Located in southern Poland and with ca. 760 000 inhabitants, Krakow is the second largest city in the country. Its unique historical, cultural and scientific character still dominates the city’s economic and tourism development. Krakow is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and was the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2000. It welcomes around 8 million tourists each year and the Jagiellonian University, with some 140,000 students, is one of the oldest universities in Central and Eastern Europe.
For several years the focus of rigorous industrial restructuring has been to reduce the environmental footprint, to stimulate the transition towards innovative and more efficient technologies and to decrease production costs. Despite growing car ownership, Krakow still demonstrates a very positive modal split with approx. 50% of journeys being made by public transport (trams and buses). However, city growth, increasing vehicle numbers, the desire for greater mobility and years of neglecting road maintenance have made road infrastructure and public transport the most challenging policy areas in Krakow.
Krakow was the first city in Poland to adopt a sustainable transport policy in 1993 and implemented a series of programmes and measures that referred to the use of space and the availability for different transport modes: pedestrian zones and zones with limited access for cars have been introduced and the infrastructure and public transport fleets have been modernised. The city’s transport policy, updated in July 2007, aims to create an efficient, safe, economical and environmentally friendly transport system for passengers and goods.
It acts as a framework for a comprehensive master plan which encompasses the transport concept, project management and considerable investment in road and public transport infrastructure. Key priorities for this policy are bus lanes, tramway tracks, efficient traffic control ensuring priority for and punctuality of public transport and access restrictions to the old city centre.
In CH4LLENGE, Krakow aims to learn more about sustainable urban mobility planning from the project’s Optimising Cities and share their experiences with the other Advancing Cities. Krakow will implement a number of pilot schemes ranging from the participatory development of a common vision for mobility to an inter-institutional agreement process for the SUMP measure identification. Further, Krakow will develop a programme for evaluating and monitoring the SUMP which aims to gather reliable information at reasonable cost to be used throughout the entire SUMP process.
About mobility planning in Krakow:
Photos: City of Krakow