What is the future of Nowa Huta?

Text: Ta­de­usz Mor­dar­ski

Source: Kra­ków.pl nr 5 (281), 17.03.2021 r.

Branice Science and Technology Park, Ruszcza Logistics Centre – economic activity zone, the Błonia 2.0 Open Area for Large-scale Events, Przylasek Rusiecki – rest-and-recreation area with auxiliary services – these are places that will complete the image of modern Nowa Huta. Currently, the “Branice” Park and the “Przylasek Rusiecki” Centre are at the most advanced stage. The Krakow’s residents will also be pleased to hear that a new park will be created in the city. It will be located at Plastusia Street.

Why Plastuś?

Perhaps in the future this figure, known from the works of Maria Kownacka will become the patron of the new park. The name “Plastusia Park” could win the hearts of Krakow’s residents. The team of Kraków Nowa Huta of the Future SA was wondering where the fairy-tale name came from. One of the inhabitants of Branice suggested the answer: – Plastuś from Branice could be a work of chance. The proposal of such a name was most probably submitted in the 1960s and, as it is today, it found its way to the “bank of names”. The name of the street was decided in March 1966 during a meeting of the Presidium of the National Council of the City of Krakow. Inhabitants of Branice were offered the opportunity to choose from two names: Plastuś or Gęsia. They bet on a fairy-tale hero. We want the new park to refer to the tradition of Branice, a former village near Krakow. That is why we analyse, among others, the possibility of giving it the character of an orchard with ornamental trees. In this way, this place could correspond with other venues that we create in close proximity – explains Artur Paszko, Chairman of the Board of Kraków Nowa Huta of the Future SA. It will take less than 10 minutes to ride a bicycle from the new park to the bathing area in “Przylasek Rusiecki”.

Przylasek Rusiecki – rest-and-recreation area with auxiliary services

Modernizing and increasing the comfort of use while maintaining the wild, natural character of the place – such a challenge was given to architects of this space.. Works on the reconstruction of the bathing area has been going on since the middle of last year. Currently, buildings with bathrooms, changing rooms and storage and social rooms are being built there. At the end of last year, piers, lanterns and trees were installed around the water reservoir. All the time the paths are being constructed there.. Beach soccer fields, a playground and a swimming pool for small children are also scheduled. If unforeseen circumstances do not disrupt these plans, residents will be able to use the facility this summer.

A walk in the open-air museum

Undoubtedly, a great attraction of the Przylasek Rusiecki – rest-and-recreation area with auxiliary services will be the open-air museum created under the banner of the Educational Park “Branice”. Krakovians  and tourists will gain an unusual place to walk in the shade of trees surrounded by eye-catching wooden huts . The open-air museum is to present the Krakow’s countryside at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Currently, a list of objects that could be transferred there is being prepared, after obtaining the appropriate permissions. The first exhibits have already been collected, such as farmhouse wagon, beehives and equipment for baking bread. These items were part of the equipment of the former farmstead in Zesławice. We will enjoy walking around the Branice Educational Park in 2023.


Branice Science and Technology Park

Branice is also the name of the Science and Technology Park being built along Igołomska, where   the most visible changes for the inhabitants of Krakow will take place. After the reconstruction, this road will become the transport backbone of the project. Along this street, headquarters of companies that operate mainly under the so-called smart specialization of the Małopolska Region will be located there. These companies represent industries such as: life science, IT, chemistry and sustainable energy – says Artur Paszko. Almost 30 entrepreneurs have already signed letters of intent to locate their companies in this area. It is worth mentioning that after the finalized transaction,  the Krakow-based company Bielenda Kosmetyki Naturalne Sp. z o.o.,will move its new headquarters and laboratory to real estates at Igołomska Street -. Currently, as part of the “Krakow – Nowa Huta of the Future” project, land is being prepared for the investment of the “Nowa Huta of the Future” Economic Activity Zone. It is about 33 ha remaining after the former departments of the Krakow steelworks and its protection zone. Plans for the coming months include the construction of internal roads and sidewalks, power supply, water and sewage installations and the preparation of green areas for recreation. The location is an unquestionable advantage of this place. The nearby A4 highway , which is a part of the longest European route – E40, connects the French end of the English Channel with the eastern edge of Kazakhstan. The second important route near the Branice Science and Technology Park is the  express road No. 7. This route, running along the north-south axis, leads from Krakow to Warsaw and the Tri-City. In this attractively connected area one more important place is planned- the Logistics and Industry Centre “Ruszcza”.

Logistics Centre

Firstly, the position at the intersection of the aforementioned communication routes, secondly, the immediate vicinity of railway areas, including a freight station – the location is undoubtedly the greatest advantage of the Logistics and Industrial Centre, being just under construction, which is to attract the world’s largest companies to Krakow.  Almost 229 ha in the eastern part of the metallurgical complex are available. This area includes railway grounds and the so-called the old “Ruszcza” heap. It is located about 6 km from the centre of Nowa Huta and about 13 km from the centre of Krakow. According to the plans, warehouse facilities, storage yards and rail freight terminals are to be built there. In addition, a railway siding equipped with specialized equipment for reloading goods, a vehicle service station and service points will be also available. Office, catering, commercial and service facilities are also scheduled.

Place of work, place of relaxation

– The greatest advantage of the “Kraków – Nowa Huta of the Future” project, in my opinion, is its comprehensive vision, based on the synergy of projects, and their complementarity. When it is completed, we will have a new district that will respond to the most important needs of its residents. It will be both a space for work or leisure, as well as for living – emphasizes Artur Paszko. Undoubtedly, the Błonia 2.0 Open Area for Large-scale Events will play a key role here. Located between the aforementioned Science and Technology Park and Przylasek Rusiecki, the place is to attract residents and tourists. Cultural and sports events will be organized there. The name and character of the new place will refer to Błonia, an area located at the intersection of 3rd Maja Street and Focha Avenue. Błonia 2.0 will be a kind of paradise for cyclists, families who love walking and all those who value relaxation in the fresh air. At this point, Kraków Nowa Huta of the Future SA is acquiring the land necessary to create this place. And the residents can’t wait for the walks. – Błonia 2.0 is a project that I am looking forward to implementing. First of all, because it is much closer than Błonia in Krakow, which will allow me to come there frequently and regularly, without having to break through half of the city and stand in traffic jams. As a proud uncle for several years I have an ambitious plan to spend as much time as possible playing outdoors with my niece. I think this is where we will learn to ride a bike and spend summer afternoons – says Maciej, Milenka’s uncle.

The biggest challenges

About 150 ha – approximately this amount of land is currently in Kraków Nowa Huta of the Future SA portfolio. Definitely, our biggest problem is to create a compact real estate complexes. We intend to dispose approx. as much as 50 percent of the ownership of the entire area, including the land belonging to the City, which confirms how much we have already achieved in this regard. The project area covers 730 ha. The challenges we are unfortunately facing often concern the unregulated legal status of some real estate and its significant fragmentation. Therefore, we try to approach our tasks in stages to successfully implement them. The second issue is financing. Currently, we are at the turn of two EU perspectives, so we are still waiting for details on the possibility of submitting new applications for co-financing from European Funds. It must be remembered that without such funds, and without funds from national budgets, the implementation of such a large project as “Kraków – Nowa Huta of the Future” would not have been possible – emphasizes Artur Paszko. The value of all construction works contracted by Krakow Nowa Huta of the Future SA so far is over PLN 100 million. PLN 75 million was obtained from European Funds under the Regional Operational Program of the Małopolska Region. The project is constantly evolving. Drilling a borehole in Przylasek Rusiecki, which is to confirm historical research indicating the presence of hot springs in this area, is scheduled for this year.   If this happens, it will open the way to further investments in this area. The main part of the “Kraków – Nowa Huta of the Future” project is to be completed in 2030. There is much to look forward to.

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