Over the three days of their visit, Norwegians learned about the current situation and development plans for the town of Starachowice. The majority of meetings focused on presenting good Scandinavian practices – solutions implemented successfully and with positive outcomes.
Second largest in Norway, Bergen is Starachowice’s official project partner.
The first part of the visit focused on housing policies in Poland and Norway. Guests visited i.a. the site and building of a former hospital on Radomska Street, where a state-of-the art housing estate is to be developed. Drafting a concept for this part of town was made possible by Norwegian Grants aid. Matters of eco-buildings and other housing investment plans were raised as well.
Major agenda items included urban accessibility, topics including accessibility standards, architectural barrier elimination, assistance for persons with disabilities, and activities engaged in as part of senior citizen-centred and social welfare policies. The healthcare system, current challenges and needs and Norwegian solutions worth grafting onto Polish soil were debated as well.
Representatives of the Municipal Authority, Social Services Centre and the Wspólny Dom (Shared Home) Community Building Society Co-operative apart, the meeting was attended by local businesses, and representatives of the County Starosty, County Healthcare Facility, Starachowice Niepełnosprawni Plus (The Disabled Plus) Association, and Third Age University. The Norwegians visited the Social Services Centre at the “Skałka” Shopping Centre and senior citizen clubs, as well as Starachowice’s non-governmental organisations.
“I wish to thank our partners from Bergen. We have been enjoying their undivided attention from day one, and their commitment to the project is extraordinary. We have been sharing excellent, truly substantive collaboration, and doing whatever we can to put it to best use, introducing solutions to improve life quality for our residents, and secure further town development,” Mayor of Starachowice Marek Materek remarked.
Our Bergen partners’ next visit to Starachowice has been scheduled for late April.