Candidate – Poland
Submission by: Municipality of Krakow represented by the Krakow Municipal Greenspace Authority
Project name: Czyżyny Park Avia
The park in Czyżyny Avia was created thanks to the enormous commitment of the residents as part of the Civic Budget. It was built on the remains of the former MPK depot and a fragment of a taxiway. Originally, almost the entire area of the park was covered with asphalt and concrete. Today, images of buses and planes under the feet of walkers remind us of the history of this place. Currently, the park has several hundred trees and several thousand perennials arranged in various compositions: some in the English style – in order, with avenues of trees and lawns, others in the form of disordered ruderal vegetation, reminiscent of the remains of paved surfaces. In the park there are: a playground, a wall-hall – a vertical playground in the form of a two-layer wall with numerous indoor play platforms, a climbing wall and a slide, a basketball court, a bulodrome, a gym, parkour.
The main goal of the project was to create a place of silence and relaxation for users, with an attractive recreational offer. Most of the park is a space that offers attractions for all ages. For children, there is a playground with drawings of buses in the surface, for young people a wall-holla, i.e. the first vertical playground in Krakow in the form of a wall-cage with numerous indoor play platforms, a climbing wall and an external slide for children. The elderly will find a multifunctional sports field, gym and parkour park here. With seniors in mind, a boulevard with an area of two full-size boule courts has been designed. The park has lawn loungers, comfortable benches, a multi-person swing and spacious picnic fields. A smaller part of the park behind the parking lot remains a wildlife zone, where you can meet animals: hares, foxes. There is a communal garden with raised vegetable crates and a large picnic table. The chests are manned by the locals during the season and are popular. The park is fully accessible for people with disabilities.
The greenery design in the area of the Park in Czyżyny took into account the enclaves of existing vegetation to the maximum extent. In the area of the former depot, aspen, field roses and hawthorn growing there were left behind, enriching them with grasses and perennials, which, combined with the gravel surface left behind, create the effect of a space spontaneously colonized by vegetation. Planted perennials have an ecological function – selected plants are honey-bearing species, feeding on pollinating insects and butterflies. The species of trees and shrubs, in turn, were selected to provide shelter for small animals and food for birds (elderberry, blackthorn, blackthorn, wild rose, single-necked hawthorn, Swedish rowan).
The total cost of the investment is PLN 10.9 million zł. and was financed from the state budget. The project does not generate financial income. The three-hectare Park in Czyżyny was created in a strongly built-up area of the city, in the space between Stella-Sawickiego Street and the Avia housing estate, access to it is free and serves social purposes. In the future, the investment will generate costs related to the maintenance of green areas and the current repair costs resulting from operation.
Development of green areas in cities that allow you to take advantage of the air, cultivate proper verification and provide gas and utility services. When designing, greenery was primarily taken care of. The areas covered with asphalt and concrete were reclaimed, and over 250 tall trees and 14,000 other plants were planted in the park itself. An interesting solution turned out to be the embankments surrounding the park – insulating it from the side of the busy Stella-Sawickiego street. Greenery planted on them – incl. black pines, Swedish rowan in the multi-stem variety, dogwoods and runners as well as tall grasses – it will act as an acoustic and visual screen.
Wellbeing of visitors/users
The area between Stella-Sawickiego Street and the Avia housing estate is a unique example of the revitalization of a large concrete-paved square and the transformation of the space into a green, lively park. The project fits into the surroundings by using and emphasizing the main communication axes of the estate and the former access road to the runway. The alleys are connected to both the estate and the grounds of the Museum of Municipal Engineering (hangar). The park area is separated from the busy street and the car park by earth embankments, which constitute a visual and acoustic barrier. The embankments were planted with vegetation, which was a kind of invitation to visit the park behind them. The park improved the quality of life of the local residents of housing estates by providing them with recreational, sports and social functions. It contributed to the improvement of the safety of the surroundings – the area is lit and safe.
Selection, origin and quality of the products and materials
252 large trees and almost 14 thousand trees were planted in the park. various plants. The greenery is arranged in two ways: part in the English style – well-ordered, with avenues of trees and lawns, and part in the form of chaotic ruderal vegetation, with the worn-out surface of the old depot referring to it. There are also embankments surrounding the park – isolating it from the side of the busy Stella-Sawickiego Street. Greenery planted on them – incl. black pines, Swedish rowan trees in the multi-stem variety, swine and running dogwood, and tall grasses – it will act as an acoustic and visual screen. The old, rusty and unsightly fence, which was installed on the side of Stella-Sawicki, was dismantled. The recreational offer, which is the heart of the park, includes devices for every age group. There is a playground for toddlers, a wall-holla for young people, i.e. the first vertical playground in Krakow in the form of a two-layer wall with numerous play decks inside, a climbing wall and an external slide for children. Adults will find a basketball court, a boulevard – two full-size boules courts – and a gym. Young athletes who want to train, but also everyone who wants to work on their physical condition, will surely like Czyżyński parkour – designed by specialists, one of the most modern facilities of this type in Poland.
The overall design
The Czyżyny Park is one of the winning tasks of the civic budget in 2016. The project implementation was preceded by consultation meetings with residents, which united and activated the local community long before the park was established. The areas of the former MPK depot and the historic access road to the runway have turned into a recreational and sports space. The area, which was revitalized as part of the park layout, was originally almost entirely covered with a hardened surface: asphalt and concrete. These were the remains of the former MPK depot and a fragment of a taxiway for airplanes (today the images of buses and airplanes under our feet remind us of this history). The park has completely reversed these proportions in favor of a biologically active surface. The main assumption of the designers was to create a place where residents will be able to spend time outdoors in an interesting way. There are playgrounds, playgrounds, parkour spaces, a gym, benches, deckchairs, and a public toilet. Park in Czyżyny in Kraków PL – according to the Society of Polish Town Planners, the best developed public space in Poland in 2020 The award was granted in the category “New public space in green”
The impact on the environment
Originally, the area where Park Czyżyny is located was almost entirely covered with a hardened surface: asphalt and concrete. These were the remains of the former MPK depot and a fragment of a taxiway for airplanes (today the images of buses and airplanes under our feet remind us of this history). The park has completely reversed these proportions in favor of a biologically active surface. 252 large trees and nearly 14 thousand trees were planted. various plants. There was no place in the neighborhood where the inhabitants of nearby estates could meet or rest. The embankments were created surrounding the park – isolating it from the side of the busy Stella-Sawickiego Street. Greenery planted on them – incl. black pines, Swedish rowan in the multi-stem variety, dogwoods and runners, as well as tall grasses that act as an acoustic and visual screen.
Innovative value of the project
The main goal was to revitalize the area entirely covered with a hardened surface: asphalt and concrete. In the place that previously served as a car park and maneuvering yard, new plantings, a playground, playing fields and other places where you can rest or actively spend time have appeared. A three-hectare park was created, which is unique for several reasons – a zone of silence and relaxation, immersed in greenery, adjacent to a rich recreational offer, including wall-holl – probably the first, vertical playground – a huge vertical structure for climbing, resembling a hamster’s cage. It is a very interesting structure for children, certainly encouraging to play. There are also some exercise equipment right next to the playground. The parent can use the devices while watching the child playing in the playground.
The meridian of 20 ° E runs through the park. On the meridian line, among the trees and shrubs, a series of 14 concrete columns was placed, referring in form to the former triangulation measurement sites. On the paths crossed by the meridian, there are blue rails with the words “SOUTHERN LINE 20 ° E” painted on the pavement.
The park area is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Wide concrete alleys provide the possibility of comfortable movement for people of all ages and for those with motor dysfunctions. All the differences in the terrain are designed and made as gentle descents, there is not a single curb or difference in the terrain that could constitute a barrier for people with disabilities.
The pavements are decorated with images referring to the former history of the area, and special embankments covered with vegetation will protect users from the busy street and allow them to enjoy the new space in peace.