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The Warsaw Voice » Other » December 19, 2007
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Betting on Young Talent
December 19, 2007   
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Rzeszˇw ranks fourth among Poland's 19 largest cities in terms of the quality of life, according to an annual Social Diagnosis survey published by an organization called the Council for Social Monitoring. What makes Rzeszˇw a good place to live? We asked the city's mayor Tadeusz Ferenc, now in his second term after winning an overwhelming 77 percent of the vote in a local election. Here is what he said:.

Interestingly, surveys show that what Rzeszˇw residents need most are playgrounds for children rather than more new homes, cinemas or cafes. And where there are playgrounds there are children-a good thing for the city from a demographic point of view.

We have more than 550 low-income housing units in Rzeszˇw. No other city in Poland has such a large number of low-cost apartments. Every year we allocate several apartments to outstanding researchers who want to work in Rzeszˇw. Independent research workers who move to the University of Rzeszˇw from other universities can get an apartment from the city administration.

Students are the key driving force behind the city's growth. We want our universities to develop. Fifteen years ago we set up an Academic Development Foundation in Rzeszˇw. As mayor, I head the foundation's programming council, which also includes university presidents and local government officials. The foundation supports the city's public universities, meaning the University of Rzeszˇw and the Rzeszˇw University of Technology. It sells municipal plots at preferential prices if the sites are to be designated for new university buildings. The foundation also transfers council housing to the universities to be allocated to their lecturers. These apartments are located in buildings constructed by the city.

At the moment, 10 new and fully furnished apartments are available for immediate occupation, each nearly 80 square meters in size. The city also tries to support Rzeszˇw's universities in other ways. City Hall has recently transferred perpetual usufruct-or long-term lease-rights to a plot on Warszawska Street to the University of Rzeszˇw, where the school will be able to expand its Institute of Physiotherapy.

What is the result of all these efforts? Our student population has recently increased from 53,000 to around 60,000, and the development of our universities has had a great influence on the development of the city.

Fair Play and Golden Business Location
This year, Rzeszˇw, the main city of Podkarpacie province, has won its fourth Gmina Fair Play title as a municipality that promotes efficient, safe and fair investment. Previously, Rzeszˇw won similar titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

In 2006, the city additionally secured the right to use a promotional emblem designating it as a "Golden Business Location."

Third Place

The capital of Podkarpacie province came third in this year's Enterprise-Friendly Local Government 2007 competition. The competition gives awards to communities that provide businesses and investors good conditions for operations and development, work with companies to create new jobs, and above all which know how to look after the businesses which are already there.

The third place for Rzeszˇw is a result of the ratings which the competition judges gave to the city for infrastructure, environmental projects and the way the local government promoted new projects to draw the attention of investors.
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