Our University’s presence at the World Urban Forum (WUF11) [coverage]

From June 26-th to 30-th, 2022, the 11-th session of the World Urban Forum (WUF11) was held in Katowice, Poland. The tagline of the Forum was "Transforming our cities for a better urban future". The event was attended by over 20,000 participants from 170 countries around the world, including representatives of governments, regions, cities, non-government organizations and financial institutions. The WUF was also attended by employees of the University of Economics in Katowice, who represented our University during official sessions, as well as in the following Zones: Science, Candidate and Relaxation.

The World Urban Forum

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a prestigious international conference, organized by UN-Habitat for urban growth and human settlements. This is the most important global event concerning municipal policies, transformation and development. It is held every two years and hosts over 20 thousand participants representing governments, regions, cities, non- governmental organizations and financial institutions. On 20 May 2019 the UN-Habitat informed that Katowice would hold the status of the host of the eleventh edition.

Science Zone

WUF-11 Science Zone is one of 11 thematic zones through which WUF communicates with the city hosting the event, allowing citizens to join in discussions, and delegates to witness Katowice's remarkable post-industrial transformation. Representing the University of Economics in Katowice, the Science Zone featured the following:

  • June 27–th , from 18:00 to 19:30 Anna Adamus-Matuszyńska, Prof. UE, Sc.D. (Department of Market and Marketing Research, University of Economics in Katowice) and Piotr Dzik, MA (Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Katowice); workshop: "Modern Visual Identification System as a tool for communication between the city and its surroundings".

The workshop was devoted to the development, implementation and evaluation of Visual Identity Systems (VIS) of cities, based on the experience of Polish and European cities. During the workshop, the subject was introduced: what is territorial marketing, place branding, visual identity and their importance in the development of the city and its inhabitants. Examples of good national and international practices in the field of Visual Identification Systems of city self–governments were given. The notion of site specifications (place identity) as a basis of the Visual Identification System was also discussed. Case studies discussed during the workshop came from the workshop leaders' own research and consulting practice.

  • June 28–th , from 17:50 to 18:50 Adam Polko, Sc.D. (Department of Spatial Economics, University of Economics in Katowice), Małgorzata Czornik, Sc.D., Prof. UE (Department of Strategic and Regional Studies, University of Economics in Katowice), Artur Ochojski, Sc.D (Department of Strategic and Regional Studies, University of Economics in Katowice); lecture: "City as a common good".

Keynote speakers answered the questions of what the urban common goods are and what inspired such research, as well as who are the "commoners". They also discussed the issue of effective co-creation and sharing of urban common goods and presented the results of field testing and surveys. Concluding the presentation, it was discussed how local authorities can support the development of urban common goods.

  • June 28–th , from 18:00 to 18:45 Klaudia Plac, MA (Department of Strategic and Regional Studies, University of Economics in Katowice); lecture: "Why cities need a climate scientist?".

During the session, specific phenomena that occur only in the cities were discussed i.e.: tropical nights, cooler weekends, sudden urban floods and urban desert, disturbed energy and water balance, limited evaporation, heavier precipitation, frequent and intense pressure changes, acoustic climate, concentration of natural and anthropogenic dust. During the discussion, the participants attempted to find solutions to question like how to adapt urban planning in accordance to the climate crisis and the life of residents during different seasons or enumerate what kinds of climate science–driven mistakes or good practices are utilized in cities.

WUF sessions with participation of our University’s representatives

  • June 27–th , Marcin Baron, Sc.D (Department of Strategic and Regional Studies, University of Economics in Katowice) was the moderator of the session "From Cities to Metropolises - does the metropolisation process have borders?" within the framework of Metrolab.

How do we understand "metropolitan borders" and can they be defined? – this was one of the many questions the participants tried to answered during the session. In addition, other issues were tackled, such as borders understood as administrative, population (optimum number of inhabitants), infrastructural (efficiency of the "municipal" city service systems, share of smart solutions in the management of such an area) and impact, all an attempt to find out whether metropolises actually function today in the context of other metropolises – including foreign ones – and what role they play/will play in relation to their surroundings.

  • Adam Drobniak, Sc.D., Prof. UE (University of Economics in Katowice) took part in the plenary session "Voices of Cities", prepared by the City of Katowice

During this session, the success story of the comprehensive metamorphoses of cities and the region from industrial to modern spaces for business and culture was presented. Keynote speakers discussed their experiences in relation to the contemporary potential of cultural heritage as a catalyst for development and transformation processes. The key factors of multidimensional urban transformations were identified, and effective models for change management in post–industrial cities were presented, with particular attention to a wide range of stakeholders. The role of local communities was highlighted, in regards to initiation, leadership and support of the complex process of revitalization, and thus underlining the multidimensional transformation. The role of architecture in the transformation process was also presented.

Innovation Zone

In the Innovation Zone, topics related to the broadly understood urban innovation, impact projects and smart city solutions were discussed. The zone covered a wide range of topics, e.g. from the use of artificial intelligence and IoT (Internet of Things) to the use of technology in service of the social innovation. The lynchpin of all the discussed issues was the notion of transformation in its various aspects.

On June 30th, Jan Kozak, Ph.D., Head of the Department of Machine Learning (University of Economics in Katowice), took part in a discussion panel entitled "Smart City - can innovations make life easier for residents?" conducted in the Innovation Zone (stage in the arcades of the Music School, Teatralna Street).

Other activities

  • Marcin Baron Sc.D. (Department of Strategic and Regional Studies, University of Economics in Katowice) was the moderator of the panel within the seminar "Digital reality of the future" – an event associated with WUF in Rzeszów, June 30–th .
  • Adam Drobniak, prof. UE, Sc.D. (University of Economics in Katowice), prepared an essay for the Ministerstwo Funduszy i Rozwoju Regionalnego (Ministry of Funds and Regional Development) referring to the issues of urban resilience and took part in a film promoting this issue at WUF11. Additionally, on behalf of the ministry, Professor Drobniak participated in the analysis of: "Building Resilience for Sustainable Urban Futures" debate and "The city we need now" session, and, what is more, the work on the summary documents concluding the Forum, in particular in the area of transformation of cities and post–industrial regions.
  • During the WUF11, our students from the Urban Economy and Real Estate Department presented their work conducted jointly with the students of the Faculty of Architecture of the Silesian University of Technology, concerning the competition "Czas na Szopienice" ("Time for Szopienice") within the session Affordable Housing (supervised by: Adam Drobniak, Prof. UE, Sc.D. (University of Economics in Katowice), Klaudia Plac, MA, Michał Stangel, Prof. UŚ, Sc.D. (University of Silesia in Katowice).

Candidate Zone

Guests of the World Urban Forum also visited our University’s stand located at Chełkowskiego Street. Participants were able to:

  • learn about our University’s offer,
  • play Monopoly,
  • take part in quizzes.

Press briefing "Let's Build a City of Science" with the participation of the Rector 

Thursday, June 30, 2022, as part of the World Urban Forum WUF11, a press briefing "Let's Build a City of Science" was held with the participation of the Mayor of Katowice, Marcin Krupa, Ph.D., and representatives of public universities operating in the city, associated in the Katowice Academic Consortium - City of Science. During the briefing, the concept of creating a Network Science Center and a Green Science Zone over the Rawa river was presented. The University of Economics in Katowice was represented by the Rector, Prof. Celina M. Olszak Ph.D., D.Sc. More information about the briefing

Polish-Ukrainian Integration Festival

Polish-Ukrainian Integration Festival, an event organized by the City of Katowice and "Ligota" community center, took place on June 28–th , 2022 in the former student dormitories of the University of Economics in Katowice. Our University was one of the partners of the event, during which the Song and Dance Ensemble "Silesianie" performed and the Marketing Center prepared fun games and activities for children. Coverage from the event.

More information

Detailed information on the 11–th session of the World Urban Forum can be found at: wuf11.katowice.eu