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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 30, 2010
Business & Economy
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Warsaw: Developing Fast
November 30, 2010   
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Warsaw is a city which is developing rapidly, as anyone who visits the Polish capital from time to time will notice. The city offers good conditions for business, education, creative projects and access to culture. In recent years investment in infrastructure has been the main driver of change. Almost zl.9 billion has been set aside for infrastructure projects. They contribute to improving daily life in the city.

The most important investment in Warsaw’s public transport infrastructure is the construction of the central section of the second metro line. This is also Poland’s largest public transport project carried out by a local government. The cost of building the 6-kilometer-long section running under the Vistula river, complete with seven metro stations, is estimated at over zl.4.1 billion, of which zl.2.9 billion will come from the European Union.

Road building is another investment priority for Warsaw. Several important road projects have been completed recently or are nearing completion. They include the construction of Rzeczypospolitej and Wilanowska Avenues, Poleczki Street and a flyover on Jerozolimskie Avenue, the repair of overpasses in Bielany, and the modernization of Paryska and Francuska Streets. The construction of several strategic projects such as the Północny Bridge, the Marsa interchange on the Siekierkowska expressway, a flyover on Modlińska Street, the interchange of Jerozolimskie Avenue and Łopuszańska Street, and a flyover on Cybernetyki and 17 Stycznia Streets is well underway. Projects improving not only the functionality but also appearance of the urban environment have been an important part of investments in road infrastructure in the city. Krakowskie Przedmie¶cie Street, Ujazdowskie Avenue, Grzybowski Square and Francuska Street have been modernized and renovated. The renovation of Chłodna Street has begun.

The municipality also invests in park-and-ride facilities. Seven car parks of this kind, with almost 2,500 parking spaces, have already been built and there are plans to build another four in the near future.

All the facilities are situated close to the rail system. The Młociny, Marymont, Wilanowska, Stokłosy and Ursynów car parks are close to metro stations. The Anin car park is near a railway station and the Połczyńska facility near a tram stop. Almost all the space they provide is used.

Record investments have been made in recent years in Warsaw’s cultural facilities. One of the most important projects of this kind is the Copernicus Science Center project, costing zl.364.8 million, of which zl.207 million has been provided by the EU. This modern center opened Nov. 5 on the bank of the Vistula river in downtown Warsaw. A garden called the Park of Discoverers is being built around the Copernicus Science Center building and on its roof. It is estimated that the center will be visited by 450,000 people annually.

The revitalization of the Vistula embankments is a project designed to bring the city closer to its river. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012 and the cost is estimated at zl.60 million, of which zl.17 million will come from the EU. A promenade from the Copernicus Science Center to the Royal Castle, with a park, green squares and cafes, will be built as part of the revitalization project. Bicycle lanes and wharves will also be constructed. The sites on the right bank of the river are designated as Natura 2000 areas. They may be turned into a landscape park with numerous animal and plant species, semi-wild beaches and dirt bicycle lanes.

Sports infrastructure is another area supported by the municipality. Several modern sports complexes have been built with the city’s money, including seven under the Syrenka program and eight under the Orlik 2012 program. Another four Orlik pitches and one Syrenka facility are under construction. Projects involving the construction and modernization of sports facilities at schools are being carried out on a large scale. As a result, the city will acquire dozens of new modern sports and recreation complexes.

The modernization of the Czajka sewage treatment plant is the most important environmental protection project carried out in Warsaw. The plant now treats sewage from the whole right-bank part of the city. After modernization and the construction of sewerage mains under the Vistula river, the plant will also treat sewage from left-bank districts in the northern part of the city. Currently all sewage treated at the plant from the right-bank part of the city is treated with the use of newly constructed process lines—all obsolete facilities have already been demolished. More modern process lines are being built in their place. Ultimately, they are to increase the plant’s capacity from 240,000 cubic meters a day to 435,000 cubic meters.

Of course, the projects mentioned above are only a sample of what has been happening in terms of municipal investment in recent years. But this sample is enough to give a picture of the changes that have been taking place in the capital. Many of these changes would not have been possible without EU subsidies, of which the city has already received zl.8.5 billion. EU funds have become an important source of funding for investment and social projects.
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