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Warsaw. The city is one step away from the renovation of Chmielna. Greenery agreed with the conservator, work schedule ready

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Representatives of the city authorities announced that the transformation of Chmielna and Bracka streets will begin this year. Over 130 trees will be planted on both streets. There will be new benches and a fountain. Jakub Lewicki, Mazovian Provincial Conservator of Monuments, until now skeptical about planting greenery in the revitalization of historic spaces, stated that in the case of Chmielna it can be a setting for a monument.

– The project has already obtained all necessary permits. The works have been submitted. The time for protests has passed, so we can announce today that we are one step away from starting the implementation – announced the vice-president of Warsaw, Michał Olszewski, during the Tuesday press briefing. – Chmielna Street will undergo a thorough renovation this year. Not only Chmielna Street, but also Bracka on the section from the square (Pięciu Rogów – ed.) to Aleje Jerozolimskie – he added.

“Green can be a setting for a monument”

Jakub Lewicki, the Mazovian Provincial Conservator of Monuments, who was present at the conference, stated that the case of Chmielna Street enabled “a very deep reflection on the role of greenery in historic complexes”. – In previous years, a theory was created that monuments and greenery were enemies or interfered with each other, which was a complete mistake – noted Lewicki. – We have a number of documents that emphasize the role of greenery in historic complexes. We have the International Florentine Charter, which Poland has ratified. We have the guidelines of the General Conservator of Monuments, Professor Magdalena Gawin, who ordered the conservators to introduce greenery into historic complexes – he said.

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The conservator emphasized that the entries in the register of monuments do not prohibit the introduction of greenery. – Area entries mention only the protection of the parceling system, individual buildings and the relationship between them. Greenery can be a setting for a monument. Green is life, and monuments are our past – he noted.

The details related to the amount of greenery that will appear in connection with the revitalization of Chmielna Street were discussed by the chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee of the Council of Warsaw, Councilor Renata Niewitecka. – We will plant 95 trees at Chmielna Street and an additional 38 at Bracka Street, as well as 9.5 thousand shrubs and 8.5 thousand perennials. The trees will be located so as not to disturb the historic space, emphasized Niewitecka. She announced that in addition to greenery, there will be small architecture in the form of benches and a fountain near the Atlantic cinema.

The lighting on Chmielna Street will be renovated – old lanterns will be replaced with new LED ones. Cyclists will also benefit. In addition, the issue of parking and entering the street will be regulated. This mainly concerns the traffic of vans and cars currently blocking the connection with the Wiecha Passage.

Work schedule

Arkadiusz Łapkiewicz, director of the Public Areas Authority of the Capital City of Warsaw of Warsaw presented the schedule of works on Chmielna. As he announced, a tender procedure will be prepared and launched by the end of April. – We are extending the time until the end of May to submit offers due to the complexity of the project and industries. By the end of June, we will want to select contractors for the construction of the space of Chmielna and Bracka Streets – said Łapkiewicz. During the holidays, projects for changing the organization of traffic will be prepared.

– In August we want to start with the renovation and carry out these works to the maximum intensity by the end of the year, assuming what remains to be completed at the beginning of 2024 – added Łapkiewicz.

The works are expected to last until the end of May next year.

Green Chmielna

In the summer of 2021, the mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski announced the winning design of the new Chmielna Street. The first place was won by the RS Architektura Landscape studio, known, among others, for its design of the Vistula Boulevards. At that time, the architects admitted that they wanted a “timeless street setting”, which would also support the already functioning catering and commercial activities. They also wanted the space to have a walking character – they paid a lot of attention to greenery, so that – as they admitted – the crowns of trees could provide shade and favorable conditions for restaurant gardens in the summer. The concept also includes square by the Atlantic cinema and wooden seats. All with a large share of greenery, because the designers wanted to plant over 130 mature trees, including 64 along the street itself.

However, the Mazowieckie Voivodship Conservator of Monuments had doubts. The layout of Chmielna on the Nowy Świat – Wiecha passage section is entered in the register of monuments. Therefore, the proposed changes required his approval. MWKZ spokesman Andrzej Mizera indicated that the conservator recommended that they appear on the side squares, not on Chmielna itself. Eventually, an agreement was reached on this matterwhich was announced at the end of August last year by the mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski.

Main photo source: Mateusz Marek / PAP



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