Planning Cities Commission held its seminar in Gdynia

Planning Cities Commission held the seminar in Gdynia on 27–30 October 2019. About 50 participants from UBC cities together with local planners took part.
The topic of the seminar was “Greening the City – Urban Open Green Areas”. The main aim of the seminar and workshop was to search for new forms and functions for green areas. Participants had the opportunity to choose one of two topics. One group gave suggestions on the development of neighborhood of Polanka Redłowska, located in unique environment – a direct view of the Gdańsk Bay, the surrounding forest areas and Nature Reserve Kępa Redłowska. The other group focused on creating pattern of the urban open green areas in the city center of Gdynia and then gave ideas on the development of five pocket parks.

On Monday participants of the seminar were welcomed by Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, Deputy Mayor of Gdynia, Paweł Żaboklicki, UBC Secretary General and Paulina Szewczyk, Chair of the UBC Planning Cities Commission. Information about city of Gdynia and introduction to workshop areas were presented by Gdynia City Planning Office - Iwona Markešić, director, Paweł Sągin environmental specialist, Justyna Sobczak-Kozłowska, urban team leader and Paulina Szewczyk, deputy director. Presentation about green policy in the city of Gdańsk was showed by Magdalena Andrzejczuk, Gdańsk Urban Development Agency. Afternoon in Gdynia was spent with guided tour by bus and walks to the workshop areas. Next Heidi Tunkanen and Evelin Piirsalu, Stockholm Environment Institute, gave lecture about “Identyfing obstacles to successful integrated risk assessment” and distributed surveys to fill.

On Tuesday morning Joanna Rayss, landscape architect, expert in the implementation of the green infrastructure of the city, gave lecture about “Urban Green Spaces as part of the city’s Green Infrastructure”. This gave inspiration for the workshop sessions, with four groups working with the two sites all Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Participants of the seminar visited also Infobox Observatory of Changes, local information point to get more information about the areas they worked on.
The workshop results were presented on Wednesday to invited guests, politicians and media representatives. Participants presented original and innovative solutions for the neighborhood of Polanka Redłowska and proposed spatial solutions which differ quite significantly from those considered so far by local planners. Experts also proposed interesting projects for the development of pocket parks. Their ideas were dominated by the view that in addition to give recreational and leisure functions for residents of all ages, they should also be part of the city's green infrastructure regarding also the rainwater harvesting issues.
Then Paula Keskikastari, head of urban planning in the City of Turku, Finland invited for the next seminar to be held in Turku in May 2020.

Gdynia is one of the youngest Polish cities with about 245 000 inhabitants, situated along Gdańsk Bay. It’s in close vicinity to two other towns, Gdańsk and Sopot, which together form an Tricity agglomeration – the core of a metropolitan area.

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