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Crosswalks, high greenery and reduced speed. Grunwaldzka Avenue in Gdansk through the eyes of residents

30 of November '23

Green, friendly to all traffic users, with high-rise buildings only in selected, justified, places. After the end of the consultations, we already know what changes residents expect on Gdansk's main artery. The challenge now will be to reconcile these expectations with the proposals submitted by investors.

How to shape the building and development of Grunwaldzka Avenue - the main artery of Gdansk - is the question on which officials are thinking together with residents, investors, city councilors and district councilors. This is because on the initiative of Piotr Lorens, Architect of the City of Gdansk, a Study of the Grunwaldzka Alley band is being created, which is to be the basis for further decisions, including those related to changes in development plans for the area.

Until now, the area - mainly due to the boom of new office buildings, which the existing infrastructure, especially public transportation, has not kept up with - has developed rather chaotically. Why does the city want to plan the future of this space right now? Because it has recently received as many as 13 applications from investors to amend local plans.

The strip of Grunwaldzka Avenue, where office and service functions have developed, can be supplemented with residential development. However, this will require the creation of new public spaces and green areas, says Prof. Piotr Lorens, Architect of the City of Gdansk, in an interview with A&B. - Among investors, the trend away from building office buildings in favor of apartments began before the pandemic. Later, remote work only reinforced this trend.

we learned about residents' needs

This week marked the end of the final stage of consultations, with a total of more than 130 people taking part in five workshop meetings.

What are the results? Workshop participants want to reduce speed on Grunwaldzka Avenue and reduce noise - while maintaining traffic flow. There were also demands for the construction of new cross-connections for pedestrians, cyclists and cars. Residents expect friendly development of the avenue, introduction of greenery and harmonious development of new areas with respect for the neighborhood. It can be expected that the bone of contention will be high-rise buildings. Workshop participants want to allow dominant buildings only in designated and compositionally justified places.

Proponowanym zmianom uczestnicy warsztatów mogli przyjrzeć się na specjalnej makiecie

The proposed changes workshop participants could look at on a special mock-up

mat. Gdansk City Hall

"the times of over-scaled investments are over"

Tomasz Strug, chairman of the Oliwa District Board, pointed out that Grunwaldzka Avenue cannot be a highway.

It is necessary to improve the living comfort of residents, this comfort should grow. We all agree on the need to develop public transportation, we are hiccuping with car traffic. This will benefit all parties," believes Tomasz Strug.

According to Emilia Lodzinska, a city councilor and at the same time chairwoman of the Spatial Development Committee in the Gdansk City Council, the Grunwaldzka Avenue strip should be transformed.

The proposed changes are possible, but we also need to change our attitude to this avenue," commented Emilia Lodzinska. - The times of over-scaled investments are a thing of the past, as are the times of lack of dialogue between the public and private sectors. The city will not be able to finance all investments, the private sector must be involved.

What's next? The needs of residents and investors officials will try to reconcile in the draft Study, which they will present next spring.

And although the amendment to the Law on Spatial Planning and Development will make the study documents passed by the municipalities invalid in two years, the conclusions of the findings on Grunwaldzka Avenue will be included in the General Plan. This one, according to the law, must be created by the end of 2025.

Ewa Karendys

The vote has already been cast