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Inhabitants of Bochnia co-decide – participation as the key to revitalising the town

Civic participation Completed
2014-09-08 - 2015-11-30
135 812,80 PLN
122 231,52 PLN
revitalisation, spatial planning
Project description
Bochnia has witnessed progressive socio-spatial and economic degradation of the historical heart of the city. Attempts made by the authorities to breathe a new life into this part of the city failed, mainly as a result of their top-down nature, lack of commitment of citizens or an approach that did not recognize them as equal partners in the project design. All these plans have also failed to embrace the tourist potential of the city’s rich legacy of salt mining which makes it a European-class heritage monument.

The main objective was to design, in partnership with citizens, city authorities and experts, a long-term plan for Revitalization of Bochnia’s City Centre and launch a civic dialogue on the future of this part of the city.

Project initiatives have contributed to the renewal and development project for Bochnia City Centre by 2030. Initiated cooperation with the local authorities created grounds for establishment of Bochnia Revitalization Forum - a local partnership and ensured that recommendations made by citizens were embraced within the Local Revitalization Program developed by the authorities.

A “White Book” charting decisions made to-date and development scenarios for Bochnia’s centre was published. Five urban design workshops and four debates were held to provide citizens, experts and representatives of city authorities with an opportunity to discuss the future of Bochnia’s City Centre and create the development concept for the area for the next 15 years. Two contests - architectural and photographic - put the spotlight on the spatial planning of Bochnia’s central district. Two teambuilding events addressed to citizens brought in consultation meetings and questionnaire surveys conducted to diagnose social, economic and spatial issues which need to be resolved by revitalization of Bochnia’s historical centre.

The project beneficiaries are citizens of Bochnia from various circles and demographic groups. Other contributors to the project included the local municipal government, including the Mayor and officials accountable for revitalization issues.

The project was implemented in partnership with two organizations - the Society of Polish Town Planners that played the expert role during city planning workshops and the Polish Librarians Association that provided organizational support for architectural activities for children and youths, and nationwide open-air photographic workshops.
We use the grant for capacity building