A vision of developing Tomaszów Mazowiecki worth of the 21st century was presented during a conference held at the City Hall on 14 January.
Norwegian funds secured from the “Local Development” Programme and allocated to the municipality will allow a number of investments and public activities to be delivered; these funds will be used to finance just some of these tasks. Comprehensive plans regarding the not-too-distant future were presented at the project kick-off event.
The project about to be launched has been titled “TOMASZÓW MAZOWIECKI – ARENA OF POSITIVE ENERGY: boosting socio-economic cohesion, and improving the quality of Tomaszów Mazowiecki’s natural environment”. Its delivery includes i.a. the “Ducal Garden” – a project to restore environmental, architectonic and historical values of the “Solidarity” Municipal Park and Palace Park. A pedestrian and cycling tourist trail concept will be designed for the River Pilica Open-Air Museum to Sulejów Reservoir section. A strategy of developing and promoting leisure time will be developed for the Tomaszów Mazowiecki town and municipality. Yet that does not exhaust the list. Other activities include i.a. the design and implementation of the “Economically Active” local business programme, improving accessibility standards for public utility facilities and urban space, town digitisation, and removal of architectural barriers.
Local residents were very active in joining the tentative project assumption studies by attending questionnaire-based studies, workshops, interviews, meetings, consultations and other forms of interaction in great numbers. Business people and third-sector organisation representatives took part in the diagnosis process as well. All in all, over 1,500 individuals participated in this project stage.
The city intends to secure more funds from other sources as well. Ultimately, Norwegian funds apart, these resources will secure a change to the quality of local residents’ lives, in consideration of all socio-economic trends (green areas regeneration, ecology).
In striving to deliver the urban vision, a number of development directions have been planned in institutional as well as local aspects to the ultimate purpose of creating a city open to development and sensitive to local residents’ needs. The City Hall and its subordinate units will be implementing innovative technological and equipment solutions (server room, fibre-optic network, specialist service processing software), as well as other measures to improve their operational effectiveness.
Improving the local residents’ ecological awareness through the development and delivery of the comprehensive “ECO-positive Tomaszów” ecological education programme is another project module to be delivered by organising auteur educational classes at kindergartens and schools. Others include the “Tomaszów for Senior Citizens” assistance programme, and the delivery of healthcare-supporting activities addressing the city’s eldest residents. Programmes delivered as part of the project (those with a business development focus included) assume an improvement in the quality of collaborating with local residents in terms of their involvement in urban life by drafting and implementing a strategic document titled “Communication and public participation standards for Tomaszów Mazowiecki”. Further plans include activities designed to draft and implement a comprehensive “Leisure time industries development and promotion strategy for the City and Municipality of Tomaszów Mazowiecki”.
During the project kick-off conference, Mayor Marcin Witko emphasised that project delivery will benefit all residents. “Project addressees include persons with special needs and disabilities, as well as others struggling with various difficulties. This is a very important feature of any Norwegian grant-based project. We will be regenerating another green area as well. Norwegians attach great importance to ecology. The Bandshell and ‘Solidarity Park’ are what I have in mind. Tomaszów Mazowiecki intends to provide its residents with high life quality. Once we consider the number of such green areas and the volume of those we have managed to restore to use, we comprehend how lucky we are to inhabit such a unique location. The Norwegian funds are not all we have; we are just about to embark on a huge investment – lighting system replacement across town. Many good things await the city in the years to come.”
In delivering the “TOMASZÓW MAZOWIECKI – ARENA OF POSITIVE ENERGY: boosting socio-economic cohesion, and improving the quality of Tomaszów Mazowiecki’s natural environment” project funded from the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 as part of the “Local Development” Programme, the City (Project Leader) will join forces with Project Partners: the Tomaszów Mazowiecki Municipality, Tomaszów Mazowiecki Branch of the University of Łódź, and Widzieć Więcej (See More) Foundation in taking action with a focus on developing the city and region. A partnership collaboration scheme will be set up with the Norwegian town of Hamar in the Hedmark county, seat of i.a. the Hamar Olimpiske Anlegg AS event and sports hall, venue of the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer and multiple other European and world sports events.
Association of Polish Cities advisors will assist the city at the project delivery stage.