Biggest reconstruction in Central Europe to be created in Katowice, Poland (PL)

In Katowice, the capital of the Silesian Agglomeration counting 2.7 million inhabitants, a completely new city center will be created. The city center reconstruction is the biggest project of this kind in Central Europe, in its greatness similar to the modernization of Berlin. Once reconstructed, the new city center will be a true showcase of Europe's 9th biggest metropolis that is just being created. The city will present its urban conception during the MIPIM in Cannes, held 13–16 March 2007.

Airial view of the new citycenter of Katowice

The reconstruction of Katowice will cover a surface of 400 ha in the heart of city center and will be the biggest operation of this kind in Central Europe. The heart of the agglomeration will become a focusing center for business, commercial and service activities, as well as an attractive spot for housing developers. The total surface of the offices, residential and commercial areas will amount to 140,000 m². As the research made by the biggest Silesian commercial real estate trade shows, demand of investors for new office surfaces increases and in the next 3 years will reach a level of 200,000 m².

"Through the city center modernization we would like to increase the developmental potential of both the city and the region," says Piotr Uszok, Major of Katowice. "During the International Fair of the Real Estate Trade in Cannes, we will present a plan of the Katowice City center modernization. We would like to invite the specialists, architects and investors from all over the world to discuss this project and the future cooperation. These people – together with the city – will give this place a final shape."

The tender organized by the city was won by the architectural urban project elaborated by Konior Studio. The project will change the center of Katowice into a modern area, where people can spend their free time, live and work with pleasure.

"We have made a frame for creating a harmonious city space," comments the project author, Tomasz Konior. "The city center will be functional and friendly in order to invite inhabitants to live there, and the investors to participate in the metropolis development."

The Silesian agglomeration with its capital Katowice is often compared to the Ruhr Agglomeration. Silesia is also a big industrial region that goes trough some profitable changes and develops its economics. 2.7 million people live in the agglomeration, creating the biggest settlement in Central Europe. Katowice is able to offer 2.5 posts per inhabitant. Hundreds of thousands people living in the agglomeration are being employed here, make use of the commercial and service offer. In the near future at least 14 cities making the agglomeration will join to create a single metropolis. Thus, the new Katowice city center will become a center of the 5th biggest European metropolis.

The current city center does not fully satisfy the needs both inhabitants and investors. Therefore, the authorities of Katowice decided to radically change the space of the municipal center.

Source: City of Katowice

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