“Digital City” in Gliwice
Representatives of Zabrze, Rybnik, Jasło, Sopot and Stalowa Wola – and the Association of Polish Cities – visited Gliwice as part of the “EMPIRIAE” Experience Exchange Network – “Digital Cities and Towns” project operated by the Association.

The two day visit (February 26th and 27th) focused on digitising public services, and related good practices adopted by Gliwice’s local government.

On day one, guests visited the state-of-the-art complex of the Ecological Education Centre at Rybnicka No. 199A, following which they proceeded to the Municipal Authority branch at Jasna No. 31A for a lecture and workshop with a “Municipal Zoning and Land Use Plan Digitisation” focus, held by the Spatial Planning Department of the Municipal Authority in Gliwice. The meeting was organised for a specific reason: the City of Gliwice has completed a lengthy, successful and comprehensive exercise of digitising spatial planning data. It was among the first Polish cities to fully open planning databases – and the first to efficiently and fully implement requirements of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an infrastructure for spatial information in the European Community. Today, local residents, investors, businesses and designers can access online zoning and land use plans as well as an impressive urban space-related database.

Urban planning data digitisation makes it easier to design and deliver investments, Gliwice having become a role model for other municipalities and happy to share any experience gained. Representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and Institute of Urban and Regional Development have been introduced to Gliwice’s activities in the field of urban space information management in the past.

Participants were introduced to the File Flow System and GEPAR Gliwice Electronic Analysis and Clearance Platform, the latter allowing local residents to check local tax rates and amounts, municipal waste management charges, and/or fees for the lease or non-contractual use of real estate, all fees and charges payable online.

The study visit continued at the seat of the Gliwice Water and Wastewater Works at Rybnicka No. 47, where company representatives submitted i.a. blueprints for the construction of a wireless communication network to be shared with the Gliwice District Heating Company. The network has been designed to support communication between Internet of Things devices, as well as remote readings of water and heat meters in private homes across town.

Notably, the EMPIRIAE” Experience Exchange Network is a programme operated by the Association of Polish Cities, and supported by European Economic Area and Norway Grant funding for the years 2014-2021. Eight networks (seven themed, one addressing leaders) established by the Association of Polish Cities promote local development while allowing cities and towns to share good practices. They are an excellent opportunity for learning and experience sharing, establishing collaboration, developing competencies and skill building.