Expo 2022 Łódź Polska. Brick by brick, solution by solution, idea by idea, let’s reinvent our cities together

Paweł LEWANDOWSKI

Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. Completed social and economic policy and sociology of the intercultural communication at The Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw. Worked in the strategic consulting industry, between 2015 and 2016 adviser of Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Piotr Gliński in The Chancellery of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, where he was responsible for preparing and promoting Polish candidature for EXPO 2022 in Łódź.

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Poles love challenges. Always ready to take on the biggest problems, they combine forces and win. Nearly 30 years ago, they won freedom in this way. Every day since then, they have tried to win a new reality for themselves and future generations. This is not a simple challenge. Often we differ in views, we choose different paths, and we even wonder if we’re going in the right direction. All the time, however, we are building our place together, We look around the world, looking for models and learning from our mistakes. The same process occurs in homes and cities around the world. In the cities, where more than half the total population of our planet lives.

The challenges, which Poles have faced in the last decades – how to catch up with the world, and at the same time not to get lost in the constantly changing global reality – in a moment will concern 2/3 of our planet. So many people will be wondering each day how to change their surroundings to make it an ideal home.

Poland has also taken up this challenge. Deep level revitalization processes – restoring the soul to the cities – are today no longer the sphere of dreams and hopes, but Polish everyday reality. Our experience of transformation, all the lessons that we have learnt in the last three decades, today we are moving closer to ordinary people – to their homes. This is a huge challenge – to restore the identity of places, to outrun world leaders and do this by listening to every voice and suggestion of residents. Connect urban and national development strategies with social challenges. Connect changes in the infrastructure with the needs of all social groups. Revitalize.

We want to share these experiences. We are proud of them, which is why we want to show off, but we also need your knowledge, your suggestions. We want the world to show us how it intends to change the cities for the people. How it intends to meet the rapid growth of the number of inhabitants? What ideas does it have for involving its residents?

The Polish government can already guarantee that this discussion will not begin in 2022, but immediately if Poland is granted the right to organize the Exhibition. The better we prepare together for this venture, the more we will all benefit from it. Right from the beginning, we want to emphasize that the Polish EXPO is not only about Łódź or only about Polish cities. We also want your guests to feel at home at this exposition and to be able to show their best. Yesterday at this forum I pointed out that we have specific proposals in this area. A few months ago, in Łódź, a field of studies on revitalization processes was launched, focusing on urban transformation experts. Based on this foundation, we would like to exchange know-how during the period of reparation for EXPO 2022 and support one of the selected revitalization projects from each country interested in participation in EXPO 2022 in Łódź. These undertakings will be the most interesting achievement that can be shown at the Exhibition, the achievements of cooperation and progress based on the understanding of the different nations of the world. The selected activities would be coordinated by the EXPO organizing company, which after the Exhibition will be transformed into the Centre of Knowledge on Revitalization, as provided for in our application documentation and the financial plans of the Exhibition.

Today, Poland is offering you to an exhibition of transformations in the best location possible – in the heart of revitalized Łódź, a city with a proud history that is rediscovering its soul today. Łódź is a showcase of all the processes currently taking place in Poland. In addition – it has a perfect system of transport connections with the capital city and the entire region of Central Europe – Łódź is not a candidate with plans and visions only, but with a complete infrastructure already waiting for the opening of the Polish EXPO 2022.

Poland and Łódź are waiting for you right now. Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to Poland Brick by brick, solution by solution, idea by idea, let’s reinvent our cities together.

Paweł Lewandowski
Remarks during the presentation of Łódź’s candidature to host Expo 2022, International Exhibitions Bureau in Paris.

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