Hajnówka is preparing for a new financial perspective
Ten thematic areas and twenty documents. They concern: spatial development, institutional potential of local government, climate, green transport, public housing, sports and tourism. Their possession will be the basis for applying for EU funds.
We are talking about the development of documentation as part of the support for the development of cities under POPT 2014–2020. This is a proposal for additional support for the cities-leaders of the Local Development Program from the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy. Let us remind you that this is a program under which the city runs the “Hajnówka ReNewal – Green Transformation” project. The value of the latter is EUR 3.5 million, but Hajnówka originally applied for EUR 10 million. The Ministry reduced the amount of funding so that more cities could benefit from the support. Some of the reduced activities managed to qualify for co-financing from European Technical Assistance, the so-called POPT.
Joining POPT was not obligatory and not all leader cities decided to do so. This program is quite a challenge because it has very short deadlines. POPT itself does not have an investment character, although it is an important step towards implementing key investments for the city's development. It involves the preparation of twenty different types of documents - studies, strategies or documentation, which will either be the basis for applying for EU funds or their possession is necessary due to legal provisions. They must be ready by the end of April, hence the pace of work is very intense. Currently, we have completed the tender procedures and are signing contracts with contractors.
In other words, when the new financial perspective starts, Hajnówka will have the entire documentation base ready. All that remains is to apply for funds. Importantly, the city will not spend a single zloty from its own budget on the database. Hajnówka received PLN 2,229,406.23 for POPT documentation (85% from the European Union funds, under the Cohesion Fund, and 15% from the state budget). This is an extremely comfortable situation that many other local governments can only dream of. Especially since having some of these documents will be mandatory and cities will have to develop them with their own money. An example is the Municipal Climate Change Adaptation Plan. It will be the basis for applying for external funds for environmental protection investments. The same will apply to accessibility for people with disabilities. Local governments that do not prepare an accessibility audit will not receive related grants. These documents cover the following areas:
1. Supporting the institutional potential of local government
We are in the process of preparing planning documentation that will justify the implementation of new investment projects. Plans should be updated in order to assign functions to individual areas of the city in line with the directions of the adopted development policy. Updating the study of conditions and directions of spatial development is also the basis for updating the city’s local spatial development plans.
We also commissioned an ecophysiographic study, a document necessary for further planning activities, including updating the study and future investments in urban space. Its aim is to characterize all natural elements located in the city and present their interconnections.
The development of a local spatial development plan for the new city center designated in the New Hajnówka Development Path, as well as design documentation for the modernization of the new city hall headquarters to low-emission requirements, is also underway.
2. Environmental Protection
We see Hajnówka as a city using environmentally friendly transport. Hence, we want to develop an electromobility strategy along with an action plan. Having such a document will enable the city to apply for funding for investments such as the purchase of electric buses or bicycle or scooter rentals. The latter will additionally contribute to the development of tourism in the city. Speaking of electromobility, we want to develop design documentation for electric vehicle charging stations in the city.
The preparation of the Municipal Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change is also underway. It covers issues such as rainwater management and shaping urban greenery, including blue-green infrastructure and the removal of impervious surfaces.
We also strive to prepare the city for calls related to the circular economy (Circular Economy). The first step towards this will be the development of an appropriate strategic document. Ultimately, we want to minimize waste production and increase its use, which will contribute to storing less waste.
The energy crisis and the related high energy prices encourage the search for both savings and new energy sources. Therefore, an analysis of permissible locations for RES installations (type of RES and power selection) will be carried out. This will allow you to apply for funds for this type of investment in the future.
We commissioned the development of design documentation for the renewable energy installation in the Water Park in order to improve the city budget and reduce the maintenance costs of this facility.
3. Tourism development
fot. Agnieszka Jakoniuk
If we compare Hajnówka to other cities of similar size in the country, for example by analyzing the Local Development Monitor, we can see that we are in the group of cities with a tourist profile. Importantly, tourism is the direction in which Hajnówka should develop in the future. Hence, we commissioned the preparation of a study whose aim will be to check how tourism works in the city and what does not work and needs to be improved. It is also intended to include a strategy for the tourist promotion of the city and the Białowieża Forest region, including a study of scenarios for the development of the Local Tourist Organization and a preliminary analysis of the possibility of creating a mobile LOT point.
According to the evaluation of the Hajnówka – Spiritual Vitality brand, tourism is low in the hierarchy of activities in the city, but it is high in strategic documents. Redressing this disproportion is therefore a challenge.
4. Sports development
fot. Andrzej Janiuk / Pasja Hajnówka
Sport in Hajnówka has great development potential, but at the moment it is not an area from which both the city and local entrepreneurs can generate income. However, it should be an element of a consciously prepared tourist offer. That is why we commissioned the development of a sports development policy in Hajnówka. It is to include an expert opinion on the optimal institutional model, the model of commercialization of sports services, along with an analysis of instruments and techniques of financing sports in the city.
We plan to conduct an audit of 12 units under the UM for architectural and digital accessibility. This document will be the basis for applying for funds for investment in this area.
6. City development – SMART CITY
We would like to introduce digital, technological or participatory improvements in the city, suitable to the nature and realities of Hajnówka, taking into account the requirements and expectations of residents or tourists, among others. Above all, we would like to take a step towards modernity.
7. Investment strategy
It is needed for long-term development by acquiring new investments and investors, creating new jobs using the local potential of Hajnówka, which is why we commissioned its preparation.
8. Public housing
The availability of apartments in Hajnówka is low, and the costs of renting or purchasing are high and comparable to those in much larger cities. Moreover, there are few areas in the city suitable for this type of construction. This situation is not conducive to settling in Hajnówka, and therefore inhibits the development of the city. We ordered an expert opinion on the possibility of increasing the number of municipal apartments in Hajnówka.
9. Establishment of a Vocational Activation Facility
For this purpose, we have developed design documentation for the construction of the facility. ZAZ is a form of social economy that operates successfully in other cities. It involves people at risk of social exclusion, e.g. the disabled. They can provide various types of services here, e.g. catering. The aim of ZAZ is vocational and social rehabilitation.
10. Improving the condition of urban greenery
We have commissioned design documentation for the development of greenery in the area of Klimek Street, Kolodzieja Street and the Białowieża Forest Guardians Roundabout, as well as the surroundings of the railway station. As for the latter area, a lot of ideas were brought by the ART TIME competition aimed at students of the Architecture Department of Bialystok University of Technology. We have agreed with the documentation contractor that he will use the ideas contained in the winning works.