More and more residents want to have a real impact on the development not only of their neighborhood, but of the city as a whole. Until now, the main tool of "locals" has been the Civic Budget, thanks to which many ideas and real needs have been realized. UrbanLab not only facilitates this process, but additionally carries an educational value. The project is aimed at solving urban problems and local development.
UrbanLab is a modern form of public participation, combining the ideas of residents with the experience of experts. The project has gained great popularity in the world, and the module is used by leading European cities. Gdynia is one of the first two Polish cities to test the concept and adapt the formula to its needs. A free online catalog of good practices has been created to disseminate knowledge among citizens. The ebook tells about the most important areas of UrbanLab Gdynia's activities.
UrbanLab Gdynia is a project in which citizens and residents can improve their skills, competencies and implement ideas they come up with. It is an extremely important project and should be implemented not only in Gdynia, but also in other cities. Each of them faces challenges, and the current situation is perfected showing that local government officials and residents must work closely together for the common good. No solutions will help if we act alone. We believe in the wisdom of our residents, which is why we allow them to act and give them funds so that their ideas can be implemented ," says Michal Guć, Vice Mayor of Gdynia for Innovation.
Concerned for the safety and health of participants, Gdynia Mayor Wojciech Szczurek canceled the "Conscious Cities - Global Challenges, Local Solutions" conference scheduled for March. In parallel, however, an ebook was being created, in which projects and people involved in the development of UrbanLab were presented in a modern form. Due to the fact that the conference has been moved to the second half of 2020, the organizers decided not to wait and make the ebook available now. You can also download it by clicking here.
The idea for urban labs in Poland, and the subsequent development in the IRMiR of the concept according to which they are being piloted in Gdynia and Rzeszów, was born after identifying the lack of such instruments in Poland. Narzędzie, jakim jest urban lab, ma służyć rozwiązywaniu zidentyfikowanych problemów miejskich i indukowaniu rozwoju lokalnego dzięki połączeniu komplementarnych potencjałów – sektora publicznego (urząd miasta), z potencjałami sektora społecznego (mieszkańcy, NGO), prywatnego (biznes) i nauki (uczelnie wyższe, instytucje naukowe i edukacyjne) — zauważa Bartosz Piziak, przedstawiciel IRMiR (Instytutu Rozwoju Miast i Regionów).
We are proud that Gdynia can test the pilot formula of UrbanLab. We are checking which solutions work well, which should be improved, " says Aleksandra Markowska, director of the Social Innovation Laboratory. - So far we have introduced the Innovation Incubator and within it two projects: Urban Competence Program and Idea for the City, in addition, we launched UrbanCafe meetings and powered Gdynia's Open Data website. We set up a Strategy Group, consisting of city management experts, and Thematic Teams composed of local experts in a specific field. You can read about all these projects and future plans in our ebook. We encourage you to get to know our urban activists and, of course, to join the next editions of each program.
The ebook is a substitute for the talks and debates that were to take place during the conference. Due to a change in the situation, it is a prologue and encouragement to participate in the fall edition of the #becomingthecity conference. All information will be continuously added to the website and Facebook fanpage. Be online and #inGdynia!