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How do we win the war against parcel-carrying? The first battle in Sopot

Marta Kowalska
15 of April '21

With the arrival of the pandemic, Poland was flooded with parcel machines. Convenient and streamlining courier services, indirectly reducing the kilometers traveled by the providers of our packages.... But nevertheless, their proliferating daily number across the country has gotten out of hand. The wave of parcel machines is not receding, and the more sensitive to beauty residents have noticed that their questionable aesthetics do not always fit into the urban landscape.

parcel machine walls around every corner

Polish media circulated photographs of the most absurdly placed parcel machine walls. Right after concretosis, pastelosis, kilometers of unnecessary fences, parcel machines have joined the infamous group of blemishes on the Polish urban landscape. But the tide of parcel-martialism is not receding. Why? The pluses brought by the proximity of a parcel machine are still many. Even the biggest opponents of yellow panels around every corner, more than once breathed a sigh of relief when they could pick up their parcel at any time, without contact with the courier. On the side of so-called environmental friendliness, parcel machines also defend themselves. But it's still not enough for us to love them with unconditional love.

The first battle: Sopot

How to fight against parcel machines? Approach one. The simplest is liquidation. And so the war began in Sopot. In several districts of the city, the devices unexpectedly disappeared. The devices, owned by InPost, stood in the Mickiewicz and Brodwin housing estates, among others. They disappeared from the urban landscape probably at the beginning of the week. The topic caused a storm in social media. The portal trójmiasto.pl quotes the voices of the most outraged residents. "Shame, so much for the topic. A parcel machine disturbed someone in such an ugly and out-of-the-way place of the housing estate. The councilors could have acted on this issue, because voters will remember," - Mr. Marcin wrote, "Massacre. A thing that realistically serves and helps people these days. It doesn't disturb anyone, doesn't destroy anything. It helps, people. Helps!!! In these foolish times!" - Mr. Bartek added.

The package stores, which were set up without the required permits, were removed. This was decided solely by the operator, because it was simpler to liquidate than to legalize," explained Deputy Mayor of Sopot, Marcin Skwierawski.

Illegally unsightly devices

This does not mean, however, that parcel machines cannot find their way back into urban spaces. They must, however, meet the standards of the conservationist, who, in the case of the resort, cares about the aesthetics of the landscape.

Parcel boxes could and will continue to stand in Sopot. However, their locations must be agreed and in accordance with the law.The procedure is simple: you must apply to the municipal conservator of monuments for a decision, you must have the right to dispose of the land, and then report the works to the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning. Everything is taken care of "on the spot". - explains Izabela Heidrich, spokeswoman for the Sopot municipality.
The conservator has no comments, as long as the device meets the basic requirements: it must be aesthetically pleasing, without advertisements, white or white-gray in color, with good access, and positioned in such a way that receiving parcels does not disturb anyone, the spokeswoman adds.

Sopot has pointed out to InPost several legal locations where parcel machines can stand without obstruction.

parcel machine lawlessness

They didn't like the fact that they spoil the look of the surroundings and impede access. And now they're shunning the conservationist," responds the inspector of the district building supervision in an interview with a journalist from trójmiasto.pl.

Initially, parcel machines stood only at discount stores. Everything changed when the amended construction law of September 2020 allowed the devices to be placed without any approval. If a parcel machine does not exceed three meters in height, it is not necessary to notify the authority of the intention to erect it or obtain a building permit.

decommissioning does not mean winning the war

We will not take a backward step, we need parcel machines. So what are the other solutions? Will the Art inPost contest, which aims to turn the devices into urban works of art, involving artists give parcel machines a chance to save their image?

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The vote has already been cast

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