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This is how Dabrowski Square in Lodz will change

24 of January '24

The metamorphosis of the space within Lodz's Dabrowski Square adjacent to the Grand Theater has been talked about for many years - the concreted space in the middle of the city will finally change its face, and the most interesting thing about this procedure was the conduct of public consultations.

short life of the city square

The reconstruction of Dabrowski Square took place in 2009 - the basis was the elimination of trees, the insertion of a distinctive fountain designed by Rafal Szrajber. The square turned out to be a non-functional space - it was not used in any meaningful way. The life span of the square was extremely short - it was less than thirteen years. The decision to "debetonate" was the beginning of changes - the next steps were to prepare an appropriate vision for the place. It was decided to conduct a consultation, which took a very interesting shape. mamArchitekci and A2P2 architecture&planning prepared three variants, which residents could vote for online. The variants differed primarily in the layout of greenery and water infrastructure.

We presented all the proposals on architekturaibiznes.pl in January 2023. See - Dabrowski Square will change as voted by residents of Lodz.

Voting on the Vox Populi platform in Lodz was one of the tools used in the consultation process. It should be noted that this was not the only method of dialogue with residents that was used. Putting the options to a vote ended a nearly four-month period of dialogue with various stakeholder groups and took place in December 2022. Nor was this the first process of its kind, as consultations on changes to the Square had already been held in 2014. These discussions were qualitative - they included in-depth discussions with elements of design dialogue about various aspects of the Square's functioning and appearance, and were open to all interested parties. The information obtained and findings were decisive in the development of design concepts. The online voting was probing and quantitative, with 2089 people participating, many times more than in previous meetings. The participation of an expanded group of respondents was made possible by the use of extensive promotion, including through social media profiles. Survey participants clearly indicated the implementation of option two. The use of online surveys allows us to examine opinions and preferences regarding the proposed solutions, and in Lodz this tool, with this particular task, worked well," points out Lukasz Pancewicz of A2P2 architecture&planning studio.

konsultacje społeczne odbyły się również za pomocą plebiscytu online

Public consultations were also held via an online plebiscite

© courtesy of the City of Lodz - Lodz.pl

new discussion formulas

Trees are to return to the modernized Dabrowski Square, as well as water bodies. Life is to be concentrated in separate food and beverage zones and areas for skateboarding or rollerblading. The selected variant is the starting point for a consortium of studios, which will begin work on a design based on the selected variant. The work will continue until October this year.

The most interesting part of the process is the way the consultation was conducted, which went beyond consultation meetings and entered the online space. Although challenges to the use of this technology are still open (e.g., troll attacks, hacking), the Łódź example shows that they have a future as a participatory tool, the question of its intelligent use is still open.

życie na placu Dąbrowskiego skupiać ma się w wydzielonych strefach gastronomicznych oraz miejscach do jazdy na deskorolce czy rolkach.

Life on Dabrowski Square is to be concentrated in separate food and beverage zones and areas for skateboarding or rollerblading

© courtesy of the City of Lodz - Lodz.pl

compiled by Wiktor Bochenek

The vote has already been cast

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