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The center of Warsaw a cultural park

27 of December '23

Walking dumplings, two-meter-high ice cream and banners obscuring facades. All this is to disappear from the historic center of Warsaw. After months of arrangements and consultations, it was possible to adopt a resolution to establish a cultural park, the provisions of which will cover the historic part of the city.

Michał Krasucki i Renata Kaznowska

Michal Krasucki and Renata Kaznowska

© UM Warsaw

The area of the park includes the Old and New Town, the Royal Route, Krasinski and Saski gardens, as well as parks located below the Skarpa and the Royal Baths Park, totaling more than 6 square kilometers. This is the most popular part of the city among tourists, which also translates into the number of retail, service and dining establishments. Along with these, a mass of advertisements and media appear in the public space, the form and quantity of which the park's stipulations are supposed to limit. This is the end of the work that has been going on since November 2017 (read more in the article: The end of advertising chaos in Warsaw?).

Theprovisions of the resolution clearly define what an advertising signboard, a street commercial stand and a food garden should look like. The regulations are expected to bring not only restrictions, but also to significantly speed up permit-related procedures. Issuance of administrative decisions in cases involving, among other things, the location of gastronomic gardens, advertising media or small architectural objects will be faster and simpler, because they will be based on uniform guidelines.

Mapa parków kulturowych w Polsce

Map of cultural parks in Poland

© UM Warsaw

We wanted to analyze in detail and discuss with all partners what is to happen on the Royal Route. We held months of public consultations, which were very valuable for all of us. By listening to each other, we learned from each other. The consultations were also very much geared towards listening to the business side, which is largely responsible for how the Royal Route looks and what happens in its space. We had a few dissenting opinions, but I think that for the most part this document that has been worked out is a consensus, valuable to all, " explains Deputy Mayor Renata Kaznowska.

The resolution organizes the way advertisements are placed, so as to protect original architectural details and historic woodwork. It regulates the placement of technical equipment - among other things, the method of running cabling or permitted locations for installing air-conditioning equipment. Much attention is paid to the protection of tree stands and urban green areas. The document stipulates a ban on reducing biologically active area (unless it conflicts with other documents).

The resolution voted on by city councilors is a local law, so it will apply to all property owners, holders and tenants. The provisions of the Cultural Park of the Historic Center of Warsaw will take effect from December 2024. The long transition period, but also the form of some of the provisions is the result of public consultations, which lasted from May to June 2023. Consultations on the draft resolution on the cultural park were particularly popular among entrepreneurs operating in the area of the Historic Center of Warsaw. The provisions of the resolution will directly affect the businesses they run, which is why a large number of comments were received during the consultations, aimed at clarifying or changing specific points of the document. Proponents called for, among other things, clarification of such terms as "stucco" or "catering season," more detailed definitions of advertising media, or their correction in a way that also takes into account the landscape resolution under consideration.

Grafika promująca projekt uchwały parku

Graphic promoting the draft park resolution

© UM Warsaw

We will suggest solutions they should use to protect the cultural landscape, but also, in many cases, to make the offer of their restaurants or stores more attractive, " adds Deputy Mayor Renata Kaznowska.

There have been comments about ATMs in the cultural park area. According to some people, the resolution must not prohibit the placement of free-standing ATMs in the park, as this would violate the constitutional right to freedom of business. It was also pointed out that such a ban does not apply to ticket machines or parking meters, i.e. facilities with an analogous function and form. The authority also announces that it will not leave entrepreneurs alone with the provisions of the resolution. All the coming 2024 they will be able to turn to the City Hall for help and advice.

Granice uchwalonego parku kulturowego

Boundaries of the enacted cultural park

© UM Warsaw

Kacper Kępiński

The vote has already been cast