Jasło – My Town, My Home
A kick-off conference for the project “Jasło – My Town, My Home” was held in the GEN Education Generator lecture hall on 20 September. The project comprises 18 activities, their value totalling PLN 15.3 million.

Jasło received 100% funding for the project from the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism for the years 2014-2020, and the state budget.

Jasło is one of the 29 victorious Polish urban beneficiaries of funding allocated to the delivery of tasks planned under the “Local Development” Programme. The community of the town’s Partners for some of these activities includes the Association of Municipalities of the Wisłoka Basin, Jasło Business Association, and “Active Galicia” Foundation. “Originally, our programme was designed to address 255 medium-sized cities and towns. Fifty-four remained after elimination round one, twenty-nine ultimately selected owing to assistance provided by the Association of Polish Cities who had been supporting us with expert know-how – and all urban participants at the application drafting stage – from day one. The community of winners includes Jasło; having secured financial assistance, it will gain capacity for comprehensive enhancement in areas of environmental protection as well as social, economic and institutional development,” said Marcin Bogusz from the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy.

The conference agenda included presentations of the vision and development plans for Jasło for 2024, and of a new development path for the town (drafted alongside the application) – and debates regarding individual projects. “Their intent is to provide something akin to an extra component for all activities improving local quality of life, making local space architecturally friendly and conducive to citizen-inspired activity, education, knowledge expansion and job seeking. Such is the intended objective of the ‘Jasło – My Town, My Home’ project,” mayor of Jasło Ryszard Pabian declared when speaking at the conference.

The Jasło project is one of the most expansive ones across the board so far in terms of outreach, tasks and activities. The application comprises two operational documents: the Local Development Plan and Institutional Development Plan. Eighteen activities (6 investment and 12 non-investment tasks, respectively) are to be delivered by late April 2024, the two Plans comprising a total of 111 component activities (e.g. the “Jasło – Town of Knowledge” endeavour includes 12 separate activities, i.a. Children’s University, Third Age University workshops, Ingenious Project Exchange, Jasło Training Voucher, and Jasło Science Society).

It was pointed out during the conference time and again that Jasło’s residents, creative and ambitious, are the town’s greatest, strictly endogenous potential. Jasło is a Phoenix town: 97 percent of the locality destroyed by hate, the town was restored thanks to persistence and love of the local.

Doctor Tomasz Potkański of the Association of Polish Cities pointed out that demographics have remained the greatest urban issue of all, by no means in Jasło only. “Changes to the demographic structure have produced a rapidly rising number of senior citizens who will require care in time, the phenomenon regrettably omnipresent throughout Europe. Notably, any Polish city or town exposed to such development is obliged to respond. While incapable of bringing the change to a stop, we have to know how to identify it and make a conscious effort to weaken the most negative phenomena while fostering those offering chance for recovery. Things will never go back to how they used to be, which is why we have to prepare for governance under new conditions,” he said.

Conference attendants included i.a. Association of Polish Cities representatives and advisors, parliamentarians, business people, representatives of public institutions, municipal agency directors, and organisations and other entities collaborating with municipal units.