Mobile Workshop 1

The city of four cultures
Lodz [Łódź] is an industrial city, whose dynamic development took place in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. In that period, thousands of people migrated to the city, both those searching for a job and those ready to invest and multiply their capital. Among them were Poles, Germans, Jews, and Russians, representing different cultures, languages, and religions. This way, a diverse and tolerant society within the city was being created. Although it did not survive to the present day, its material legacy can be admired today. It includes temples, historic cemeteries, cultural entities, but also immaterial legacy in the form of great people of Lodz and their works. We invite you to participate in a tour during which you will feel the spirit of the City of the Four Cultures. In the course of the walk, you will visit interesting places, but also get to know the history of the fate of the people of Lodz.

Mobile Workshop 2

In the footsteps of the industrial heritage
Lodz is a city which was planned and designed as an enormous centre of the textile industry. Still called "the Polish Manchester", it attracts with its post-industrial legacy. In the city, one can find enormous 19th-century post-industrial complexes built with red non-plastered brick, palaces of Lodz manufacturers, or working-class settlements. The aim of this walk is to present the biggest post-industrial complex in Lodz, which belonged to one of two most important Lodz manufacturers, namely Karl Scheibler. The complex encompasses enormous post-factory objects, the palace of its owner – where the Cinema Museum in Lodz is currently located – as well as the Priest's Mill [Księży Młyn] residential estate, which, apart from working-class houses contains, among others, a school, a hospital, and a park.

Mobile Workshop 3

From a rural village to a textile industry city
Lodz is a city with an incredible history. At the beginning of the 19th century, the back then town had 700 inhabitants, and 100 years later this number totalled almost 500 thousand. Why did a small farming settlement become the place of the development of the largest centre of the textile industry in Poland? How did a provincial town grow into a big-city metropolis, and what did this process involve? This you will learn during the walk, which will allow you to learn the history of this city, which begins in the place where the Lodzia town was located 600 years ago. In the course of visiting, you will see, among other things: the Old Town, the Freedom Square, and the Piotrkowska Street (i.e. the symbols of the city), as well as the Izrael Poznański Palace, where the Museum of the City of Lodz is located. The walk will end in Manufaktura – the icon of the contemporary city.

Mobile Workshop 4

Murals – the Street Art
Walls of many buildings in Lodz are decorated with murals, thus creating the biggest outdoor urban gallery in Poland. Its authors are recognised artists from Poland and from abroad. For years, the murals have been emerging within the Festival of Galleries 'Urban Forms', among others. Currently, this peculiar urban gallery includes not only graffiti, but also various installations on building walls, made from rods, car parts, fragments of mirrors, or even moss. Altogether, there are around 150 murals in Lodz, and one of the first ones, painted in 2001, was listed in the Guinness World Records, and for some time was the biggest graffiti in the world. During the walk, you will have the opportunity to see some of the most interesting installations, and also feel the atmosphere of the city centre itself.

Mobile Workshop 5

Urban Regeneration – area revitalisation of the City Centre
Currently, Lodz is the arena of the realisation of the biggest comprehensive revitalisation works among the cities of Poland. Owing to the involvement of all levels of administrations and the EU funds, seven projects are being realised, which had been indicated as priorities. All of them are situated in the city centre, and the conducted works are of an area character. This is a huge undertaking, which consists of the modernisation of development, the reconstruction of roads (and charting new ones), the creation of green areas, but also actions of a social character. Altogether, the works encompass around one-third of the surface area of the Lodz City Centre. During the tour, the participants will get familiarised with the general assumptions of the programme of revitalisation as well as will visit one of the revitalised areas, where part of the works already finished.

Mobile Workshop 6

Housing Estates – Old and New – New City Centre
Lodz is a city which for 30 years has been characterised by the decrease in the number of inhabitants. This is influenced by the processes of the ageing of the society, low total fertility rate, as well as migrations to suburban areas or to other cities in Poland. For the first 20 years of the political transformation, the city was facing big social and economic problems (unemployment, low quality of life in the city centre). An answer to these negative processes came in the form of the 'Return to the City' programme, which was accepted by the local authorities over a dozen years ago. Its objective is to create convenient conditions, which are to encourage the renewed populating of the central parts of the city. Numerous revitalization programmes serve to this end, and a flagship undertaking is the realisation of the project of the so-called New City Centre. Based on the modernised railway station, this part of the city centre was included in the fundamental restoration, offering numerous investment areas (office and residential), the modernisation of the road system, and the localisation of new cultural objects, but also new public spaces. The effects of these actions are already visible. Next to the envisioned public investments, the residential establishments market is developing dynamically and the number of office surfaces is growing. During the walk, you will be familiarised with the vision of the New City Centre as well as you will visit the most important investments which have so far been realised in this area.

Mobile Workshop 7

Suburban Development and environmental protection – conflicts
In Lodz, as well as in the majority of large cities in Poland, strong processes of the spreading of urbanised areas onto the rural areas surrounding them can be observed. Unfortunately, in view of the imperfections of the regulations from within spatial planning, this process is often chaotic and uncontrollable. Areas which are valuable in terms of nature and at the same time accessible with transport are becoming the most attractive. In the case of Lodz, it is its north-eastern part, where the area called 'the hills of Lodz' is located; it is pilferproof within the Lodz Hills Landscape Park. It is a hilly terrain, treed and honeycombed with numerous picturesque river valleys. Within its borders, apart from a large city, there is also the junction of two most important highways in Poland (North–South and East–West). During the tour – and with the accompanying employees of the Landscape Park – you will visit the most valuable attractions of the said terrain, but above all you will get familiarised with the problems of the protection of valuable areas as well as the spatial conflicts which occur between the environmental protection and the chaotic development of residential establishments and the industrial and storage areas.

Mobile Workshop 8

Łódź Transport Hub - Main Problems and Challenges for the Transport Policy of the City and the Urban Region
In the last 20 years, Łódź has been transforming from a city located peripherally in the transport network into the main hub of road and rail transport in Poland.
Numerous investments, including, above all, the construction of a motorway ring, construction of a railway tunnel or the new Łódź Fabryczna station significantly increase the investment attractiveness of the city. In addition, they contribute to the improvement of transport accessibility within the city itself and its agglomeration.
Participants will take part in a trip on a historic SANOK tram, which had its first run in Łódź in 1929. As part of the ride, participants will get acquainted with and visit selected places important for the development of the Łódź transport hub and visit the historic tram depot.

Mobile Workshop 9

Urban Design and Mental Health
Social life is one of the most important components of human happiness and mental wellbeing, and public spaces are places where the magic of the city’ social life happens. Public means open to all, but how is it actually?
Wheelchair accessibility is required in building regulations, but how can a city be prepared for invisible disabilities or ailments like mental health issues, dementia, depression, autism, or cognitive impairments? WHO estimates that 1 in every 8 people worldwide lives with a mental disorder, and many of them struggle with adaptive behaviour and intellectual functioning limits in a variety of commonplace social and practical contexts.
Why is it significant while discussing city planning? In urbanised areas, there are 40% more people with depression and 20% more with anxiety. Moreover, in cities there are twice as many people with schizophrenia as in rural areas. The numbers are growing as more people move to cities. How can we treat our environment as an opportunity for citizen’ empowerment, a place for self-regulation, and social integration?
The aim of the walk is to attain more understanding and empathy for invisible disabilities in order to create an inclusive and healing environment and make our cities thrive.
Walking workshop plan: we will walk in the shoes of 3-5 personas and learn about their experiences with various types of urban spaces: a train station, a public library, a pedestrian street, and a park. Together, we will assess each chosen place to determine whether it is inclusive, what assets they have, and where possible issues lie. The workshop will take 3 hours and include an introduction, guidance, participants’ personal observations, and discussion.
Workshops results: 1) increase the knowledge about inclusive urban spaces; 2) broadening perspective; 3) learn what places in the city improve mental wellbeing.

Workshop lead by:
Joanna Jaskulowska architecture & urban design

Mobile Workshop 10

Blue-Green Network in Łódź – urban adoption to climate change
The city of Łódź, when it was a settlement, was located among forests and small rivers. These natural resources (wood, water) made it possible to transform the textile settlement into a city of textile industry, which became one of the largest cities in Poland. The development of textile industry and economic growth, caused wasteful use of natural resources and the tremendous negative effect of the environment (cutting of the Łódź Forest and degradation of the river network).
The beginning of the political transformation (1989) initiated systemic improvement of the quality of the city's natural environment. In 1993, the urban concept of the "Green Circle of Tradition and Culture" was created – dedicated to integrate protection of natural and cultural values, which consisted of landscaped green areas (including parks, cemeteries) as well as historic residential and industrial complexes of Łódź, shaping the identity of the city, which later became revitalized areas.
The next step towards taking into account natural values in the processes of city development was the development of the so-called Blue-Green Network, which is a comprehensive concept of shaping, protecting and restoring the lost natural values of the city, aimed at improving the quality of life in Łódź. This concept assumes the shaping of the city's blue-green infrastructure into a system of spatially connected natural and arranged green areas, and the reconstruction of the city's river network (ecological corridors). These areas are meant to perform various ecosystem functions: environmental (biocenotic), retention, recreational and landscape functions. In 2010, this concept was included in the study of conditions and directions of spatial development of the city (a type of master plan in Poland), reflecting the contemporary trends of naturalization of the city's nature (rewilding city) and becoming a comprehensive response to the need to adapt the city to climate change.
The implementation activities so far have consisted in renaturing the city's river ecosystems and adapting the city by building innovative solutions in the field of blue and green infrastructure, serving to increase the capacity of urban space to retain water, as well as greening public spaces.
Participants of the workshop will visit selected places where projects within the Blue-Green Network have been implemented and will have the opportunity to evaluate the presented solutions in the context of their own experience.

Workshop lead by:
Tomasz Jurczak PhD Associate Professor – Head of the UNESCO Chair on Ecohydrology and Applied Ecology, University of Łódź, Poland (UNESCO Chair on EHAE)
Katarzyna Izydorczyk PhD Associate Professor & Director of the European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences ERCE
Kinga Krauze PhD – ERCE
Agnieszka Bednarek PhD – UNESCO Chair on EHAE, ERCE

Adaptation to climate change projects such as: restoring the river ecosystems and developing innovative solutions for blue and green infrastructure to increase the capacity of urban space to retain water, as well as greening public spaces, are carried out in Łódź by UNESCO Chair on EHAE and ERCE in cooperation with the City of Łódź Office. This is possible thanks to the European projects implemented by Łódź scientific units, such as: SWITCH: Sustainable Water management Improves Tomorrow`s Cities' Health (EU, 6 PF), ENABLE: Enabling green-blue infrastructure in complex social-ecological regions - system solutions to wicked problems, RECONECT: Regenarating ecosystems with nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction, ATeNaS: To Ally Technology, Nature and Society for integrated urban water management, euPOLIS: Integrated NBS-based Urban Planning Methodology for Enhancing the Health and Well-being of Citizens, czy EH-REK: Ecohydrologic rehabilitation of recreational reservoirs “Arturowek” (Łódź) as a model approach to rehabilitation of urban reservoirs.

Mobile Workshop 11

Green District Polesie – a renewal program for downtown areas in Łódź
Łódź is a post-industrial city which developed in the 19th century as a form of a special economic zone. The development of the industry caused its demographic explosion (in 1823 it had about 400 inhabitants, on the eve of the decline of the textile industry in 1988 there were already over 850,000). The transformation also resulted in the spatial expansion of the city. Nowadays, Łódź is a shrinking city – the collapse of the textile industry started a decline in the number of inhabitants. At the end of 2021, it was 664,860 people. With the closure of large textile factories, the search for a new identity of the city began.
In this context the Strategy for Spatial Development of Łódź 2020+, adopted in 2013, set its main objective as development of the city "inwards" based on rational management of land resources, so that the development of the city centre (downtown zone) takes place.
One of the downtown areas of Łódź is the so-called Stare Polesie (Old Polesie) – an area of approx. 200 ha of dense downtown buildings inhabited and used by approx. 40,000 people. people. Stare Polesie is a historically shaped area with metropolitan features, which is a subject to progressing degradation and depopulation in the city, characterized by very little construction activity, an annoying lack of greenery and public spaces, as well as the dominance of car traffic with an associated noise and air pollution. At the same time, the area is well equipped with educational infrastructure and small services, and the local community is actively working to improve its environment.
The immediate reason for starting the project of the "Green District Polesie" urban program was the commencement of the preparation of Local Land Use Plans for this area. Detailed analysis indicated the need to develop a comprehensive urban program (i.e. a spatial concept on a district scale – i.e. more detailed than the Study of the Conditions and Directions of Spatial Development of Łódź (a kind of master plan for the city in Poland), as a basis for further work related to the development of local regulatory plans.
The project of the Green District Polesie program focuses on developing a sustainable concept of the communication system and a coherent network of public spaces and greenery. It specifies the requirements regarding the spatial form of streets and green areas and sets out special activities crucial for the development of the district. It also introduces new building types into existing quarters by analysing possible demographic scenarios.
After the development of the Green District Polesie program, the preparation of the Local Land Use Plans for this area began. Then, the construction of the first garden streets and pocket parks began. Participants of the workshop will visit selected places where projects within the urban concept of the Green District Polesie have been implemented and will have the opportunity to evaluate the presented solutions in the context of their own experience.

Workshop lead by:
Michal Walczak – Municipal Urban Planning Office in Łódź
Website of the urban program "Zielone Polesie" / "Green District Polesie"

Mobile Workshop 12

Soundscape of the city as a challenge and opportunity for urban planners
The soundscape of cities is commonly associated with noise, the sources of which are primarily industry and transport. According to the European Environment Agency, noise pollution is the second largest environmental threat to health, causing 12,000 premature deaths a year. Anthropogenic noise influences other species as well by affecting frequencies of birdsongs, and communication of marine wildlife. Having this in mind urban planners should ask how urban soundscape design can be incorporated in urban planning for better quality of life, and sustainable development. Soundscape is a symptom of human impact on environment, as well as a carrier of information on the ways we inhabit, exploit, and use space around us. The sounds that are in the space and those that are missing tell a story of the role that space plays to us, and what roles we play within a space. It also talks about the past by the absence of sounds that used to be and are no more here. During the workshop, the participants will be introduced to the main concepts within the soundscape studies by applying questionnaire of urban soundscape assessment in selected spots on the route of a soundwalk. Listening to urban park, busy street, tenant house backyard, permanent sound installation, and vibrant city as it is captured in a moment will be an opportunity to discuss challenges, difficulties, and limitations in application of the available technologies, and infrastructural solutions that are recommended in soundscape planning. The current regulations on noise and evolution of Program for Environmental Noise Control in Lodz will be shortly covered as an introduction, as well as a review of large-scale projects exploring urban soundscape planning in European context (COST, FP7, ERC).

Workshop lead by:
Justyna Anders-Morawska PhD – University of Lodz, Faculty of International and Political Studies, instructor and principal investigator in research project: “Public value of the soundscape of postindustrial cities” (Faculty Research Development Fund).

Mobile Workshop 13

Art in the urban space and its accessibility for people with disabilities on the example of the projects “ Łódź Art” and “Friendly City”
The Act of 19 July 2019 in Poland ensures accessibility for people with special needs, offering new perspectives for activities aimed at these audiences. However, many face challenges in navigating and exploring cities, limiting their independence and aesthetic experiences. This workshop will present two research projects conducted at the Institute of Art History, University of Łódź.
The first project, "Lodz Art Against the Background of European Art: Excluded/Included" and the “Friendly City” is a partnership with the Museum of the City of Lodz (2018-2023). The second project: “Friendly City. Support for the independence of visually impaired people in the use of the public transport network in Lodz, including the application regarding location information and monuments of local architecture”, is ongoing in collaboration with SWPS University in Warsaw (2021-2024). Workshops will take place at the Museum of the City of Łódź as well as in the historic city center.
Participants will learn from the experiences of researchers and museum staff in supporting people with disabilities, particularly through the “ Łódź Art” project. This project has developed well-received audiodescription formats and didactic tools like tactile graphics, Braille books, and enlarged print, increasing interest in cultural heritage.
The “Friendly City” project focuses on enhancing accessibility in Łódź, especially for visually impaired individuals. It includes a location-based application for public transportation and architectural landmarks. The aim is to promote independence and cultural experiences, breaking barriers for the visually impaired. The installation of a wireless marker network at transport stops and monuments is a non-invasive method.
By integrating research, audiodescription, eyetracker tests, and a smartphone application, the projects aim to improve mobility and cultural engagement. The solutions developed will benefit a wider audience through multilingual support in Polish, English, Ukrainian, and Spanish.
Number of participants is limited to 15 people (according to the order of registration).

Workshop lead by:
Aneta Pawlowska PhD Associate Professor, Daria Rutkowska-Siuda PhD – University of Łódź, Faculty of Philosophy and History, Institute of Art History Paulina Dlugosz MA – Head of the Education Department of the Museum of the City of Łódź