Europe & Central Asia » Poland

Krakow Metropolitan Quantum Leap
  Pedro B. Ortiz Krakow Poland Metropolitan Metro Matrix Structural Strategic Planning
  Krakow is in the river plain of the Vistula, at a strategic crossing point. The river plain is not highly urbanized to the exception of the urban conurbation. Villages are located at a distance north (7 km) and south (3.5 km) of the floodplain.

The city has enormous rail tracks assets that reflect the historical importance in both industrial and logistic terms. Rail tracks reflect as well the river gradients of the preexisting villages. The development of a metropolitan structure will require the development of the productive and residential potential of these towns served by the Commuter Train. The actual airport to the west can be coupled by a freight airport to the east (preexisting location) to position Krakow in a globalized market of high value-added products. The river plain can be protected from urban and industrial expansion.

An extensive urban Light Rail service has been set in place though intermodality with a commuter train service has not been fully exploited in terms of metropolitan articulation. This intermodality structure will foster 4 main metropolitan centralities that have to be designed and developed. Metropolitan centralities that will house tertiary activities servicing the productive system and integrated both by the rail and air system with international markets.

The road network, strongly defined by the parallel and perpendicular lines to the river axis and consequent gradients, can be completed and extended as a response to the evolving demand.
Poland Fractal Urban System
  Pedro B. Ortiz Warsaw Poland Metropolitan Metro Matrix Structural Strategic Planning
  Poland is defined by its position within the European geo network. Halfway between central Europe and Russia Big Bear, it is the necessary passage between east and west avoiding the Alpes system. Two main axes determine this role. The one that goes from Berlin to Moscow through Warsaw and the one that goes south to Ukraine through Wroclaw and Krakow. This distributor role has marked the dramatic history of Poland and the territorial shifts pushed from the east or the west whenever the neighbors became powerful enough to bully Poland.

The pushpin of Poland has always been Warsaw. Pushed to the east or pushed to the west, Warsaw has always been the essence that defined Poland. It is not thus surprising that the Capital defines the urban system of the country along the axis between Berlin and Moscow. The peripheral border towns, especially the linear system on the foothills of the Tatra Mountains, is the second defining element. Cities, halfway between Warsaw and the periphery complete it, with special relevance for Poznan, Gdansk, and Wroclaw, as stepping stones to the outer world.

What should be the completion strategy for Poland?
First, the sustainable development of abandoned areas of the country with economic potential and social legitimate rights.
Second, the strengthening of the urban network where each city could play the role it corresponds, according to the position rank and geographical location.
Third, understanding that the future of Poland is not only Polish. Not even European or Westerner. It is Global. Paraphrasing JF Kennedy, ‘what can Poland do for the world’ is the challenge, not ‘what can the world do for Poland’. Poland has to find that role and establish an adequate socioeconomic strategy to fulfill it to its best. If Poland doesn’t, someone else will do it for her.
Gdansk Rapport (Ortiz - Bach)
  Gdansk (Poland ) Metropolitan Urban Strategy Plan
  Gdansk confronts a very substantial crisis. Integrated for a very long time within the Soviet production system, it is currently in a very serious pattern of under using the obsolete heavy industrial and port facilities. An old Hanseatic League city with a very strong German origin, Gdansk was rebuilt up to the last brick after the massive WWII destruction, and inhabited by a Polish population. The glorious ideological days of Solidarnosc are as well over. Facing cultural, economic and social crises, Gdansk is a city in search of a new personality.
High-rise totems would provide it with the symbolic image needed, or does the personality have to be found deeper within its assets and potential peculiarities? Structuring the metropolitan area in a larger scale urban system with neighbor cities with the use of up rank international facilities like the airport is essential to build an efficient metropolis that will be able to compete in the international market as a subsidiary productive economy to the Warsaw and Frankfurt global metropolises.
Gdansk Infinity structure
  Gdansk (Poland ) Metropolitan Urban Centrality Strategic Plan
  Complementary Document