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Over the last five years, several very important books about progressive urban policy have been translated into Polish. They include: Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture by Justin McGuirk and Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan. Last year, an extensive publication by Polish architect Artur Filip, Big Plans in the Hands of Citizens, devoted to civic coalitions that prepared and implemented large-scale urban investments in the USA, in particular the Midtown Greenway Coalition in Minneapolis, also appeared on the Polish publishing market. Polish press widely discussed the political changes in the cities that led to the reorientation of the activities local governments in Europe – the election of Ada Colau to the position of the Mayor of Barcelona, Anne Hidalgo – the Mayor of Paris, and Sadiq Khan – the Mayor of London. In each of these contexts, discussions arose about how and to what extent processes can be an inspiration for us – Poles – to act for our cities. These issues remain unresolved, because, among others, we did not have the opportunity to talk about the details. We could not ask the authors of innovative ideas about the context in which they arose, about the way of creating the critical force that led to the postulated transformation, as well as about the tactics of implementing ideas and encountered difficulties and how they were overcome. Now, we would like to make up for it.

“City – Thoughts – Opportunities” is a series of meetings showing that another urban policy is possible. It is organised in Katowice – a post-industrial city, the capital of the largest urban agglomeration in Poland, which in the face of the disappearance of the traditional metallurgical and mining industry is looking for new development impulses. Is the scenario of a city of services and creative industries the only way? What is such vision missing? Does it require corrections, additions, or perhaps even fundamental revision or rejection?

The pretext for the debate will be presentations of people from around the world who are looking for answers to the question of what our cities should be in the near future and whose own work shows how to accomplish it. We will talk with people who proposed an innovative way of thinking about the city, but also confronted their ideas with reality and proved their social power. We will invite practitioners: mayors, officials, activists, artists or involved residents. They have one thing in common: they do not wait for changes, but they induce and implement them themselves.

More information about the program: HERE

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