Space reception – factors positively and adversely affecting space reception by pedestrians, including landscape, aesthetics, natural surroundings, noise, etc.
  4. Activities in public space – activities done by pedestrians in public space together with required infrastructure and other conditions.

These questions will be elaborated through “design thinking” social participation. Each subject area will have a corresponding events cycle including exhibition, outdoor activities, etc., as well as meetings in two groups: an open (citizens and all interested persons) and a closed one (clerks, councillors). Conclusions from the group work will make up recommendations which allow to introduce “pedestrian standards”, a document aiming to help in planning better public space solutions for pedestrians. The project will be carried out on the basis of the network of people interested in space quality, sustainable development and participation, contributing to the network’s development and rapprochement of positions and competences.
The aim of the project is to help citizens, clerks and city authorities to find common ground in questions related to pedestrians. Apart from learning together about solutions for pedestrians and social participation, another result will be the following three studies:

  1. “Pedestrian standards” – a study (referring to “Cycling standards” elaborated by the “City for bikes” network), which is an urban planning instruction designed for self-government and created in accordance with Polish law stipulations and pedestrians needs (know-how and care-why), together with the citizens’ signatures collected thereunder (via e-mail and Residents Affairs Bureaux) + an accompanying document with clerks’ recommendations indicating how the Municipal Office can introduce the standards;
  2. Clerks’ conclusions summing up their consultation-related experiences gained through the Project;
  3. “Atlas of pedestrian situations” – a provisionally entitled book on pedestrian-related problems presented in the form of a reader-friendly, image-based atlas of public space quality.