Second Meeting of the EMPIRIAE – CIVIC CITIES AND TOWNS Network in Konin
Representatives of local governments from across Poland met in Konin on 20 and 21 October to identify essential activities producing a “Civic City”. This was the second meeting of the EMPIRIAE – Civic Cities and Towns Experience Exchange Network.
Tools for cities

The event was attended by 36 participants from 12 cities and towns: Cieszyn, Kędzierzyn-Koźle, Konin, Opoczno, Piła, Przemyśl, Tarnów, Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Włocławek, Zabrze, Zgierz and Żary.

Mayor of Konin Piotr Korytkowski and his Deputy Witold Nowak joined the second EMPIRIAE – Civic Cities and Towns Experience Exchange Network meeting. They described action taken by the Konin local government when drafting Konin’s development strategy and the city’s collaboration with non-governmental organisations. They also spoke of providing NGOs with proper operating conditions, as proven by the Non-Governmental Organisation Centre – a debate and workshop venue. Local government officials also spoke to Youth City Council representatives, and visited the Poznaj wodór (Meet Hydrogen) travelling exhibition forming part of the Wielkopolska of Hydrogen project.

Many meeting attendants were highly impressed by taking a tour of the Old Town in wheelchairs, Maciej Wiatrowski and his colleagues from the Pay It Forward Foundation acting as city guides. Regrettably, several minor and one major obstacle were encountered. The Thursday meeting closed with a visit to the Non-Governmental Organisation Centre and specialist accommodation for persons with disabilities (specialist flats housed by the Centre as well), the tour given by the discerning Centre Director Bartosz Jędrzejczak. On Friday, local government representatives visited the M-Lab, and attended workshops with social consultation-related role playing exercises. In closing, attendants summarised the meeting and exchanged experiences and opinions.