"Description of the urban and architectural development conceptual design of the historical city centre of Gorzow Wlkp. R3DC4T

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1 "Description of the urban and architectural development conceptual design of the historical city centre of Gorzow Wlkp. R3DC4T

2 Gorzów Wielkopolski Gorzów Wielkopolski is an important regional city centre in west Poland with a population of approximately 126,000 inhabitants. Within 150 km you reach Poznan to the east, Berlin to the west and the Baltic Sea to the north. The residents of Gorzów have inherited a city that was prosperous at the turn of the 20 th century but which suffered during the last World War and then stagnated under communism. Today Gorzow is in danger of losing what is left of its historic centre. The city faces the choice of allowing easy urban sprawl or choosing the more difficult task of creating a town of quality that can grow and provide opportunities for its future generations. A town that creates urban quality will prosper by attracting new residents, business and industry. The town leaders have four important opportunities in this regard: 1 Stop the decay and prevent further loss 2 Repair the town where possible by removing graffiti and repairing buildings 3 Intervene and lead by creating new projects in support of this new urbanism 4 Live, Work, and Play in this newly improved town centre The Urban Design principles behind this submission include the following: Make Places for people Work with the existing fabric of the town Improve pedestrian access and permeability Enrich the town with thoughtful landscaping Balance the mix of uses and opportunities to encourage both daytime and night time activity Manage and protect these urban improvements to ensure economic growth and vitality Understand that the urban improvements are dynamic not static and will require change and improvements Place Making should be recognised as an essential goal. Place Making in the world of urban design is a continuing journey to understand what makes for attractive and successful places in which to live, work and play. Gorzów was once an attractive city with a compact historic centre organised around a clearly defined street pattern. A consistency of scale together with a collection of public spaces helped to make a successful city centre. Key components of Gorzów are its Cathedral and Historic Quarter, The Parks, the Warta River and other Cultural buildings. These elements need to be enhanced and revitalised in order to create a distinctive sense of place. Thoughtful redevelopment will encourage civic pride and create value. Gorzów has sometimes been referred to as the 'City of Parks and Gardens'. This image can be further enhanced by developing it into the 'greenest city' in west Poland. Consideration should be given to the latest advances in green roofs technology, sustainable urban drainage systems, the use of solar energy, Combined Heat and Power plants, and waste management systems.

3 The Historic Quarter within the old city walls should be the first area for repair and redevelopment. The centre of Gorzow can become an attractive destination in the region. The successful transformation of the Historic Quarter will become a catalyst for future development. The initial developments should be exemplar 'sustainable' mixed use developments to ensure a high quality Live, Work and Play' environment. The western half of the old city has the greatest need of re-development. Other areas around Cathedral Square should follow on a phased basis. Development should be incremental, not whole scale demolition in a short time period New development must be carried out with sensitivity to the existing fabric of streets and buildings and should enrich the existing where possible. A thorough analysis should be carried out to identify buildings which are to be retained, repaired and re-used. Comments regarding the two presentation boards submitted: Board 1 Note 1 The Cathedral is the most important landmark building and serves as a reference point when walking through the Historic Quarter. The prominence of the Cathedral should be maintained and any new building in the historic quarter must be restricted to a respectful height. Cathedral Square should be enlarged and repaved and made suitable for a variety of activities including festival days and markets. The materials chosen for this most important space must be of the highest quality possible. Note 2 Note 3 Note 4 Note 5 Note 6 Note 7 Note 8 Note 9 The city is fortunate to have an extensive Tram system. The Tram lines should be extended to the south of the Warta River to ensure sustainable growth in new areas of the city. New development areas are shown outside the historic quarter but in close proximity to the Historical Quarter to encourage compact growth. A new vehicular bridge is proposed over the Warta River to direct through traffic away from the Historic Quarter. A new green pedestrian and cycle bridge is proposed over the Warta River to link the Historic Quarter with the southern part of the city. The old City Wall should be noted and remembered by the use of new landscaping and streetscape with explanatory signage. A new programme of hard and soft landscaping is recommended for the Historic Quarter to improve general streetscape. Pocket parks are shown in new development areas. The work along the north bank of the river (already carried out by the city) should be continued to take full advantage of the river setting.

4 Notes 10 A new marina, floating restaurant and rowing club are proposed to encourage use 11 & 12 of the river. Note 13 Note 14 Note 15 Note 16 Note 17 Note 18 Note 19 Note 20 Note 21 Note 22 A redesign of the southern river bank could form a new linear riverside park within the centre of the urban area of Gorzów. A new transport hub or centre is proposed to coordinate public transport. A new green wall delineates the old city wall. The site of a proposed shopping centre is noted. The redevelopment of the site is proposed to demonstrate the importance of mixed use in an urban environment where shopping, offices and residences work alongside each other and encourage more use of the old city. A higher density of development is desirable in the historic quarter with a lower density in the outer areas. A public transport plaza is shown across from the transport station. A possible site for a new town hall is noted. The location of the new Philharmonic Concert hall is noted. Pedestrian only uses are proposed for the centre of the Historic Quarter. Private automobile use would be permitted in the evenings in the centre area and at all times in the outer areas of the old city. Underground car parking would be provided with all new developments to minimise surface parking. See Board 2. New kiosks are proposed to encourage more centre city uses. Board 2 Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 Historic Gorzów: Gorzów appears in this 1934 photograph as an attractive, compact dense city. Gorzów Today: Today Gorzów is a disconnected city especially between the north and southern parts of the city with only two vehicular bridges. A large volume of vehicular traffic is funneled through the historic Quarter and over the central bridge increasing pressure on the heart of the city. Making Connections: Gorzów has many assets to work with including the Historic Core, the Parks and the River. Connections between these places should be clear, easy to use and integrated with their surroundings. Understanding Relationships: These sketches show the importance of the Cathedral and its Square and how it influences the spaces and buildings surrounding it. An improved setting for the Cathedral is an important starting point which is defined as a rectangular space running approximately east and west.

5 Image 5 Image 6 Image 7 Image 8 Image 9 Image 10 Image 11 Defining the Important Streets and Edges: The most important streets are clearly defined by building edges and avenue tree planting. The railway viaduct defines the southern edge of the historic quarter whilst the green wall, which provides a memory of the old city wall and delineates the outer boundary. Urban structure: Where possible development blocks of around metres in width are formed within the historic quarter. This is in response to making the town as attractive as possible to the pedestrian. New Buildings: The new building block proposed is responsive to the cathedral. This submission is based on the belief that the solution to a better city is the understanding of urban planning and not spectacular architectural statements. Movement strategy: Pedestrians and cyclists will have easy access to the streets of the Historic Quarter. This view along the east west route shows the Cathedral in its new pedestrian friendly, largely car free, tree-lined setting. This shows building proposals to the right and the four kiosks lining the edge of the street. The dominance of the Cathedral is always maintained. This shows the cathedral to the right with a double avenue of trees defining the edge of the Square. Axonometric This aerial view shows how the historic quarter could develop. Effort is concentrated on the western half of the old city showing an increase in density and urbanity. The other remaining areas are currently shown as they are today, however in time these areas could also be developed to provide a coherent, completed Gorzów. Perspective This image shows a renewed street-scape allowing for public transport, pedestrians and avenue tree-planting. It also shows a sense of enclosure with spaces for outside seating. The renewal of Gorzów will be a great challenge, sometimes slow and daunting but always worth the effort. This task requires careful thought and planning. With the determination of its leaders and its inhabitants there is no reason why Gorzów could not be as attractive as any other successful city in Poland or Europe. By deciding to embark on this competition the Citizens of Gorzów have taken an important first step.

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