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Search for phrase: "architecture"
Robert Pyka
After 10 years of discussions about the need to empower the metropolitan areas in Poland, finally a metropolitan union law for the Śląskie Voivodeship [Silesian region] has been adopted. Defining two million people as a population level required for the creation of the metropolitan union confirmed that the legislator’s intention was to establish the first metropolitan union in Poland specifically in the Silesian conurbation due to its unique territorial structure. The establishment of the Upper Silesian and Zagłębie Metropolis [Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolia] should be seen as an important social experiment and significant innovation in the Polish local – government system. The large territorial delimitation of the metropolitan union with 41 local units is a courageous step that proves a high level of mobilisation and strong involvement of Silesian local decision makers. The specific decision-making procedure based on double majority voting should entourage dialogue between the large and small member cities of the metropolitan union. The generally formulated competences of the metropolitan union allow considerable freedom to the authorities in prioritising tasks and projects. The author’s analyses the institutional architecture of the first Polish metropolitan union, which is a hybrid organisation combining an inter-municipal association and a local government unit, from the perspective of turning the Upper Silesian metropolitan area into an efficient system of metropolitan governance.
Bohdan Jałowiecki
Of all the arts, architecture is the one with the closest links to ideology – not only because in many cases it serves as an instrument of power, but also because any structure is invariably preceded by words. A poet writes poems which need no design beforehand; a painter may occasionally prepare sketches for his painting, but these drafts potentially contain the entire painting which is to be produced. Conversely, there are at least three stages to any building or structure. First, there comes an idea – expressed in words – which determines its function, form and meaning, then comes a hand drawing, which contemporarily is more and more frequently replaced by computer simulation, after that a scale model, and finally – a building.
Marek Kozak
Poland has significant, though not researched and depicted in depth asset in the form of manors, palaces and castles. They differ in many ways: by location, technical state, quality of architecture, ownership, function played nowadays. Their contemporary state has been determined by a number of complex economic, political, legal and social factors. Utilisation of those objects for the needs of dynamically developing culture tourism calls for changes in national heredity protection and tourism development strategies. Proposed changes in particular should decisively introduce market mechanism into heredity management. Otherwise those rich assets shall remain troublesome and costly souvenir of the past.
Kamil Piskała, Agata Zysiak

A socialist city is mainly associated with the imperial architecture of Minsk or East Berlin, the functional division into districts, monumental public buildings, or housing developments. This article aims at restructuring the prospect of city development in the first post-war period, i.e. 1945-1949. Based on the example of Łódź – Poland’s biggest city in view of the demolished Warsaw as well as the working-class capital of textiles – I reconstruct modernisation discourses in press, showing that in the first period of the reconstruction, modest suggestions as to the city development were made, ones adjusted to the needs of its inhabitants and the comfort of everyday life. It was only with the aggravation of the political course after the year 1948 when these were replaced with more daring prospects of a socialist city, gigantic investments, and the construction of new districts for the working-class masses.

Mariusz E. Sokołowicz

If architectural heritage in cities is recognisable for the masses, it does not raise doubts as to its value. However, if the architecture is controversial, relatively young, or can be associated with a problematic legacy and difficult past, its valuation raises ambiguities. Unconventional valuation methods can help resolve these uncertainties, making it easier for local decision-makers to make sounder decisions. This paper presents a proposal for valuing Warsaw’s modernist WKD Ochota train station, using a combination of cost-benefit analysis and a Delphi panel. The study carried out for the purposes of this article revealed that such architecture, although ambiguous, is treated by the local community as valuable not only in economic terms, but also in social and cultural terms.

Małgorzata Dymnicka
Public space of the post-modern epoch is a conglomerate or blend of discontinuous functions, a collection of loosely connected fragments, increasingly more frequently unrelated to a city. People compose for themselves their own town from individual trajectories that are outlined by means of motor roads. Neo-liberal logic of city development recognizes the rule of spontaneity wherever the interest of big capital groups dominates, pushing onto the sidelines the more important task of contemporary urban planning – the protection and development of public spaces. Due to the crisis it is undergoing at present (commercial pressure), the efforts are taken to regain its social and spatial significance. The purpose of these transformations is bonding public spaces with broader surroundings (with open terrains, waterside zones, promenades, playgrounds, etc). These changes use programmed connections, contacts, passages, links, connecting areas and other relations that invest new sociological and cultural meanings into public spaces. The integration process gives positive results in numerous cities of Western Europe. One of them, perhaps the most essential, is development of more attractive and deeper relationships of inhabitants with their urban environment. Although the task fails to be easy (integrating tendencies compete with inclinations for disintegration), it is an important step towards the enhancement of urban life quality. The evidence can be numerous discussions and conferences on the issue of public space.