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Is this the end of the era of office buildings and big commerce? The fate of Grunwaldzka Avenue, the main artery of Gdańsk, is at stake

26 of September '23

Should residential housing be built instead of more office buildings in the Grunwaldzka Avenue strip? Should higher and more intensive development be allowed, in line with investors' expectations? Gdańsk wants to answer these questions in the upcoming Grunwaldzka Avenue Belt Study. Workshops are being launched.

Gdańsk is taking the strip of Grunwaldzka Avenue, the city's main artery, under scrutiny, where there is the greatest concentration of urban services and commerce. This one of the most important areas has slipped in recent years. And one of the main problems is the office parks overwhelming the Oliwa and Przymorze districts, and the fact that the transportation infrastructure—despite the rapid development of the office function—has hardly changed at all.

the goal: a common vision

Now the future of the artery—from Oliwa to the Aniołki district—is to be redefined by the Grunwaldzka Avenue Strip Study. This is about the area which, according to registration data, is inhabited by 18.3 thousand residents (data from 2021). The work, conducted jointly by the Office of the City Architect and the Gdańsk Development Bureau, started last April.

- We would like to start consultations together with the Office of Development of Gdańsk and the Office of the City Architect, in which we will establish a single, common concept for the entire band. We don't want to deal with individual proposals separately, but to create a vision that will be consulted with the residents of Gdańsk," said Piotr Grzelak, deputy mayor of Gdańsk at the time.

One of the reasons for taking Grunwaldzka Avenue to the wallpaper is that investors have recently submitted as many as 13 applications to verify the parameters of development and land use (10 in Oliwa and three in Wrzeszcz). They concern increasing the height and intensity of development and introducing a residential function.

differentiate functions

- The strip of Grunwaldzka Avenue, where office and service functions have developed, can be supplemented with residential development. However, this will require the creation of new public spaces and green areas," says Prof. Piotr Lorens, Architect of the City of Gdańsk, in an interview with A&B.—Among investors, the trend away from building office buildings in favor of apartments began before the pandemic. Later, remote work has tylly reinforced this trend.

Importantly, directions for transformation and transportation layout will be defined, as well as recommendations for sidewalk and bicycle path connections.

Monday, September 23, marks the beginning of a series of workshops of residents and stakeholders from the various areas through which Grunwaldzka Avenue runs: Old Oliva and the area of the Academy of Physical Education and Sports, New Oliva, Lower Strzyża, Wrzeszcz Centrum, the Knowledge District (the area around the Gdańsk University of Technology and the Aniołki district, including the Gdańsk Medical University). Changes in the height, function and intensity of development of individual areas postulated by stakeholders will be discussed. The character of Grunwaldzka Avenue in particular sections will be defined. Detailed information about the consultations can be found on the Facebook profile of the Architect of the City of Gdańsk.

The master plan will be created by April next year

What's next.

- We plan that the Grunwaldzka Avenue Band Study will be ready by April 2024. It will be the basis for further decisions, including those related to planning changes and the design and shaping of infrastructure in the Grunwaldzka Avenue area. The proposals will be included in the master plan, which is expected to replace the Study of Conditions and Directions for Spatial Development. Until the work is completed, investors' applications and work on development plans for the area will remain on hold," announces Piotr Lorens.

Ewa Karendys

The vote has already been cast