On Friday, an exhibition entitled “Green and monuments” was opened, promoting greenery within historical urban layouts. The exhibition can be viewed until April 7.
The exhibition can be viewed in front of the seat of the Provincial Monument Protection Office at ul. New World 18/20. The event is related to the discussion on the introduction of greenery into urban spaces under the care of conservationists.
– I am very happy that the subject of greenery and humanization of the city, which is historically very close to us, is still equally close to the conservation services. There are several guidelines of the general conservator of monuments regarding the care of historic protection and shaping public space with respect to these elements. Congratulations on taking up this difficult topic – said the director of the department of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Katarzyna Pałubska.
Historical squares without greenery are difficult to live
Renata Kaznowska, Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, emphasized that greenery in the city is a condition for survival. – Just a few years ago, it would seem that two important areas, i.e. care for our past – monuments, could not be reconciled with greenery, which was perceived as interference, covering monuments – she said.
In the era of rapid climate change, she added, it is becoming more and more important to adapt urban spaces to them. – In city centers, especially in summer, heat islands are severe, which do not allow you to stay outside for longer. This makes historic squares and streets difficult to live in. What can counteract this are trees that provide the desired shade, said Renata Kaznowska. She reminded me that it was coming soon Chmielna Street will undergo a metamorphosis and trees will appear on it. She noted that in cooperation with the Mazovian conservator of monuments, it was possible to introduce greenery, e.g. on Central Street, Three Crosses SquareWhether Five Horns Square.
The mayor of Śródmieście, Aleksander Ferens, pointed out that it is extremely difficult for monument conservators to reconcile what is necessary with the expectations of residents. He added that he encounters this very often when residents ask for more greenery. – And we are aware that the people who designed Warsaw after the war treated it as a whole, and these projects themselves are already under protection. And they did not plan the amount of greenery that the inhabitants expect today – he explained. – Thanks to the cooperation with the conservator, we can start conversations with our residents, explaining to them why there can be only so much greenery in a given place, possibly negotiating the ways of planting greenery – he said.
“Monuments and greenery are not enemies”
Mazowieckie voivodeship conservator of monuments prof. Jakub Lewicki pointed out that the exhibition that has just opened concerns the whole of Mazovia, and Warsaw is a part of it.
– When preparing the exhibition, we noticed that the problem concerns the whole of Mazovia. After 1989, trees were removed in many locations and new surfaces were introduced. These places have become unfriendly to residents and this is quite commonly noticed. All these spaces require changes” – said Prof. Jakub Lewicki – I emphasize monuments and greenery are not enemies, they must coexist with each other. There is no turning back from greenery – he added.
Michał Krasucki, the conservator of monuments in the capital, assessed that for the time being we are at the beginning of the road when it comes to introducing greenery to the historic space.
– In Warsaw, we have a lot of urban and historical space that is still before modernization in the context of restoring greenery. Very often we say that greenery returns to places where it existed before – he explained. He noted that the first example of the introduction of greenery was the Five Rogów Square, which will be continued in green Chmielna. – We’ll see how the greenery at Plac Trzech Krzyży and Marszałkowska will be. When it comes to challenges, Bankowy Square, Teatralny Square, and to what extent the continuation of greening the streets: Aleje Jerozolimskie or Nowy Świat, will be continued – added the Warsaw conservator.
Exhibition “Green and monuments”
The open exhibition shows not only places in Warsaw. The boards presented at the exhibition refer to i.a. to Chmielna Street, Plac Trzech Krzyży, Żoliborz in Warsaw, but also to the markets in Zakroczym, Piaseczno, Wyszogród, pl. John Paul II in Ciechanów, or the center of the village in Jabłonna Lacka.
The exhibition proves that a new conservation approach that promotes greenery within historic urban layouts has a chance to become a long-term change. The exhibition will be open until April 7.
Main photo source: Warsaw City Hall