800 people in the lecture. Jan Gehl a strategic advisor for Lublin?

The ‘first step’ happening in front of the City Office – opening of the ‘City for People’ Project – 24th of October 2014.

With pride and joy we would like to share with you our impressions after the historic visit of Jan Gehl in Lublin. We would like to thank you for your participation in the lecture and all other events that made up Professor’s visit. We hope that it will bring a lasting effect. Now we begin the  “City for People” Project, which is a continuation of the Year of Jan Gehl. Within it we will work together with the residents and officials on improving the situation of pedestrians in Lublin. We well also gradually publish the documentation of Jan Gehl’s visit in Lublin. We start with this summary.

On the 22th-24th of October 2014, Professor Jan Gehl visited Lublin. The visit of this eminent city planner was the climax of the Year of Jan Gehl, initiated by The Council for Culture of Space in Lublin. Jan Gehl visited the city on behalf of a joined invitation from the city office and the local circle of culture of space supporters.

On Wednesday, 22th Professors open lecture was held at the auditorium of the Mara Curie-Skłodowska University, it was entitled ‘How to create cities for people’? The lecture was combined with the promotion of Jan Gehl’s new book ‘Cities for People’ as part of it’s polish-translation premiere. The intrest exceeded all expectations – the lecture was attended in two auditoriums by a total of 800 people! The audience included various guests from all around Poland and abroad. Also present were numerous prepresentatives of the local government – Mayor of Lublin Krzysztof Żuk, representatives of the Marshal of the Voivoidship, City Council and the whole region. After the lecture took long time signing the books. The lecture was accompanied by an exhibition of projects developed according to the ideas of Jan Gehl made by students of the Lanscape Design from the University of Life Sciences.

It’s worth noting that Professor came to the lecture on a city bike. He was acompanied by the Cycling Officer of the City office, officials, organizers and representatives of Nextbike company, the operator of Lublin City Bike. On the occasion Professor signed the station and bikes in front of the university building.

On Thursday, 24th a closed walk was held as Professor visited the places that were subjects of workshops with officials held in the afternoon. The walk was attended by ten people, and the workshops were attended by 40 people from the city office.

In the evening Professor visited the Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre Centre where he became acquainted with it’s activities. Next, in the House of Print a meeting was held with the local activists. It was attended by about 60 people: activists, architects, urbanists, officials as well as students and guests from Germany, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and Armenia. The meeting had a form of a presentation of the local enviroment and an open conversation with Professor. During meeting Jan Gehl had expressed his admiration for the enthusiasm and energy of Lublin activists. He noted that the problems and barriers, with whom we deal are everywhere in the world. The professor said he was convinced that the condition for success is to have an attractive vision for which you want to achieve and consistent action toward its attainment. He also stressed the long time horizon of this change – change-friendly city to live in Copenhagen lasted almost 50 years and Melbourne consistently working on it for 25 years.

On Friday the 25th during the breakfast with Mayor Krzysztof Żuk the possibilities of a cooperation between Gehl Architects and the City of Lublin were discussed. Professor also took part in a happening ‘the first step’ – the opening of the ‘City for People – Lublin pedestrian infrastructure standards, run by the ‘Tu obok’ Foundation. This project will be a lasting contribution of the Year of Jan Gehl.

Among temporarily arranged greenery next to City Hall was also held a press conference during which President Krzysztof Zuk announced a future cooperation with Jan Gehl as a strategic advisor to Lublin.

The organizers and partners of Jan Gehl’s visit were: Lublin City Office, Council for Culture of Space, “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre, tu obok foundation, Institute of Landscape Design – Catholic University of Lublin, Public City Library, MPK Lublin,  Mara Curie-Skłodowska University, Embassy of Denmark in Poland, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, the Public Transport Authority in Lublin, Nextbike Polska, Polish Post Foundation. Stefan Batory Foundation, The “Citizens for Democracy”, Polish Children and Youth Foundation, Nordic Development and Gehl Architects, Copenhagen.

The media partners of the event:  Polish Press Agency, TVP Lublin, Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik Wschodni, Kurier Lubelski, Nowy Tydzień, Radio Lublin, Radio Centrum, Urbanistyka.info, Architektura&Biznes, Magazyn Nieruchomości Komercyjnych The City.