In 2017, Lublin celebrates the Grand Jubilee of the 700th anniversary of chartering the city on foot of the Magdeburg Law. Living through this exceptional time, not only do we want to be inspired by our common heritage, solidify our feeling of pride of Lublin, but also to uplift the city for the benefit of generations to come.
INSPIRATION FROM 700-YEAR LONG HERITAGE
It was Polish king Władysław Łokietek who founded the city and thus introduced it into the European economic and cultural network. Had it not been for his courage and strong faith in Lublin's assets, we would not have had a city we know today. There and then, this small settlement was going through a challenging time of stagnation and uncertainty just reviving after a period of looting and raids. In the Charter one can read the following "we hereby grant the Magdeburg Law to Lublin (...) so that this venture is not forgotten or does not fade away over the years (...) we make it known to present and future generations (...) so that each and every individual residing herein is afforded with affluent and contented life.” This official and in a sense commercial document might be understood as a bold vision built upon trust and confidence in the power of the urban community. Moreover, the latter is equally to be perceived as a charter including not only ad hoc regulations, but also rules governing Lublin's strategy for development regarding economy, administration and possible international affairs.
Seven hundred years later, we are reflecting upon the significance of that event, but also we ask about the tangible and intangible legacy that had been left to us by fellow Lubliners. We feel as the righteous heirs of this heritage, so in the year of the Grand Jubilee we want to remind the world about prominent Lubliners, ground-breaking events, ideals and accomplishments.
The Grand Jubilee is a work prepared jointly with city's residents. We aim to do a symbolic, fresh new location of Lublin once more. However, this time not under the economically-oriented Magdeburg Law but under a civic law, laid down on local patriotism and civic co-governance. The programme of events was arrived at in accordance with the principles of social participation and all events are inspired by the idea of a civic festival. Thus, beside the events that permanently entered the cultural calendar of the city, we have included in the Grand Jubilee many bottom-up social initiatives in the field of sports, business, and science.
The future of Lublin lies in its inhabitants, a consolidated community of conscious and proud citizens. Lublin's celebrations are a part of a long-term process of implementing the participatory model of the city management. This is a next step in building the civil society at at local level.
A DREAM CITY – FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
The Grand Jubilee is an opportunity not to be missed to redefine Lublin. King Łokietek had a bold vision for our city, which perhaps was reaching beyond capabilities of the settlement at the time. Nevertheless, had it not been for his vision, courage and faith in Lublin's potential, we would not have had a city we know today.
Today, Lublin is at stage two of its history, due to European funds we are in the position to accelerate the pace of city's development for future generations. Lublin of today is emerging before our eyes. A good climate for business, flagship investments on a large scale located in city's key areas, modernisation of the infrastructure in the districts – all of the above constitutes an ambitious vision of the development.
Participatory governance through the implementation of civic budgets and multiple social programs is a tool to improve the quality of life of ordinary citizens. The role of Lublin universities is not to be underrated – tens of thousands of students are creating Lublin to be a young and energetic city.
Building on our centuries-old heritage, local and regional identity, on the growing internationally standing of Lublin, responding to the challenges of the contemporary Europe, we create today a city of our dreams. In 2017, Lublin heads towards the future full on. And the future of Lublin is the "Modern Bourgeois", a community of responsible residents who define successive chapters of the city's progress and who do not hesitate to take on challenges beyond current and local horizons.
Krzysztof Żuk, PhD
Mayor of the Lublin City