Lublin stands out among 12 Polish metropolises due to the high social activity. PwC report indicates that our greatest asset is human capital, which is emphasised by the role of the city as a prominent academic centre. According to the data presented in the report, the quality of life in Lublin is at a high level and EU funds are obtained effectively.
Lublin is one of the cities, which has the highest rate of economic growth similarly to Wrocław, Kraków and Rzeszów. The aim of the “Report on Polish Metropolises 2015” is to define development capital, which is offered by Polish cities. Both the measurement of development potential and the methodology adopted by PwC indicate that, in order to grow, a city requires essential and diverse resources, so-called 7 capitals of the city: Financing Sources Capital, Institutional and Democratic Capital, Technical and Infrastructural Capital, Quality of Life Capital, Investment Attractiveness Capital, Culture and Image Capital as well as Human and Social Capital.
Lublin has made a giant investment leap in the last few years. The city has become a recognised cultural, academic and sports centre in Poland and Europe. We are constantly trying to enhance the quality of life of residents and the first effects are visible not only in public space but also in the awareness of Lublin residents. Lublin is the city which is provided as an example of creating civic society and citizen participation. The city is often chosen as a tourist destination and flagship events organised by the City Authorities have become fixed positions in the schedule of the most important events taking place in the country and abroad – says Krzysztof Żuk, Mayor of the City of Lublin.
Seven capitals in Lublin were on the increase, which was apparently bigger than an average one within past four years. Their average rates in 2015 amounted to 91 % in comparison with the number 100 which is regarded as the optimal level by the authors of the report.
Lublin has one of the highest economic growth rates among 12 biggest Polish cities. Better results are achieved only by Rzeszów and Wrocław. The latter ones and Lublin are the cities which had over 40 % economic growth within past ten years – says prof. Witold Orłowski, Chief Economic Advisor at PwC.
The greatest asset of Lublin is the activity of civil society. We can observe the involvement of city residents in the social and political life both at the local level (the percentage of projects in the participatory budget) and the national one reflected by the electoral turnout which accounted for 48%. The high number of the projects within the participatory budget, which were taken into account in the overall city budget, is considered as an advantage.
Lublin has been on an upward trend. This is the city one wants to live in – says Dionizy Smoleń, Senior Manager for Public Administration at PwC.
The authors of the report defined Quality of Life Capital at the level 122, whereas the average level for 12 cities amounts to 100. The quality of life in the city satisfies Lublin residents. According to the adopted criteria, the city fulfils its duties in terms of the state of the environment and safety. Traffic in our city is not busy, both during peak hours and off-peak hours. The number of collisions and road accidents is below average and the crime rate is relatively low. The report highlights the elaborate network of the city surveillance cameras.
PwC report indicates that the number of population in Lublin has not changed within last years. The situation of our city in terms of education is well perceived. The number of people with higher education accounts for 26,6 % and the ratio of the number of students to the number of residents is one of the highest among 12 cities.
The authors of the report highlight aspects were there is room for improvement. These are among others: improvement of investment attractiveness and public transport, promotion of tourism, particularly on the Internet, as well as expenditures on public administration and investments. Actions launched by the Authorities of the City designed to address the above mentioned aspects are under way.
Lublin is effective in obtaining EU funds. The city is one of the best in this category (Rzeszów, Tricity – [pol. Trójmiasto] Wrocław and Warszawa are the only cities which are better). Expenditures, including PLN 1,5 billion of EU funds, amounted to PLN 2,2 billion which was the record.
Vehicles of public transport are being replaced with the new ones. One hundred and seventy modern vehicles, including: 27 articulated buses and 13 trolleybuses which are 18 meters long, were bought as a part of the ”Integrated Municipal Public Transport System” EU project. For the time being, Lublin public transport offers 375 buses and trolleybuses, including 96 highly commodious vehicles, which accounts for 30 % of all the vehicles in operation. Such changes will be implemented in the future thanks to the EU funds since the City Authorities intend to buy approximately 90 commodious vehicles. Furthermore, the Public Transport Authority intends to launch the tender for transportation services and to put articulated vehicles out for tenders.
Actions within public transport are designed to establish priorities for public transport. Separate lanes for public transport are intended to be created within 16 km of roads between 2014 and 2020 in Lublin which will be in line with the submitted projects co-financed from EU funds. Those will be mostly two-way lanes which will be created within the main streets running to the city centre. Furthermore, implementation of Traffic Management System will help to reduce traffic jams in the city. Buses were equipped with special devices designed to pass the information to the system about a bus approaching the traffic lights as well as its number and the delay as a part of this investment. If a bus is delayed, it will get the green flow at the nearest crossroads.
Lublin Special Economic Zone is constantly growing and includes 128 ha of fully equipped investment area for the time being. Over 90% of the area within the sub-zone has been already used. Forty one investors, including 21 who have already launched their businesses, decided to make investments within the area. One thousand two hundred thirty eight new workplaces have been created. Furthermore, there are 1098 workplaces which accounts for 2309 posts altogether in the zone. Enterprises which operate within the Lublin Subzone are entitled to be exempted from income tax in the amount from 50% to 70%. Strategy and Investor Relations Department of the Lublin City Office offers comprehensive service during the whole investment process.
Key factors, which make Lublin very attractive for investors, are not only relatively low labour costs but also qualified graduates of technical and science faculties as well as the availability of ICT and transport infrastructure. The localisation of Lublin in the east of the European Union and the possibility to travel not only to Warsaw but also abroad, thanks to the Lublin Airport, are also highly appreciated by the investors.
Office space market in Lublin is growing as well. It is going to increase by another 20 thousand square metres in 2016 in comparison with 2015 when the modern office space accounted for 158 thousand square metres. Total surface area of facilities under construction, which will be used in the upcoming years, amounts to 126,8 thousand square metres.
Our strategy of attracting investments to Lublin has been recognised many times among others by Rising Stars Award granted by Colliers International. It was also recognised in the fDi Magazine’s "European Cities and Regions of the Future 2015/16" ranking where Lublin ranked second place in three categories. We were also short-listed in the fDi's top 15 Polish Cities Strategies ranking which presented the best strategies of attracting direct foreign investments. Moreover, we ranked third place in fDi'S Top 3 Small European Cities of the Future 2016/17. The last most noble award is the third place in the category “Strategy of obtaining direct foreign investments in small cities with population between 100 000 and 350 000” in the prestigious "European Cities and Regions of the Future 2016/17" ranking prepared by the fDi magazine.
Lublin is perceived as a city full of interesting and unique events. Over 1000 festivals are organised annually in the city, which attracts tourists from abroad. Lublin has been a capital hosting international cultural, film, theatre and musical events for years. According to the survey concerning city’s tourist image conducted in 2013 and 2014 (in collaboration with UMCS), more than a half of respondents were highly interested in culture events in the city. The perception of Lublin's tourist product, understood as a general assessment of tourist attractiveness, was also held in high regard.
Over 70 % of respondents in the survey conducted by the ARC Market and Opinion and commissioned by the city, considered Lublin as an attractive tourist destination. Every fifth respondent claimed that Lublin is very attractive, and more than the half of them stated that Lublin is rather attractive. Only 2% of the respondents found Lublin not very attractive. We have been implementing the Lublin’s Tourism Development Strategy since 2013 (which is to continue till 2025) which describes in detail the Lublin’s Tourism Products Development Program based on the professional analysis and social consultations.
One third of the tourists, who stay in Lublin hotels, are foreigners. International entrepreneurships offering services in the city, many international cultural events, such as the Sztukmistrze Carnaval, the Jagiellonian Fair, the European Festival of Taste as well as sports events such as Lublin Sportival attract foreign visitors. The high number of foreign students, multicultural heritage of our city as the Gate of the East and the location of the city near the eastern border also contribute to that. Guests from Ukraine, Israel and Germany usually make use of the hotels.
The report can be downloaded from the PwC website.