This is a chance to reduce the scale of negative phenomena, including unemployment, poverty and crime, says Monika Pawlak of the Social Welfare Centre in Łódź. – The majority of inhabitants of the city were workers in textile factories. These factories simply ceased to exist from one day to another, leaving large numbers of people without work, without means of income. They offered them nothing in return, no protection program, any aid program, and so the problems began. This project is a great opportunity for these people – says Monika Pawlak.
Entrepreneurs and socially involved institutions will also benefit. Having experience and knowledge regarding handling EU funds effectively, a think tank was initiated at the University of Łódź, explains Dr. Katarzyna Perlińska from the Faculty of Educational Sciences. – The process of revitalization and participation in it requires new knowledge and new competencies. We need to join forces with several faculties: Faculty of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Economics – Sociology, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Management, Department of Geography, and cooperation with the Technical University of Łódź.
Experts unanimously emphasize that the success of social revitalization depends largely on the residents and private investors. Renewal of declining cities is one of the priorities for the European Union in the coming years. The selected Polish cities will receive a total of 25 billion PLN. For the reconstruction and revitalization of downtown Łódź, the government together with funding from the EU intends to make 4 billion PLN available to the city.