From Friday, the project “Study of conditions and directions of spatial development” will be available on the website of the capital city hall. For the city, it is the most important planning document, defining the vision of its development. It took five years to work on it.
On Thursday, at the Targowa Creativity Center, the authorities of Warsaw presented the key points of the new “Study of conditions and directions of spatial development of the Capital City of Warsaw”. It describes the spatial conditions, includes detailed maps and development plans. On the basis of this document, more detailed local plans for individual parts of the city or commune are then prepared.
On the occasion of Children’s Day, students of Warsaw secondary schools could hear about the study for the first time. The courtyard of the Targowa Creativity Center was quite crowded, and the young people were well prepared for the meeting. Many interesting and important questions were asked, which were answered by: the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, the Deputy Mayor, Renata Kaznowska, and the Deputy Directors of the Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning, Monika Konrad and Bartosz Rozbiewski.
As Rafał Trzaskowski, who gave an introduction to the study, pointed out, the main foundations on which this document is based are: more apartments, a green capital, close to everything, i.e. the idea of a 15-minute city, a healthy city, a thriving economy and a beloved place, i.e. the creation of a city where everyone will feel good.
Trzaskowski talked a lot about housing. He noted that the new study is looking for such places, e.g. post-industrial areas, where the city can be denser and the uncontrolled spreading of buildings on the outskirts can be stopped. According to the Mayor of Warsaw, such planning of flats reduces the expenses for the construction of roads, necessary schools or parks, which are necessary in the area, five times. – Former production plants are located close to the center. FSO Żerań, the Stare Świdry house factory, the Żerański port – we have many similar places in Warsaw. They will accommodate up to 95,000 apartments – said Trzaskowski. He also pointed out that the number of inhabitants of Warsaw in 2050 will increase to 2.25 million.
The mayor of the capital also devoted a lot of space to greenery. – We are in the top ten European cities when it comes to greenery. Cities such as Oslo, Madrid and Berlin are ahead of us. But most of the capitals are behind us – noted Trzaskowski. – We want to continue investing, for example in linear parks, such as the one planned in Ursynów. We are unconcreting yards. In Śródmieście alone, we managed to unconcrete 34 courtyards, plant greenery and flowers there – he said. He also drew attention to the implemented program of greening tram tracks. “Such actions make us much more resilient to climate warming issues,” he added.
He also reminded about plans to expand rail communication. The main assumption is that every resident should be able to reach all the most important services: educational, cultural or sports, by means of public transport or on foot. This is the so-called 15-minute city concept. Its implementation would be supported by the expansion of the metro network, which would reach 17 districts of the capital. The city informed more about the communication plans in mid-February.
Why two metro lines to Ursus?
The young people gathered at Targowa Street were particularly interested in issues related to urban transport. Participants asked, among other things, o planned metro lines. Why will as many as two commute to Ursus, if the railway reaches there? Why does the Warsaw metro have to run only underground?
– The metro in Warsaw was built as an underground railway and it is not so easy to change this technology. Completely different trains run underground and others above ground. In this case, we would have to completely change the concept of the metro and invest in new trains – explained the Mayor of Warsaw. – The subway is planned in such a way as to be consistent with the study. The point is to show the places where we want Warsaw to develop. Even if today there are areas where this housing is not yet very developed, when planning the metro, we show where we want to make the city denser. There must be streams of passengers there, because the European Union will not give money to places where there will be no passengers, indicated Trzaskowski.
Bartosz Rozbiewski later added that the European Union willingly finances projects that combine various intermodal means of transport. He pointed out that Ursus is indeed a district intertwined with rail transport and that is why the railway and the metro should be connected there. – Not everyone has to go downtown. Large cities have peripheral and inter-district traffic, bypassing the center. The metro lines that leave Ursus provide a different relationship than the railway – Rozbiewski pointed out.
Young people ask about smog
There was also a question about the fight against smog. – Privileging public transport is one of our most important goals. Only in this way are we able to fight this problem in a systemic way and show improvement within a few years – said Trzaskowski. He noted that the city systematically replaces its fleet of communication vehicles with low- and zero-emission vehicles.
Among the activities related to the fight for clean air, he also mentioned the planned clean transport zones in the very center of the city, park and ride car parks on the outskirts.
– When it comes to “cinderella”, we liquidated them at a very fast pace in the municipal resource. We have already eliminated most of them. We also pay extra for private individuals to replace furnaces. This program has slowed us down a bit, because we have an energy crisis – admitted the mayor of the capital.
General plan and study
It is worth noting that soon the study, on which work began five years ago, will have to replace another document – the commune’s general plan. Last Friday, the Sejm passed an amendment to the Spatial Planning and Development Act. It will now be processed by the Senate. The Ministry of Development and Technology, which is responsible for developing new solutions, notedIt will be an act of local law, with which both local plans and decisions on building conditions will have to comply. The ministry assured that it wanted to simplify, accelerate and standardize the procedures for spatial planning in municipalities. According to the assumptions of the amendment, from 2026 each commune will be obliged to create such a document. Does this mean that the plans created for several years will become invalid?
– The document we talked about today will be incorporated into the general plan. It can be said that the assumptions of the spatial development of the city do not change – reassures Bartosz Rozbiewski. – If in fact there will be no study, but a general plan, assuming that we transfer the assumptions to it, then the rank of this document will be more efficient – adds the official.
Rozbiewski points out that the general plan differs from the study in the level of detail. – The general plan in the intention of the legislator has been reduced to a drawing that shows the functions. A large part of the content will be placed in the city’s development strategy. When constructing the general plan, we will have to update the city’s strategy, because the bulk of the substantive work that we see in the study of conditions will be transferred to the strategy – he points out.
From Friday, the Study is available to everyone
The new “Study of conditions and directions of spatial development of the capital city of Warsaw” will be available in the Public Information Bulletin of the capital city hall on Friday, June 2 around noon. After the entire document has been presented, public consultations will start immediately and will last until September 29. This will be the time to collect comments. Online information meetings for residents of each district will take place in June. The first one is scheduled for June 2 at 6 pm for Mokotów and Targówek. A detailed schedule of meetings can be found on the website of the Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning of the Capital City of Warsaw.
In addition, the designers of the study have on-call duty at the ZODIAK Warsaw Pavilion of Architecture on June 4 (Sunday) and June 17 (Saturday) from 3-7 pm. In turn, telephone duty hours will last throughout the consultation period (Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the number 22 325 81 12).
The public discussion on the study will take place on June 21 at 5 pm in the Marble Room of the Palace of Culture and Science. It will be streamed on YouTube.
Main photo source: Warsaw City Hall