As one of the first cities in Poland, Lublin has embarked on active efforts, in collaboration with NGO partners, towards building a people-friendly city.
What provided inspiration for change was the year 2014, celebrated as the Year of Jan Gehl in Lublin, which saw many discussions on the quality of living and the need to design the city with priority for pedestrians. The climax of Gehl’s Year was a visit paid by the famous professor to Lublin, during which he held meetings with city officials and residents, and delivered a lecture at UMCS for more than 800 participants. His visit coincided with the launch of the City for People project.
The project "City for People. Lublin standards of pedestrian infrastructure", implemented by the Tu Obok Foundation in partnership with the Lublin City Office, is aimed to put together the best practices and models that will help in designing a resident-friendly pedestrian infrastructure. Under the project, meetings, workshops, happenings and exhibitions are held, dedicated to the issues of pedestrian traffic, during which residents have an opportunity to present their ideas or report problems. Pedestrian infrastructure standards are to include four main issues, i.e. flexibility of traffic, special needs, spending time, and an attractive and welcoming space. The first issue is focused on reducing pedestrians’ travel time and designing infrastructure where it is actually necessary. The second one concerns a broad group of people, i.e. disabled persons, parents with children, travellers with suitcases, high-heeled women, dog owners, skaters, etc. The third one is aimed to create a space which encourages people to stay within it and to create places for activity, education, work or rest. The last one will wrap up the first three ones, with elements added, such as aesthetics, advertisements or visual information system, which also affect the way in which public space is perceived. Work on the Standards is scheduled for completion at the beginning of 2016.
Another activity promoting pedestrian traffic was the establishment on 1 March 2015 of the Active Mobility Unit that will be tasked e.g. with coordinating matters related to designing a pedestrian-friendly road infrastructure, including the analysis and elimination of architectural barriers. The Unit will be the place where to report any problems, submit comments and ideas related to safety, convenience or comfort of pedestrian movement, and to obtain detailed information on the subject matter in question.