Study visit of 17 representatives of the Leova municipal government in the Lublin region, planned as part of our project, took place on 8-11 November, 2022. The main objective of the visit was to show good practices developed as the part of the revitalization of Polish cities and communes, including raising awareness and the ability of the Leova municipal government to contribute and implement revitalization activities. In addict, we wanted to share Polish experiences and show participants those areas where revitalization was carried out. As the part of the intensive program of the study visit, on the first day (9 November, 2022), the participants visited a few institutions:
- Opole Lubelskie City Hall, where they met with Mayor Sławomir Plis and City Secretary Izabela Zarzycka. They got to know the general characteristics of the city and the goals which the city intends to achieve through the various stages of revitalization, as well as the institutional and legal basics of revitalization. The participants had the opportunity to see the current effects of the implementation of the Model revitalization program of Opole Lubelskie “Create change in your city” (both stage I, which ended with the reconstruction of the Old Market Square, and stage II, lasting until December 2022). A walk through the revitalized streets of the Old Market, a visit to the Activity Incubator, the Social Services Center, the Local Activity Center and the Small Market provided huge impressions on the group.
- Lublin City Hall. Revitalization experiences were shared by Roman Jaborkhel – Deputy Director for Programming International Cooperation and Promotion in the Office – Center for International Cooperation and Magdalena Uhlig – Head of the Revitalization Department in the Office of the Municipal Conservator of Monuments and Revitalization of the City of Lublin. There was a presentation of the diagnosis of the degraded areas requiring revitalization, the development of Revitalization Programs – both, diagnostic work and social consultations, the approach to the Model Revitalization of the City of Lublin, the Municipal Revitalization Program for Lublin for 2020-2029. Participants saw the modernized public space of the Downtown district (Śródmieście): Litewski Square (Plac Litewski), the playground, fountains, lighting, video surveillance and the hot spots, new public toilet, “small revitalization” examples, like the replaced and reconstructed gate at Lubartowska Street. There was a presentation of elements of building the brand of Lublin by maintaining the traditional image of Podzamcze and Lubartowska Street as a place of activity for small entrepreneurs (e.g. Onufry’s goat at the City Hall, implementation of the Concept of activities supporting entrepreneurship – replacement of signboards, changing the function of spaces at Lubartowska Street, “Green Training Room” of Downtown Lublin) .
- Marshal’s Office of the Lubelskie Voivodeship. The participants were welcomed by the Deputy Marshal of the Lubelskie Voivodship – Zbigniew Wojciechowski and the Director of the Department of Strategy and Development – Bogdan Kawałko, the Director of the Department of Management of the Regional Operational Program – Anna Brzyska, the Deputy Director of the Marshal’s Office – Izabela Szczęsna-Kowalczyk. During the meeting, the role of public administration in the development and implementation of revitalization programs was emphasized – from the local to the state level, the role of EU programs in financing the revitalization programs, the importance of social participation in the transformation of public space. The Deputy Marshal of the Lubelskie Voivodeship conveyed congratulations on Moldova’s EU candidate status. The presentation of prof. Bogdan Kawałko on “Revitalization in the Strategic Programming System – the Context of the Lubelskie Voivodeship” – a systemic approach at the European, national, regional and local levels. Participants were given the publication “Development Strategy for the Lubelskie Voivodeship until 2030. Synthesis” prepared by the Department of Strategy and Development of the Marshal’s Office of the Lubelskie Voivodeship (both in Polish and English).
- The mail office of the project partner – the Institute of Political Science and Administration of the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. A meeting with the Director of the Institute, prof. dr hab. Marek Pietraś and the Deputy Director of the Institute and the Director of the Center for Eastern Europe UMCS prof. dr hab. Walenty Baluk. The director of the Institute presented the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University as a participant in the socio-economic processes of the city and practical activities within the framework of cooperation between the academic community and the environment. He presented the international activities of the Institute of Political Science and Administration at UMCS: the involvement of foreign students, external funds obtained, the development of the potential of education in English at all levels of education. He provided the information about the study opportunities for the students from Moldova. This was followed by Prof. dr hab. Walenty Baluk’s lecture on Moldova’s path to the European Community.
On the second day of the study visit (10 November 2022), the group had the opportunity to see the effects of revitalization programs implemented by:
- Łęczna Town Hall. The participants met with the Mayor of the City Leszek Włodarski and the employees of the Department of Investment and Development of the Community – Edyta Profic and Adam Tarka. There was a presentation of the Łęczna community, the characteristic facilities of the community, among them, the Bogdanka mine, Burn Hospital and the Stadium in Łęczna, as well as the commune’s revitalization programs. Then, it was a walk around the revitalized Small Market Square (reconstruction of the square, the power grid, the sidewalks, the small architecture objects, construction of parking lots, planting greenery, construction of 2 fountains) and Large Market Square (thermomodernization of 5 buildings, monitoring, the reconstruction of the communication and construction of parking spaces, the change of surface and sidewalks, planting greenery, lighting, municipal buildings at Kościuszko Square put into use for 12 families). In the pouring rain, the participants also visited the revitalized Podzamcze Park (they visited the Observation Tower and the grange). The Mayor also talked about the granary, adapted to the needs of the disabled people and rebuilt into the Environmental Nursing Home in the revitalized Podzamcze manor and park complex (as the example of the soft revitalization projects).
- Lubartów Town Hall. The Mayor of the City, Krzysztof Paśnik, and the Head of the Department of Development Strategy and External Funds of the Lubartów City Hall – Piotr Turowski, presented the city and community of Lubartów as well as its development potential, e.g. The Sanguszko Palace, the Baroque Church of St. Anna, Kozłowiecki Landscape Park, as well as the program basis of the Model of Revitalization of the Town and Community of Lubartów (and its implementation stages). Attention was paid to cooperation with the local environment on the example of a revitalized nursery run by the private entrepreneur. Participants visited the revitalized center of the City – Market Square (underground and above-ground revitalization), Tourist Information Point, Lubartów Cultural Center (change of function of the former market hall). However, the greatest satisfaction was a walk through the revitalized Municipal Park in Lubartów (the Park as a showcase of the revitalization carried out).
- Town Hall of Kamionka. The meeting with the Mayor of the Kamionka City, Karol Ługowski, the Deputy Mayor – Grzegorz Szymanek, the President of the City Council – Ewa Grymuza, the Treasurer of the Municipality – Jolanta Szymanek and the employees of the municipality took place in the revitalized Municipal Public Library of Józef Ignacy Kraszewski in Kamionka. There was the presentation of the results of the first stage of revitalization – renovation of the facade of the building of the community office and the central square (water and sewage works, thermal modernization, playground equipment, new benches and litter bins, fountain, cobblestone and grassy alleys), the construction of the local government kindergarten in Kamionka, the revitalization of the building of the Volunteer Fire Brigade. The Mayor of Kamionka also presented the examples of the local community’s activity in the field of changes in the public space, e.g. Local Fishing Group “In Tyśmienica i Wieprz Valley”, Housewives’ Association. He shared the plans for the largest ongoing revitalization project – the stadium in Kamionka. The participants were given the book edited by Mariusz Wiktor Sienkiewicz and Stanisław Michałowski, “The town and community of Kamionka: through history towards the present day”, Lublin 2021. The participants visited the Church of Peter and Paul the Apostles and the Weysenhoff Tomb Chapel.
- The “icing on the cake” was visiting the revitalized Zamoyski Palace in Kozlovka, which made a great impression on the participants.
We would like to thank our partners who supported our project:
- City Hall of Opole Lubelskie
- Lublin City Hall
- Marshal’s Office of the Lubelskie Voivodeship
- Maria Curie-Sklodowska University
- Łęczna Town Hall
- Lubartów Town Hall
- Town Hall of Kamionka
- The Zamoyski Palace in Kozlovka