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The 3rd edition of the Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress is behind us

01 of June '23

What is the energetic regeneration of cities? This question was the focus of the third edition of the International Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress, held at the end of May at the EC1 center in Lodz. It was two days full of talks and speeches by people from the world of science, politics, business and culture! The hybrid congress is an initiative of the City of Lodz and Open Eyes Economy, and Architektura & Biznes was the main media partner of the entire event.

The 3rd Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress, taking place on May 30 and 31, 2023 in Lodz, was primarily devoted to the issue of energy, not only physical energy, but also social energy. During the two days, they discussed how to strengthen climate change adaptation efforts, harness the social potential for change and what the events of the past year have taught us about resilience.

Kongresowi towarzyszył dedykowany numer A&B, który można pobrać na naszej stronie za darmo

The congress was accompanied by a dedicated issue of A&B, which can be downloaded from our website for free

Photo: Nikolai Zakharov © Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress

for the third time in Lodz

The opening session in the Machinery Hall was opened by the Deputy Mayor of Lodz— Adam Pustelnik, who in his opening remarks at the congress compared the transformation of Lodz to „open heart surgery.” Observations of these processes, as Pustelnik pointed out, are most interesting in cities in countries where the characters of economies have changed over time.

The inauguration focused on the area where this year's congress was held— Lodz's EC1 center, which was built on the site of a former thermal power plant. A film about its history was screened, and Marcin Szymanski talked about the creation and history of the power plant.

This part also featured Cristen-Silvu Busoi, who spoke about ideas for the European Union's energy transition, Krzysztof Meissner talked about the possibilities of nuclear energy development and Annabel Short, whose interview you can read in the latest June A&B showed the relationship between human rights and urban transformation.

What was discussed at this year's congress? First of all, how the economy, cities and energy should be transformed so that the quality of life of residents is not only not reduced, but also expanded.

And how to implement energy regeneration of cities? Among other things, by appropriate policies in the context of municipal infrastructure. In the situation of an energy crisis or a tendency toward centralization, looking for solutions aimed at regeneration is necessary. A whole one panel was devoted to adaptation to new conditions.

What stands in the way of spending restraint today? First of all, the lack of adequate contacts between local government entities and the government, the lack of money for urban planning, or outdated ways of conducting tenders— for example, for buying energy. Speakers pointed out that for energy prices to fall, investment processes must be continuous. Building cooperatives and energy clusters is an interesting solution.

Wiceprezydent Adam Pustelnik

Vice President Adam Pustelnik

Photo: Nikolai Zakharov © Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress

Urban planning in reverse?

Another city-related topic besides municipal issues was urban planning and its role in the energy transition. Speakers pointed out the need to combat spatial chaos, which directly translates into hindering energy development, including the construction of windmills. Meanwhile, the most important challenges facing cities in Poland are issues of planning reform, the development of Urban Functional Areas. or clarifying the development of transport.

In addition to energy issues involving the possibility of implementing biogas plants or wind farms, guests considered how to broaden the spectrum of issues raised in the planning process. Should we go beyond planning issues?— If we are looking for modern solutions, by all means.

sesja: Planowanie przestrzenne w procesie transformacji energetycznej

Session: Spatial planning in the energy transition— from left: Aneta Tomczak, Dominik Drzazga, Tomasz Majda, Maciej Nowak, Danuta Mirowska-Walas, Szymon Wiśniewski

Photo: Mikolaj Zacharow © Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress

modern city, or what kind of city?

Among the architectural and urban panels, there was also the issue of modern urban concepts— in particular, the 15-minute city. Is the concept promoted by Carlos Moreno today a dogma or rather a narrative model? It is difficult to answer this question unequivocally, at a time when the narrative of the 15-minute city is increasingly being taken over by circles promoting conspiracy theories.

During the panel, attention was drawn to how diverse the problems of cities are not only in Poland, but also around the world. Pleszew struggles with different problems and Warsaw with others. The most important question in the face of them all, is still how to fight populism and demagoguery.

sesja: Nowoczesne koncepcje urbanistycznej miasta 15-minutowe. Czy mogą być przejawem rezyliencji miejskiej?

Session: Modern urban planning concepts 15-minute city. Can they be a manifestation of urban residency?— from left: Patryk Białas, Justyna Glusman, Hubert Barański, Arkadiusz Ptak, Anna Wierzbicka, Rafał Matyja

Photo: Nikolai Zakharov © Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress

diverse cities

What is diversity in cities today? The session on DiverCITY was moderated by A&B editor-in-chief Malgorzata Tomczak. We can read diversity in a city through many prisms. In the case of biodiversity, the best example is who we plant trees for. How often do we exploit nature for our own needs without considering its needs. Speakers discussed what a „Copernican Revolution in thinking about nature” should be.

In addition to greenery, an important point of discussion was who builds the city? Is it residents, developers or officials? Given the lack of a clear answer, it is worth considering what elements positively influence the development of the city. Today it's transparency, education and collaboration on city documents, as well as networking of city institutions.

Sesja: DiverCITY. Dlaczego tak bardzo potrzebujemy różnorodności w miastach?

Session: DiverCITY. Why do we need diversity in cities so much?— from left: Małgorzata Tomczak, Bartłomiej Kisielewski, Wojciech Januszczyk, Baeata Szulgowska-Burzyńska, Justyna Glusman

Photo: Nikolai Zakharov © Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress

in search of strategic imagination

The congress ended with Professor Jerzy Hausner— OEES program director. The professor stressed the necessity in the energy transition process to focus not on issues of supply, but of demand, taking into account increasing the productivity of energy use and reducing energy intensity.

Hausner also pointed out that in order to implement a regenerative approach, what we need most is a strategic imagination to see how differentiated the development process is.

profesor Jerzy Hausner zamykający kongres

Professor Jerzy Hausner closing the congress

Photo: Nikolai Zakharov © Energy Regeneration of Cities Congress


All sessions and speeches from the Third Congress will soon be available on the YT channel of Energetic Regeneration of Cities.

Architecture and Business was the main media partner of the Congress, and as a side event we also organized the Festival of Open Architecture Studios. The last day of FOPY is ahead of us, tomorrow at 13:00 the Landscapesoffice led by Wojciech Januszczyk will open its doors. You are welcome!

We would like to remind you that the latest June issue of Architecture & Business is all about Energetic Urban Regeneration.

Wiktor Bochenek

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