Garden of Experiences

  • Investor (key institution): Municipality of Kraków
  • Contact person: Anna Krochmal, GE Coordinator,;
  • Year of implementation: 2005
  • Implementation venue

  • Country: Poland
  • Region: Małopolska
  • Town: Kraków
  • Size of area: 60000 m2
  • Impact: regional

    Total costs: 1200000 EUR

    Source per every institution

    • EU fonds: 400.000,00 EUR
    • regional: 800.000,00 EUR

    Important stakeholders concerned

    • EU fonds: European Social Fund, EQUAL Community Initiative
    • regional: Municipality of Kraków, The C.K.Norwid Culture Centre, SIEMACHA Association
    1. Improved provision of local cultural and social events.
    2. Improved condition & quality of the public space between the blocks of flats.
    3. Improved involvement of the local community in events organized in its quarter.
    4. Identified new functions for structures from the era of socialism in 1945 - 1989).
    1. What forms of cooperation were used as new approaches in the field of rehabilitation and conversion of urban functional areas?
    2. The Garden of Experiences was created within the framework of the Project ‘Nowa Huta – a New Chance’, put into practice by Partnership of Initiatives for Nowa Huta within the scope of EQUAL Community Initiative Programme. Partnership was made up from 12 Kraków organizations, firms and institutions from three sectors – public, private and non-governmental, which were working together on making the district more attractive, upgrading the quality of life of the residents, improving the employment situation in the district. Directly responsible for the organization were: Kraków Municipal Management – municipal budgetary unit, ‘U Siemachy’ Association and the C.K.Norwid Culture Centre.

    3. Was the building or the space between buildings) identified as a valuable socialist heritage?
    4. The area of the Park of Polish Pilots, where the Garden of Experiences was built had been designed parallel to the construction of Nowa Huta. It was deemed to be a connector between the Old Kraków and the new district. In urban-planning designs it was designated to become a park of culture and leisure with numerous attractions and beautifully arranged green areas. This project, implemented on community service basis was eventually discontinued. The rich and diversified timber forest remained, but planned recreational development was reduced to walking lanes and benches only. This particular area associated inseparably with Nowa Huta and its socialist history constituted value requiring to be supplemented.

    5. What criteria were applied to make this judgment?
    6. Historical value – the area of the Park of Pilots, where the Garden of Experiences was built had been functioning within the district from the very beginning of its existence (50s) and it was the pride of the district and its residents. Social value – the revitalized area since its beginning was designated for recreational purposes for the local residents and it has retained this character until the present date. Ecologic value - the Garden of Experience was built in compliance with the landscaping assumed by the designers of green areas from the period when Nowa Huta was built.

    7. Was the building or space between buildings) important to local communities and how were they involved in decision-making process about its rehabilitation or conversion?
    8. The area of the Park presented a great value for Nowa Huta residents and social acceptance proved essential for its development. The construction design for the Garden of Experiences was preceded by sociological research in the district which has shown that for the residents of Nowa Huta greenery and contact with nature are particularly significant. Survey in one of the local weeklies demonstrated that the offer to build the Garden of Experience in this area was the most welcomed initiative among a dozen or so suggested by the Partnership for the residents of the district. Stages of the Project implementation were published on the ongoing basis on the page of PIN and on the page of the Garden of Experience.

    9. Were attempts made to improve territorial cohesion within the city/town/district? And, if so, how was success on this front gauged?
    10. Garden of Experiences– build as a social initiative for revitalization of the local environment – is the only park of this type in this country. Every year it is visited by tourists from the region, from the whole country, as well as by foreign tourists. The Garden constitutes the supplement to the city educational offer, deciding on numerous occasions on the choice of Kraków as a tourists’ destination (particularly for those practicing specialist tourism). The Garden also gives an opportunity for elementary, gymnasium and secondary school students to grasp the principles of physics inspiring them to look for creative ways of development and making them convinced to this difficult domain of science.

    11. Were there attempts to reduced disparities between districts within cities/towns achieved reduced? And, if so, how was success on this front gauged?
    12. The main objective of the Project Nowa Huta – New Chance, within which the Garden of Experiences was built, was to upgrade the quality of life of Nowa Huta residents and a battle against unemployment in this district. In the Garden the innovative system of work was implemented giving employment opportunity to a sixty-person group of the unemployed. Recruited by the Municipal Employment Office (partner in the project), Garden instructors were trained and then employed in the system organized on rotational basis. Implementation of the project contributed to giving equal opportunities to persons eliminated from the labor market.

    13. Other important facts and comments, e.g. critical review.
    14. The Project of establishing the Garden of Experiences has become an inherent part of the strategy of Kraków Development passed by the Krakow City Council which assumed the description of required features of Krakow in a dozen or so years briefly outlined in the following expression: ‘Kraków is a civic town, ensuring high quality of life for its residents as well as balanced development – a European metropolis, a competitive centre of modern economy based on scientific and scientific potential’.


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