President of the Bialystok Technical University

15-351 Bia造stok, 45a Wiejska street e-mail: tel: 085 746 90 10, fax: 085 746 90 15

Bia造stok, 19 January 2007

Dear Guests from the Netherlands,
Dear Mayor,
Dear Ms. Dean,
Dear Employees and Students of the Faculty of Architecture,

I am very pleased with the initiative of the Polish-Dutch meeting devoted to the exchange of experiences concerning revitalization of post-industrial areas and buildings. It is worth to emphasize the great involvement of the employees of the Faculty of Architecture at our University, whose have extensive intellectual and artistic potential that can be used in this domain.

I am glad to see researchers co-operate with both the authorities of our city and partners the Netherlands, the well-known city of Eindhoven that has already passed the way which is still ahead of Bialystok. I hope that revitalization of post-industrial buildings will bring the work of artists and researchers close to the authorities of Bialystok and potential entrepreneurs and investors. In Poland the interest in this problem is visible in the cities of 鏚, Warsaw or Pozna, where old factories are being adapted to the needs of city dwellers and function as apartment houses or commercial and cultural centres.

Bia造stok is a city whose identity was shaped by industrial traditions of the XIXth century. For 150 years Bia造stok has been associated with e.g. the textile industry. Currently the traits of that identity are being destroyed, although according to architects they could be excellently used, adapted and composed into the city space.

The Employees of the Faculty of Architecture at the Bialystok Technical University have once again shown that the municipal infrastructure lies heavily on their minds. One proof of that is the now famous exhibition combined with a discussion that took place in the Arsenal Gallery on 26 October 2006, where graduation projects of the students and graduates of the Faculty were displayed and where the identity of Bialystok was discussed. These were important works, impressed by the "death" of Bialystok's fatories and deserted post-industrial buildings. These young people's intuition to combine the old with the new and to give new meanings and functions to old buildings deserves appreciation. The concepts of adaptations of factory interiors for residential or cultural purposes match the current trend observed in the western Europe, where revitalization has been the preferred path in the development of cities with industrial traditions.

At the beginning of this seminar I wish all its participants that the dreams of the students and employees of the Faculty of Architecture be a "fresh breeze" derived from the traditions of factory owners that lived in our city in the XIXth century, which will help in creating a new quality and spirit of the city. This should be the objective of not only architects and conservation services, but also the city authorities, planners, lawyers and investors.

I wish that this seminar results in a successful exchange of experiences and that the discussion yields an answer to the question of how to restore the spirit of "Manchester of the North" to give this city a new identity.

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Professor Joanicjusz Nazarko, Ph.D., Eng.