Warsaw 'sJerozolimskieAvenue - the city' s most important artery, which for years has not waited for a coherent development, has so far been suspended in three parallel planning systems. In recent days, there has been a painful clash between them, which seems to be derailing the visions of planners and investors. A lack of layered property rights and misguided decisions from a century ago are to blame.
Surrounding the Palace of Culture and Science
We recently wrote about the decision of the Mazovian Regional Historic Preservation Officer, who, with the entry of the Warszawa Śródmieście station, was to derail the possibility of implementing the provisions of the Local Development Plan for the PKiN area. City planners envisioned dense development in the area, set back from Jerozolimskie Avenue, and the demolition of the downtown station pavilions . The order to preserve the pavilions designed byArseniusz Romanowicz and Piotr Szymaniak makes it impossible to implement these plans. The deputy mayor of Warsaw announced changes to theMPZPand adjustment of its provisions to the conservator's decision. Now it turns out that there are more problems, and the shape of the center of the capital will be decided by.... railroads.
MPZP of the PKiN area
photo: Warsaw City Hall
All the blame lies with the project, which has been in the pipeline for years, and is planned to be completed by the end of the 1920s, for the thorough modernization of the railroad cross-city line running in a tunnel under the center of Warsaw. The undertaking, which involves digging up the city's main artery and building the tunnel from scratch, designating a new station under the De Gaulle Roundabout and rebuilding the bridge over the Vistula, does not assume that the construction of the new tunnel will be adapted to the possibility of development above it.
The possible development project will involve reconstruction of the modernized railroad infrastructure and adaptation of structural elements not currently envisaged for modernization.
Andrzej Bittel, deputy minister of infrastructure,informs.
MPZP of the PKiN area
photo: UM Warszawa
The ministry does not plan to allow commercial development along the cross-city line. In addition to technical and construction issues, the problem turns out to be the lack of a layered law. Today ,ownership of land extends above and below its surface, making it impossible to transfer the right to build above the shallow tunnel that passes through the center of Warsaw. There is also no legislative work underway to regulate this problem, despite the establishment of a parliamentary team on layered ownership law in 2018. Thus, all indications are that the not-so-beautiful, post-modern Swede Center edifice will remain an exception, and will not be replaced by any new development once it is demolished. The culprit for today's complicated situation is most likely the pre-war PKP. At the time, the company's authorities did not agree to the construction of a deep tunnel, as advocated by the city authorities, which would have required similar procedures to the construction of a subway. The result was a simplified, shallow version of the tunnel, which today not only causes ownership problems, but also affects the low height in the underground galleries of Central Station and the claustrophobic under passes under the traffic circles of Czterdziestolatka and Dmowskiego.
photo: X-City Investment, PKP S.A.
It is not only the development of the surroundings of the Palace of Culture and Science that will not live to see completion. The project prepared by a subsidiary of PKP S.A. is under question. Central Park - a project to develop today's parking lot above the WKD station. In the neighborhood, the European Union's tallest skyscraper Varso Tower, designed by Norman Foster , wasbuilt in recent years . The railroaders' project envisaged supplementing the quarter development with a high-rise building located on the side of Jana Pawła II Avenue. The area will most likely remain empty for many more years to come.
Photo: X-City Investment, PKP S.A / Wikimedia Commons
The situation is similar at the Warsaw Central station site. The station, which was the main station before the construction of Warsaw Central Station, is currently undergoing reactivation. The resuscitated station is expected to serve to relieve pressure on Warsaw's rail network during the modernization of the cross-city line. However, the protracted construction is not the end of PKP's plans. Here, too, the National Railways has been spinning visions of modern development, hiding the station underground and creating a new quarter on the surface with skyscrapers and renovated historic fabric. There is no sign that these plans will be realized in the near future.