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Local elections 2024 - Different visions of Gdansk

19 of March '24

The housingcrisis is not letting up, which is why housing policy runs through almost all the election programs of the candidates running in the race for mayor of Gdansk. The proposals are more or less concrete - from the construction of public housing, the sale and renovation of vacant buildings to the establishment of a Social Rent Agency, or the allocation of every zloty from the sale of city real estate for housing purposes.

There are sevencandidates running for mayor of Gdansk. We checked their proposals on greenery, zoning, key investments in the city space and how they plan to solve housing problems.

Mariusz Andrzejczak - KWW Mariusz Andrzejczak for Gdańsk

Mariusz Andrzejczak, a former PO councilor, running from his own "For Gdansk" committee, promises 10,000 new municipal apartments (5,000 from the primary market and 5,000 from the secondary market). This is a record number among the candidates. He would also like to give the possibility of buying back municipal apartments and discounts - depending on the time of living in the premises and the investment incurred (for each year - 1 percent discount).

The candidate devotes a lot of space to greenery. Among the election promises is the revalorization of parks, green streetcar tracks, reducing logging to a minimum and creating rows of trees along Gdansk streets. Green roofs and building walls would be created on cooperative buildings in cooperation between housing cooperatives and the City.

Andrzejczak proposes revaluation of historic districts (at a cost of 50 million zlotys a year) and expropriation for public purposes of deteriorating monuments in private hands. And, among other things, construction of new sports infrastructure and "all the missing sidewalks."

Andrzejczak's election program is also not short of surprises. An unusual idea, especially in light of the discussion about the need to reduce cars in our cities, is... a Gdansk Taxi, which would operate as part of the municipal company Gdansk Buses and Trams. The candidate would like to hire cab drivers, and use city cabs to fill gaps in the public transportation system. The cars would belong to the GAiT company or the city of Gdansk.

Aleksandra Dulkiewicz - candidate of the Civic Coalition and KWW Everything for Gdansk

The incumbent mayor, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, a joint candidate of the Civic Coalition and the "Everything for Gdansk" movement, included in her election program the acquisition of 2,000 public housing units. This is the only announcement concerning housing, yet housing policy can be solved by various measures.

The social life of the neighborhoods would be enlivened by new neighborhood clubs and houses - today there are 27 of them, Dulkiewicz declares that the City will build ten more. She also promises the creation of 700 new nursery places. A high school is to be built in the city's big bedroom with chaotic infrastructure - Gdansk South. The candidate wants 50,000 trees to be planted (this is the number enshrined in the "Green City" strategy enacted two years ago until 2030), 10 pocket parks to be created, 10 rain gardens and 10 urban micro-forests. The 90-hectare South Park is to be completed.

The program is firmly rooted in the measures that have been accelerated in the passing term, with Dulkiewicz mentioning the continuation of work on the PKM South, and the construction of, among others, Nowa Swietokrzyska, Nowa Jabłoniowa, a busway on Spacerowa and an eco-path for bicycles from Żabianka to Orunia. 100 km of sidewalks and 50 km of streets are to be built and repaired. The idea of building the Nautilius oceanarium, whose construction plans fell through a few years ago, has returned. The candidate announces new swimming pools and libraries, as well as completion of the renovation of the historic orphanage complex from the late 17th century (a House of Literature will be built there).

Andrzej Pecka - KWWWspólna Droga 2050

The "United Way" election committee is formed by the Poland 2050 coalition, the New Left and urban movements. Among the demands of Andrzej Pecka, a Gdansk cardiologist, are "cheap rental housing" and "an end to urban chaos." Gdansk would become a city of "trees and green tracks" and "friendly to all traffic participants." The committee advocates a policy of small distances.

Among the announcements was also the creation of a registry of land that will not be subject to sale, but will be used for residential development. In addition, every zloty from the sale of city property is to be used for housing purposes.

As for transportation, there was a promise to create new lines and routes, but without ticket increases. The candidate announced an audit of the spending of the city of Gdansk's budget and granting more powers to district councils.

Tomasz Rakowski - candidate of the Law and Justice party

The solution to housing policy problems, according to the Law and Justice candidate, is to increase the stock of public housing. He wants to inventory vacant buildings, and sell some of them in order to renovate more with the funds raised. He is considering exempting tenants from rent for renovations.

Rakowski is making more of a nod to bitter drivers than to pedestrians and cyclists. According to him, "hours, hundreds, thousands of hours Danzigers, especially residents of southern districts, spend in traffic jams." The Law and Justice candidate announced that his first decision will be to "end the fight with drivers," which he says "is being waged all the time by the Gdansk city authorities." Also surprising to those who strive for sustainable development in the city will be the candidate's announcement that he will reverse the narrowing of Al. Grunwaldzka in Oliva, and would also like to increase the speed limit on Al. Grunwaldzka (currently it is 50 kilometers per hour, previously it was - 70).

Tomasz Rakowski talks about the need for changes to the intelligent traffic control system - Tristar, in order to make it smoother for drivers, and does not rule out buying a new system. He also wants to return to the debatable pedestrian buttons at crosswalks, which the City began to abandon two years ago. With drivers in mind, he also announced the construction of an overpass along Armii Krajowej Street over Havel Avenue and Lostowicka Street.

He agrees with Aleksandra Dulkiewicz on one thing: he would like to build a high school in the south of Gdansk.

Adam Szczepanski - KWWSocial Gdansk

The committee was formed by members of the Together party and city activists. Adam Szczepanski is an alderman of the Przymorze Małe district. He has been involved in social policy for years, especially housing issues, so it's no surprise that they have become an important part of his election program. Szczepanski promises to raise external funds for the construction of low-cost and accessible rental housing. He announces the renovation of empty housing units and the development of the "Apartment for renovation" initiative. Compared to the promises of other candidates, his program is distinguished by the call for the establishment of a Social Rental Agency, which would mediate the safe rental of private apartments and facilitate the exchange of units between tenants depending on their life needs. Gdansk would also "put an end to the selling off of city land and property."

The candidate's election program included, among other things, the continuation of the PKM Gdańsk South project, taking into account the comments of neighborhood residents, and the construction of eco-paths for cyclists.

Unlike Law and Justice candidate Tomasz Rakowski, he believes that it is not drivers, but pedestrians who are harassed. He announces the construction of above-ground crossings and the development of tempo 30 zones.

Artur Szostak - KWW Kocham Gdańsk-Kandydaci Niezależni.

Szostak ran as a senatorial candidate for the Polish Pirate Party in the parliamentary elections. He has said little about his ideas for housing policy in Gdansk so far. Instead, his committee has announced a "ban on pat-development practices."

Artur Szostak talks about the need to increase the frequency of streetcars and buses during rush hour and to give momentum to projects: Nowa Swietokrzyska and Nowa Spacerowa, he will also decide on the construction of an overpass on Armii Krajowej Avenue. He would like to introduce water transportation.

According to the candidate, it is not party discipline that should decide on actions taken in the city, but residents through councilors. He demands transparency in local government, but also improved road infrastructure and increased safety for residents, among other things in the context of shelters. An interesting fact is that the position of third vice mayor would be held by.... one of the residents, who would be chosen in a contest and drawing of lots.

Michal Urbaniak - KWW Konfederaci - Bezpartyjni - Polska jest jedna - Dla Pomorza.

Michal Urbaniak is a former Confederation MP. Housing policy is not a point he emphasizes in the campaign.

Instead, the candidate announced online public consultations, as well as the creation of an entrepreneur-friendly climate to encourage the establishment of companies and the creation of new jobs. He argues that Gdansk "deserves to be one of those European cities where you live well, where you don't create a budget with a huge debt."

Urbaniak says he "doesn't agree with the fight against cars," and calls absurd the introduction of clean transportation zones aimed at chasing the biggest polluters out of cities. In an interview with Radio Eska, he admitted that one of his goals is "to protect residents from ideologized infrastructure projects based on air conditioning."

Ewa Karendys

The vote has already been cast