DEBATE with audience’s participation: How to make use of the city’s potential? Contemporary spaces for its development in the future

We are interested in the way people think about urban development, in particular those who have a great causation potential thanks to their knowledge and former experiences. By considering what is possible and feasible, it is possible not only to specify and determine the decisions taken today, but also to set a vision for actions to be performed in future. Subtle borderlines between courage and bravado, risk and recklessness and innovation and glitter demonstrated by leaders of changes may become an impetus to the development of the city. We are facing a specific cultural moment which is constituted by many factors impacting the planning of the cities of the future. There is more and more talk of the increasing complexity of the world which causes non-transparency and unpredictability, as well as of the shortening time perspective in which we are able to predict or plan something. Social innovation and residents’ projects are becoming more and more significant, as they create new possibilities to establish relations and make changes in the urban space. Some researchers call this phenomenon a “new innovation”. Taken up by residents, such initiatives lay down – often through innovative actions – new patters for relations, types of practices, offers for the space. In the urban space which has always been a distinctive feature of the cities (exchange of products, goods, services, information, attitudes) is currently experiencing dynamic transformation. The relation between the urban space and invention is becoming increasingly important. There are more and more innovations being transformed into the digital environment, public spaces are in regress, it is necessary to democratize technologies – solutions for smart cities may cause that the relations with citizens will be replaced by relations with customers of e-services.

During the debate, we will discuss the following topics:

  1. Is each development good? How to understand development today, why do cities need to develop, who initiates it and who benefits from it?
  2. A citizen or a consumer? Residents as creators of development – new model partnerships with business and local authorities.
  3. Where to search for a space for development? The usual selection contains new investment areas, labs, co-working spaces or clouds in which innovations come into existence, does the public space favour development?
  4. The role of the self-government in the creation of optimal conditions for development – what the causation of the local authorities is about today, what resources and solutions should be characteristic for it, as well as in what time horizon the local authorities may and should plan their activities.


Maciej Frąckowiak – Sociologist, PhD student in the Institute of Sociology of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

Bogna Świątkowska – President of the Bęc Zmiana Culture Foundation, publisher or the social and cultural magazine “”


  • Paweł Adamowicz – President of the City of Gdańsk (tbc)
  • Jacek Jaśkowiak – President of the City of Poznań
  • Andrij Sadowy – Mayor of Lviv (tbc)
  • Ewa Voelkel-Krokowicz – President of the Management Board of Concordia Design

The debate will be held in Polish.

You can register to take part in the workshops.