Governing Social Diversity in Warsaw
Problems & Prospects

Abstracts from the Governing Social Diversity conference are available below with links to PDF presentations where available. The conference took place in Warsaw 14-15 May 2015.
Social diversity – a challenge for the city. The importance of the DIVERCITIES project

Ewa Korcelli-Olejniczak, Institute Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

The issue of ‘diversity’ corresponds with contemporary European discourse on the development of cities and regions, becoming one of the most attractive concepts characterizing socio-spatial structures. Diversity is an important feature of present-day metropolises. Its intensification is not only inspired by emigration to and mobility within the EU, but simultaneously the phenomenon is becoming increasingly complex due to the intricacy and changeability of individual identities.

For the purposes of the 7PR EU DIVERCITIES project we use the term ‘hyper-diversity’ (Tasan-Kok et al. 2013) to discuss intensive population diversity of the socio-economic, social and ethnic kind, considering the viewpoint of lifestyles, values and activities undertaken. Hyper-diversity involves the weakening relation between social class membership and work, and economic status and education level. Compared to other concepts, hyper-diversity delves deeper into the issues of socioeconomic, socio-demographic, ethnic and cultural diversity.

The importance of the DIVERCITIES project stems from the original character of the concept discussed above, its adequacy for examining the social structure of cities and its impact on the mobility and social cohesion of residents and the growth of entrepreneurship. Research conducted in 13 European cities and Toronto made it possible to analyse the phenomenon in a comparative approach, taking into consideration local specificity.

The conference aims at tackling some of the research questions of the project, especially from the perspective of governance and policy in Warsaw:

– To what degree is the social diversity policy of Warsaw and other cities essentially declarative and to what degree is it based on concrete activities?
– What are the main activity fields of the diversity policy?
– Who are the main voices and what standpoints do they represent?
– What is the role of social movements, residents and local businessmen?
– What are good-practice examples from other European cities and what can be learnt?

How can social diversity be governed in Warsaw so as to reinforce social (and spatial) cohesion, and support social mobility and entrepreneurial culture?

On the second day of the conference we take a closer look at Praga Północ district, the Warsaw DIVERCITIES case study area. By analysing the local role of the Integrated Revitalisation Programme, the experiences of residents and the opinions of local politicians, social activists and experts, the future of Praga Północ as a socially diverse district is discussed.

Mechanisms shaping social differences and diversity in the space of Polish cities

Grzegorz Węcławowicz, Institute Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

Starting from the genesis of socio-spatial differentiation of Polish cities, the paper presented addresses the concept of classification of mechanisms at different levels of generality. The mechanisms discussed are ordered hierarchically: from ideological level mechanisms through to economic mechanisms; the quality of living conditions; and social behavior to changing cultural values. The hierarchies and processes with their associated conceptual systems are assigned to the accepted general levels of explanation.

The empirical database referred to here derives mainly from a research project, carried out in IGSO PAS on “Mechanisms for transformation of cities and metropolitan areas in Poland and Central Europe”. An attempt was made at a synthesis of other studies in sociology and the social geography of cities.

The basic mechanism which shapes the nature of socio-spatial differentiation in cities is the ideological vision of society imposed (Ex. Post-World War II Poland and other Central European countries followed the vision of a socialist society). On the lower level of generality of explanation, i.e. the economic background, the process of industrialisation was subordinate to ideology and became a major force in shaping the new division of labor, generating new social and spatial structure.

The neo-liberal doctrine, voluntarily adopted after 1989, undoubtedly has an ideological character, analogous to processes described within concepts of globalisation, and European integration. At the economic level, de-industrialisation, privatisation and better access to the global economy have generated radical economic and social changes. These changes, recorded and studied in social sciences and spatial economy at the level of everyday living conditions and social behavior, have their origin in the higher levels of explanation.

In this context, the results of empirical research conducted within the DIVERCITIES project concerning the dimensions of diversity in European cities will be used to formulate generalisations on a higher level of conceptual explanation.

Diversity as a component of national urban policy

Magda Zagrzejewska, Ministry of Regional Development

According to the 2013 data of the Central Statistical Office, 72 – 77% of city residents expressed satisfaction with their life (the largest percentage being in the biggest cities). At the same time, the percentage of people reporting wellbeing amounts to approximately 12% in cities with more than 500,000 residents to about 15% in those with fewer than 100,000 residents. The term “quality of life” indicates satisfaction with life, including psychological wellbeing and experienced emotional states. What influences the quality of life and its positive assessment? Crucial factors include: safety; good access to high-quality public services; labour market; housing; offer of free time activities; natural environment; public transit; and attractive public spaces etc.

In other words, the way cities are developed and transformed should encourage interaction and integration with the city, the establishment of social relations, and the support of openness to other residents regardless of background. The creation of a friendly diverse city denotes an indisputably richer offer of meetings and the interweavement of various groups of users and different lifestyles; consequently, it opens residents towards other people and counteracts the feelings of estrangement, alienation and lack of community bonds, etc. (typical for large cities of the turn of the twentieth century).

Cities that place their residents in the centre are often described as “liveable”. This quality must be experienced by all groups of city users, not only permanent residents, but also people working in the city, business visitors and tourists. It should not be reduced to just the needs of families with young children, seniors and the disabled.

It is of key importance to shape cities in a manner that would simultaneously answer the needs of various users of urban space and prevent spatial conflicts between them, for example, by designating cultural and entertainment hubs without late-night curfews and developing spaces enabling various free time activities and the integration of residents, as well as of foreigners with local communities.

Every Day Matters: Rethinking Public Policy for a Diverse Society

Allan Cochrane, Open University London

The European experience of migration, multiculture and diversity over recent decades has undermined old certainties about shared national cultures and even national identities. In the English context, as the 2011 Census made clear, the population became increasingly ethnically diverse between 1991 and 2011.  Mixed ethnicity households and populations significantly increased and the shared experience of diversity went far beyond the traditional urban centres, finding an expression in suburban and rural areas, while in some urban areas it became possible to talk of super-diversity.

The public, political and policy discourses that have emerged in this context have been uncertain and contested. They often seem to have been shaped by crisis talk expressed in terms of ‘white flight’, ‘multicultural failure’, segregation and parallel lives, securitization, border controls and the prevention of extremism. Yet this term is sometimes entangled in a cohesion policy world, with light-touch integration expectations, narratives of inclusive nationhood and equal opportunities legislation.

Here (drawing on evidence from an ESRC funded project on Living Multiculture) it will be argued that it is necessary to move beyond those framings to look at how people live and negotiate their day-to-day lives together in the context of multiculture as a, more or less taken for granted, lived experience. The focus is on the realm of the ordinary and the minor interactions in which people engage as they encounter difference, share social goods and interact with complexly different populations. While recognizing racisms, conflict and exclusionary experiences, there is also a counter-narrative in which complex populations ‘get by’ and develop the skills, competencies and resilience which make multiculture possible. In this context, the political and policy challenge may be to explore ways of providing spaces within which day-to-day negotiation can, first, take place and, second, be facilitated at a time of austerity and policy strain.

Presentation PDF

Diversity and social policy – programs, activities, experiences

Tomasz Pactwa, Warsaw City Council

The city is a heterogeneous organism, from both a spatial and social perspective. The professional management of a city must acknowledge the changeability of its functional space and the individual needs of its residents. Nowadays cities are facing the challenge of satisfying social needs on an increasingly individual level; with numerous data at their disposal, decision makers have to first process the data and then apply findings in order to provide social services at a higher, more effective level.

‘The map of the accumulation of social problems affecting children in Warsaw’ is an example of the discussed approach. The analysis involved six indexes from actual data compiled by a few dozen city institutions. The following indexes were taken into consideration:

– Number of families affected by helplessness in protective and educational issues
– Number of children living in families supported by Social Welfare Centres
– Number of children living in families where domestic violence calls were recorded (the Blue Card procedure)
– Number of care orders given out
– Number of people aged 5-18 for which family benefits are awarded
– Number of people entitled to Alimony Fund benefits

Each of the indexes mentioned above was assigned the same significance, with brackets taking into consideration the distribution of index value in four equal ranges. The cumulated index value was presented on the map of Warsaw in the form of geocoded hexagons, with each side representing 50 metres. The outcome of the discussed works was presented to members of a non-governmental organisation and then subjected to broad consultations.

This approach made it possible to limit the areas affected by particular accumulations of social issues and thus became a foundation for interventions and the planning of preventive undertakings in Warsaw. At the same time, numerous workshops and consultation meetings with representatives of non-governmental organizations and employers of public institutions were applied to develop the concept of “Stonoga”, Local Support Systems and a way to measure the effectiveness of provided support. It was launched in 2013 and continues to develop to this day. At present, the programme involves a few dozen non-governmental organisations improving the lives of more than 3,000 children. A similar approach was implemented when planning day care centres aimed at children under three in the ongoing programme aimed at creating a network of nurseries, with new investments based on the actual residency of children aged 0-3.

Diversity as a component of Warsaw’s urban policy

Karolina Malczyk, Office of City of Warsaw

The aim is to make Warsaw a city open to all people, their competences, knowledge and individualism, capable of taking advantage of the richness of diversity represented by its residents, women and men. Openness to the policy of diversity and related European practices is mainly connected with adopting the concept of Warsaw’s development as a metropolis, discussed in the city’s key strategic documents: Development Strategy of Warsaw until 2020 and Social Strategy of Warsaw for 2008-2020, along with operational programmes. The tasks of the Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Warsaw for equal treatment, the first such office in local government structures, includes initiatives expected to counteract discrimination and the promotion of equal treatment.

The partnership of diverse social groups distinguished by different competencies, disparate outlooks and development prospects, creates an opportunity to take advantage of the benefits generated by the discussed differences:

– Warsaw Activity Programme for the Disabled developed in cooperation with representatives (women and men) of the disabled community. It introduces solutions that can be helpful for everyone, including parents with buggies, the sick and senior residents
– Diverse minority groups generate a demand for new types of goods and services. They also supplement the labour market, which features a growing number of companies employing foreigners. Inspirator Równościowy (Equality Handbook) and the ”anti-discrimination clause” in lease agreements between the city and lessees involved in the provision of services are also noteworthy
– kindergartens and schools attended by children of foreigners develop new work methods based on multicultural projects and educational activities dedicated to the acceptance of otherness. Moreover, they counteract all symptoms of racism and xenophobia following the assumptions of the Education Policy of Warsaw for 2013-2020
– by manifesting their identity in art, ethnicity and religion, cultural minorities enrich the cultural landscape of the city. The Culture Development Programme includes the creation of meeting places and projects reinforcing the creative activity of diverse minority communities. The recently established Warsaw Multicultural Centre manifests a comprehensive approach to foreigners, multiculturalism and integration

The Social Dialogue Committee for Foreigners and the Social Dialogue Committee for Equal Treatment operate as part of the Cooperation Programme of the Capital City of Warsaw and NGOs, acting as platforms of collaboration and bodies focusing on putting forward initiatives and providing counselling.

Spatial planning and the equality of social opportunities

Krzysztof Herbst, Marcin Świetlik, Society of Polish Town Planners, Warsaw unit

The paper will use the example of Warsaw to discuss the impact of spatial planning on the equality of social opportunities. In Poland diversity-related challenges continue to have little intensity and assume relatively gentle shapes. From the viewpoint of a city, diversity is a phenomenon – or a constitutive feature. Multiplicity, variety and intensity are perceived as the synonyms of freedom, opportunities offered to individuals and collective dynamics (creativity). The archetype of a city combines a sense of community and of being distinct.

Spatial planning can act as a tool supporting the reduction of inequality, segregation and social polarization. This particularly concerns the disproportion of access to economic resources and basic services, but also in fulfilling housing needs, the state of the environment and transportation. Development of a strategic spatial planning document covering a given city/district (Study of conditions and directions of spatial planning) should identify the disproportions and suggest what essential activities are expected to reduce them. On the other hand, spatial planning itself does not guarantee the implementation of crucial venues. The allocation of resources, indispensable for their execution, is included in the process shaping the social-economic development policy of a city/district (the development strategy).

The 1990s introduced a change in the methods of governing the city along with reprivatisation and economic transformation that altered the main players involved in the battle for urban space. The development of a postmodern city – synonymous with new economic qualities and new or transformed social life forms – poses unprecedented challenges to city politicians. Noteworthy trends include the increase of mobility: migration scope; travelled distances; and range of motives. Brand new city subcultures emerge alongside recent solidarity codes. The city is becoming (once again or increasingly often) an arena centred on self- expression. Our paper presents an attempt at discussing the issues mentioned above.

Diversity management as a field of corporate social responsibility

Ewa Leśnowolska, Responsible Business Forum 

Through diversity management employers recognise the differences between people, and with full awareness, regard them as a potential source of the growth of an entire organisation. Part of corporate strategy is based on respect for diverse employees (women and men) and the development of a friendly work environment. What is more, diversity management corresponds with the concept of corporate social responsibility, as demonstrated by the ISO 26000 standard. Among its seven core subjects as many as two discuss diversity-related issues.

Although the idea of diversity management was originally introduced back in the 1960s, only 40 years later did it become popular in Poland (mainly due to the Gender Index project implemented at the time). Although it is still not widely known among Polish employers, it is nevertheless increasingly prominent. Diversity management is most frequent in corporations, handed down from foreign parent companies. In these cases, it is often included in the social responsibility strategy of a given company and highly recognizable among employees. However, it is worth keeping in mind that the discussed concept should not be limited to the sector of large employers. The Diversity Charter recommends proven ways of successfully implementing diversity management regardless of the sector, industry and size of an organisation.

The Diversity Charter is an international initiative promoted by the European Commission and present in 14 EU member states. As a written commitment it is signed by organisations declaring their intent to introduce the policy of equal treatment and diversity management, as well as to actively counteract workplace discrimination and mobbing. The Polish edition of the Diversity Charter was established in 2012 as the result of meetings between representatives of many sectors, with the Responsible Business Forum acting as its coordinator. So far the Diversity Charter has been signed by more than 7,000 entities in Europe, including more than 100 employers in Poland.

All the signatory companies recognise the measurable benefits stemming from diversity management – both of the business and social kind. Through their activity, whether employing groups underrepresented on the labour market, raising staff awareness in the field of diversity, working out equal treatment policies and procedures or developing programmes supporting all people regardless of their age, gender and work experience, they contribute to better business performance, but also to social equality and cohesion. The paper will discuss examples of companies successful in the field of diversity management.

Living in Deprived, Diverse and Dynamic Urban Neighbourhoods: A Problem?

Ronald van Kempen, Professor of Urban Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

There is a plethora of research on deprived urban neighbourhoods. Many urban researchers have indicated that living in such areas comes with a lot of problems, such as low-quality housing, a lack of employment and good schools, unemployment, the presence of criminal activities, racism, lack of transport facilities, unhealthy environments, etc. Living in such areas may lead to negative social outcomes, such as low social cohesion and diminished chances for social mobility. Many of such deprived urban neighbourhoods also show a large mix of population groups and lifestyles, some­times living together in a friendly way, but in many cases also having parallel lives or living in more or less open conflict which other.

These negative accounts of (living in) deprived urban neighbourhoods are not the whole story, however. First, it has become increasingly clear from the literature that the negative influences of living in a deprived area may not be so big, because other factors than neighbourhood characteristics may be far more important: strong personalities may act as a significant barrier to negative influences of a neighbourhood. Second, recent research indicates that residents of deprived neighbourhoods themselves do see many advantages of living in such areas. Although I am aware of the possible negative influences a deprived neighbourhood might have on its residents, I will make clear in this presentation that living in such a neighbourhood should definitely not only be associated with problems.

Presentation PDF

Paris: How to govern diversity through housing policies?

Christine Lelévrier, Professor, Paris School of Urban planning, University Paris-Est

In France, housing and area-based policies deal more or less explicitly with differences and inequalities and aim at promoting diversity and equality between citizens or neighbourhoods. Tenure diversification (demolition of social housing, construction of private homeownership) has been understood as a major tool to foster social diversity in disadvantaged neighbourhoods (Blanc 2010, Lelévrier 2013). However, in Paris, the real challenge of governing diversity is to maintain affordable housing and to improve the daily life, social and housing conditions of the poorest while keeping them in the city. We will focus on two different housing strategies implemented in two different and socially contrasted parts of the city. These strategies involve on the one hand local initiatives from an NGO’s (Kaps initiative) and on the other hand, an arrangement of national and city-level housing stakeholders (social housing in private buildings of the southern part).

Urban Diversity in Zurich – Governing Local Integration in a Federal State

Dr. Walter Schenkel and Dr. Larissa Plüss, synergo GmbH in Zurich

The Swiss integration policy is a very good example of the functioning of federal structures and the application of the subsidiarity principle. Among the governmental bodies, the cantons are the key actors in this policy field, but the confederation influences the implementation by establishing and shaping incentive structures to foster the diffusion of ‘best practices’ and to advance a stronger harmonisation of cantonal legislations. The cantons act as intermediaries between the confederation and the communes where the concrete integration measures are implemented. Due to the extensive autonomy at the local level, the municipalities possess a wide scope of action regarding their integration objectives. On the other hand, NGOs such as relief or aid organisations and other smaller non-governmental initiatives have always been highly involved in the development and implementation of integration measures and instruments. The main advantages of these smaller, private initiatives are as follows: First, they are able to generate high voluntary engagement, second, their organisation structure is characterised by strong flexibility, flat hierarchies, and consensual decision-making, and third, due to their local base and their proximity to the target groups, they are oriented towards the actual needs of certain population groups and use tailor-made solutions. So, smaller, private approaches embrace the complexity of local conditions, individual requirements and societal problems in a manner that public authorities and policies are not able or restricted to do. The implementation of integration measures in Switzerland is therefore rarely directly provided by government agencies, but mostly carried out by NGOs – steered by means of performance related mandates and funding of projects and institutions.

Presentation PDF

Governing urban diversity: lessons from urban policy and local governance arrangements in Rotterdam

Anouk Tersteeg, Gideon Bolt and Ronald van Kempen, Utrecht University

Contemporary Western cities are increasingly diverse in terms of ethnicity and income, but also in terms of lifestyles, attitudes and activities people undertake. Also within ethnic and income groups, people increasingly differ with respect to the way they lead their lives. Dealing with such diversities is a major challenge for urban policies and local initiatives aimed at improving the lives of such groups. Not taking care of these differences may lead to policy failure. Dealing with diversity is crucial. In a time in which urban policies increasingly develop into neo-liberal discourses and regard economic issues more important than all kinds of social aspects, it might become very difficult to formulate policies that adequately deal with urban diversities. This paper shows that in the City of Rotterdam, one of the largest and most diverse cities in the Netherlands, urban policies indeed are not very much dealing with diversity, let alone focused on the possible positive aspects of diversity. Mainly focused on economic issues and an assimilationist discourse, we contend that some chances are missed. When looking at neighbourhood-based initiatives, we see a much better focus on diversity. Our final conclusion is that small localised initiatives may give good clues for policies at higher spatial levels on how to deal with diversity and how to improve the lives of a diverse set of people.

Presentation PDF

Planning for Hyper-diversity in a Global City: The Politics of Diversity in London

Mike Raco, Claire Colomb, and Jamie Kesten, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

Abstract PDF

Targeting Diversity in Leipzig- Structural Conditions of Work and Institutional Backgrounds

Katharina Kullmann, Annegret Haase, Katrin Grossmann, Maria Budnik and Christoph Hedtke, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

Like many European cities Leipzig is experiencing a growing diversification of its urban society in both horizontal differences (e.g. ethnic or cultural diversification, age, lifestyle) as well as in the vertical axis of social inequality. This presentation sets out to explore the structural conditions determining the work of local actors as an example of how diversity related policies are implemented. At the local level, a variety of governance arrangements – be they initiatives, institutions, or networks – aims at tackling challenges arising from growing social diversity. Such arrangements organise their work in different ways, ranging from volunteer-based civic groups to quasi-institutionalised organisations, from temporal networks to strategic long-term alliances. Most of them, however, organise their work in a time-limited project-like manner with third-party funded arrangements. This creates a specific working environment, in which the relation to funding bodies becomes influential to their work.

By analysing these structural conditions of work aspects, success and failure can be identified. Special attention will be set on chances, challenges and tensions arising from the underlying governance structure. Questions include:

How is diversity conceptualised by the arrangements and Leipzig’s municipality?

Which structures of support for local actors do exist in Leipzig?

What strategies do initiatives use to sustain themselves?

What further conclusions can be drawn?

The presentation will consist of research findings from the DIVERCITIES project. Empirical data consists of interviews conducted in 2014 focussing on working conditions within local governance arrangements in relation to success and failure.

Rethinking the impacts of Neo-liberal urban policies and practices on diverse neighborhoods: The case of Tarlabaşı, İstanbul

Özge Yersen, Nazda Güngőrdu, Ismal Demirdağ, Middle East Technical University

In the face of the contemporary world, new challenges and complexities driven by globalization, urban policies and practices often lead to social and economic inequalities, social polarization and spatial segregation. This may severely affect social relations, increase social tensions and lead to fewer opportunities for individuals and groups. Policy-makers and urban planners, in theory, develop policies and practices by taking these changes into consideration. However, theory may not coincide with practice in many urban experiences, as in the case of Tarlabaşı.

Istanbul has been subjected to a restructuring process post the 1980s with neoliberal policies put into practice with an urban transformation agenda. As part of this wider restructuring project, the Tarlabaşı renewal process was initiated in the 2000s signifying mass demolition of historical buildings and a gentrification process. Major infrastructure and urban renewal projects in the area have neglected the changing social fabric of the neighbourhood resulting from various migration flows, interactions between diverse groups, and relations with surrounding neighbourhoods. The area was already affected from earlier political events that harmed the diverse character of the neighbourhood, which was through a range of radical planning interventions has become a deprived district. Vulnerable groups suffered further exclusion, poverty and were exempt from social and economic protection mechanisms.

The aim of this study is to put forward how neo-liberal, ambitious urban policies and planning experiences have negatively affected the nature and diversity of the Tarlabaşı neighbourhood. Part one explains the diverse population structure of Tarlabaşı given the concentration of different groups in different periods in a cause-effect relationship, while part two examines the neoliberal urban policies and practices after the 1980s. It refers to their physical and social impacts on the neighborhood. The final part discusses the negative impacts of these policies and interventions on diversity in the neighbourhood referring to social fundamentals: equality, inclusion and cohesion.

Integrated Revitalisation Programme of the capital city of Warsaw till 2022

Michał Olszewski, Office of City of Warsaw

The Integrated Revitalisation Programme of the capital city of Warsaw for the years 2014-2022 continues undertakings discussed in the Local Revitalisation Programme of the capital for the years 2005-2013 and directly refers to the Development Strategy for Warsaw.

The main aim of the programme is to revive, stimulate and include the presently diagnosed crisis areas of Warsaw. The programme is implemented through four operational objectives:

1. Socio-economic revival, raising the quality of public space and improving the natural environment in accordance with the requirements of the low-carbon economy

2. Development of sports, tourism and culture based on local identity and cultural heritage resources

3. Preventing and counteracting social exclusion, increasing the safety of inhabitants

4. Increasing the activity of residents and their participation in various areas of the city’s operations.

The programme’s development took into account the following rules: an integrated approach and coordination with other politicians active in the city; a long time view up to 2022; a wide range of intervention outside the scope of the activity of city units; focus on tasks and actions in the main crisis areas; goal orientation and implementation of a small number of intertwined and complementing goals; and a participatory approach inviting of a wide range of entities into co-creating the programme. In addition, the rule of permanent and sustainable development was also observed.

A key aspect of developing the Intergrated Revitalisation Programme was the process of broad social consultations conducted by non-governmental organisations, who were also involved in workshops attended by local residents, invited experts and city activists.

Revitalisation programs in Praga – evaluation and prospects

Julitta Grocholska, Paulina Sikorska, Society of Polish Town Planners, Warsaw unit

The Praga Północ district in Warsaw strongly defines the identity and roots of the city. Quintessentially Warsaw, it stands for everything that is distinct and unusual about the city. At the same time, it is also one of Warsaw’s most rundown areas, which became unattractive both from a social and investment perspective. Over the years Praga witnessed an accumulation of problems, which is precisely why its revitalisation poses an enormous challenge for city authorities and all local residents. Earlier rejuvenation activity failed to bring the anticipated and essential changes in any of the key fields: social, spatial or economic. A diagnosis of the prevalent state of things called for a more systematic approach, to a large degree made possible by the inflow of EU funding. The first section of the speech will review the approach towards revitalisation in Warsaw and heretofore experiences with particular emphasis placed on Praga Północ. The Local Simplified Revitalisation Programme of the capital city of Warsaw for the years 2005-2013 was the first document of Warsaw’s revitalisation policy and was adopted by a resolution of the City Council in January 2005 intended to define and identify revitalisation needs. Praga Północ was among the pilot areas. Local Revitalisation Programme was a successive document based on gained experience and adopted by a resolution of the Warsaw City Council of 8 May 2007 (subsequently amended by a resolution of 27 November 2008). Acting as the capital’s revitalisation strategy it was implemented by 18 District Revitalisation Micro-Programmes, which covered a diagnosis of the crisis areas and the suggested types of activity recommended for their revitalisation. Despite the efforts undertaken, they did not yield the expected results.

The new Integrated Revitalisation Programme for the capital city of Warsaw up to 2022 is currently in development and further elaborated from the 2013 programme. The new programme will intensify the previously conducted activities, which will now focus on a single section encompassing two zones: the downtown and residential areas located on the right bank of the Vistula (parts of Praga Północ, Praga Południe and Targówek). When working on the document, it is of crucial importance to involve and encourage Praga residents, genuine local patriots, to identify themselves with the undertaken initiatives aimed at improving the living conditions in their district. The second part of the speech will discuss a tool applied in the latest attempt at revitalising Praga: project workshops commissioned by the Capital City of Warsaw and conducted in 2014 by Stowarzyszenie Architektów Polskich (Association of Polish Architects) with the participation of Towarzystwo Urbanistów Polskich (Society of Polish Town Planners). The workshops in question became a platform for an exchange of views on issues facing Praga. Their outcome entails impressive research material and a number of concepts and premises – a bank of ideas and proposals aimed at transforming the district. Moreover, they are an excellent case study to be applied when developing and modifying the discussion on legal changes making it possible to prepare local spatial development plans in the revitalisation-appointed areas.

Diversity as a platform of cooperation between public, social and private actors

Karolina Malczyk, Office of City of Warsaw

The common part of sets A and B (hypothetical people or social groups with needs and potential) includes only those elements which belong to both sets. Diversity and the equalization of opportunities can be one of them. To accept diversity means to perceive the differentiating features of group representatives not in a negative way, but rather as capital of the society and its institutions, rendering it possible for everyone to make their own unique contribution to social development.

5 x Yes – based on the experiences of a Warsaw official:

– Brzeska Street Project. A teenager living in Brzeska Street (Praga Północ district) dreams about a playing field and a youth club (project involved: leader – Praga Północ District Office, the Aim High Association, Młoda Załoga, the young people and residents of Brzeska Street, the police, football player Ebi Smolarek, Provident Polska, Samsung)

Door policy or discrimination? Anti-discrimination clause in lease agreements with business owners involved in the provision of services in non-residential premises belonging to Warsaw City resources plus

Inspirator Równościowy (Equality Handbook) (project involved: leader – Warsaw City Council, Foundation of the Institute of Public Affairs, Association for Legal Intervention, Foundation for Social Diversity, Polish Society of Anti-Discrimination Law, Enklawa)

– Integration pays off – information campaign promoting the integration of immigrants in local communities and on the labour market (project involved: leader – Foundation for Somalia, ngo.pl, Responsible Business Forum, Warsaw Employment Help Centre, Warsaw Department for Foreigners, Collegium Civitas, infolink, Umbrella Marketing Group)

On Site — Acting Locally, revitalisation of the square by 3 Krochmalna Street in the Warsaw district of Wola (project involved: leader – On Site Foundation, Skanska, Wola District Office, residents of the Wola district with particular emphasis on the Za Żelazną Bramą housing estate)

– Bibliowskaz – a mobile system of book swapping, exhibitions, meetings and concerts (project involved: leader – Pracownia Design, Targówek District Office, Public Library of the Targówek district, Procter & Gamble)

The cooperation of public, social and private sectors for the sake of diversity calls for action to break down the barriers created by years of isolation in these sectors. Stereotypical perception of partners, as well as for working out the rules of partnership transparency. Good practice examples show that it is worth investing in the development of this cooperation and making sure that the discussed undertakings continue.

Social hyper-diversity in the Warsaw district of Praga as seen by local residents

Ewa Korcelli-Olejniczak, Adam Bierzyński and Filip Piotrowski. Institute Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

The goal of the paper is to present the results of the qualitative research conducted with a selected group of Praga Północ residents as part of the DIVERCITIES project. As a consequence of intensified internal migrations coupled with stratification processes and gentrification, population diversity in the historical pre-war part of Praga Północ is assuming unprecedented dimensions. This provides us with a unique opportunity to conduct research in an area undergoing an intensive process of institutional, social and partially spatial-infrastructural change.

The emerging picture presents a district that, as seen by its residents, is highly diverse, distinguished by a low level of social cohesion with a considerable diversity of informal institutions responsible for the functioning of neighbour groups. The presented results have been obtained on the basis of 50 in-depth interviews with local residents.

Conference OverviewConference ProgramEvent PageAll Abstracts as PDF