Case Study

City, I’m back

Bringing life back to the heart of the district

What happened?

Stare Przedmieście, despite it’s proximity to the city centre, seems deserted and isolated. These actions put it at the centre of people’s attention. They were focused on building relationships and on bringing people together in a common space. To do this the heart of the district Plac Wałowy was opened up to these people. CCI created a temporary urban structure that can be used for meetings, workshops, sharing the history of the place, playing games, and imagining a better future. They were encouraging people to use the space and to connect with it, by thinking what they could do there and how the place could fulfil their needs and be filled with their ideas, emotions and activities.

  • Who can help?
  • City planning department
  • artists
  • local businesses
  • art academy
City, I’m back


One of the main challenges is the loss of local spirit in the district as it is visibly difficult for locals to find places in which to make the neighbourhood theirs. Many locals have no ties to the area other than through their work or residence. One could describe the district as a non-space. There is social diffusion, a lack of identity, and various barriers which cut the area off from the rest of the city.

There is a feeling of distrust towards the authorities as locals feel that communication and information dissemination is lacking. On top of this, the revitalisation programme is currently experiencing delays.

This project seeks to find a way for the place to live and thrive so the people living, working, and studying there feel warmth towards it and engage in it's future.

How? (tools & methods)

  • The first step was diving in the neighbourhood with mapping tools: mental maps which were drawn by inhabitants; maps of social connections in the district; and photowalks conducted by architecture students at Gdańsk University of Technology, describing the sensory urban landscape, cultural expression, interaction, hubs, meeting points, people, memory and history.
  • To formulate a common vision in the participatory process they organized workshops with stakeholders in the district that hepled to identify the emotions connected with the transformation process, common values, main actors, materials resources, places, and problems specific to the district.
  • The main event was a 3 days park meeting with over 20 different activities: walks, workshops, exhibitions, discussions about plans for changes, concerts thath brought together people of all ages and interests.

For whom?

  • The aim was to work both with the residents of Stare Przedmieście as well as with the people who work there and who are students there.
  • The project wants to build the connection between those young artists, officials, employees and the neighborhood where they spend their time.
  • How much time is needed?
  • 4 month of mapping 2 months of visioning 4 months of designing 4 months of implementing 3 days event

What should you be aware of?

When working in a place with weak connections inside the community and between residents and the place it can be very difficult to rise the spirit of collaboration. Curators: This has taught us that we need to go outside and meet the people where they live. It has shaped our plan for the activities we want to organize in the public space of the district.

What worked out?

Curators: "We need to show people the place we want to talk about. We need to build their interest in it and most importantly, build the connections between them and the place they share. The park event brought around 460 participants. With the debate about the future of Plac Wałowy, we were able to reach people who wouldn’t come to an official meeting. People really needed such an event. We know that one event doesn’t make up for the lost time that could build a stronger relationship, but it most certainly brings life and kickstarts change, but most importantly, it creates a place to meet for very different groups."

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