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The Silesian capital of Wrocław was extensively destroyed in the Second World War and after it, but it is becoming a thriving city. Just across the river from its mediaeval old town stands the district of Nadodrze, one of the most deprived urban areas in the city. Through the ERDF, Nadodrze has benefited from an integrated revitalisation programme. Public participation and local NGO involvement is a major feature of this programme, which represents one of the first attempts in Poland to launch a multi-stakeholder area-based process. This relatively modest €30-million programme has worked simultaneously on infrastructure, local economy and social issues.

Executive summary

Wrocław, the 630 000-strong capital of the Polish region of Lower Silesia, has recovered a great deal of its stature since its near-total destruction in 1945. In particular it has restored its mediaeval old town on the banks of the River Odra, which has become a major tourist attraction. After joining the European Union in 2004, it wanted to continue the process in its other districts, which had been neglected for decades. Being a relatively prosperous community, Wrocław could embark on an ambitious plan of regeneration of several deprived urban areas implementing an integrated approach. The municipality decided to focus first on the district of Nadodrze, which ranks among the most deprived urban areas of the city. The regeneration process of Nadodrze is intended to function as a pilot project for the renewal of other areas in the city.

With the support of the ERDF and knowledge exchange with other EU cities through URBACT, the municipality designed an integrated plan for urban regeneration, which included several stakeholders in a local support group, with the presence of the district administration, the municipality and local NGOs. Working on three fronts – infrastructure, economy and society – requires a coherent approach by the public authorities. Therefore to achieve this, the mayor set up a special co-ordinating office which could exercise clear leadership, management and coordination of action related to this strategy.

The regeneration aims to improve the municipal infrastructure in Nadodrze such as public transport, schools and security, as well as boosting the local economy. It is also renovating the exteriors and courtyards of a number of apartment buildings. This plan is strongly supported by the collaboration of local NGOs (there are around 80 in the neighbourhood) which focussed on a series of micro-projects involving the weakest groups of residents in Nadodrze. Some of these initiatives have secured support from the ESF.

For the purpose of involving the local population, the city opened an ‘InfoPoint’ which became the focal point for community discussions and NGO action. However, it appears that the social programmes focused too intensely on employment, for instance by introducing residents to traditional handicrafts which are nowadays in demand from visitors to the town. This meant that issues regarding access to housing, regeneration and maintenance of blighted apartment buildings could not be tackled. Some of the population remains sceptical of the value of a communal effort, and it seems that more community development work and planning including housing issues needs to be done.

Overall, the programme has been a success. The way it has addressed a complex and multi-dimensional problem has earned it the title of the Wrocław model of revitalisation which represents an innovative model in the Polish context.

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Technical information


Maximum leverage from limited resources

Member State and Region

Poland, Dolnośląskie region (Lower Silesia), Wrocław

Duration of project

2005 – ongoing


Total budget 30 000 000 € - ERDF contribution 10 000 000 € for 16 projects in progress mainly supported by ERDF within the Dolnośląskie Regional OP.

Cohesion Policy Objective


Managing Authority

Managing Board of Dolnośląskie Region (Lower Silesian Voivodship) – for RPO WD Programme

CCI nr of OP

2007PL161PO005 Regional OP 'Lower Silesia' (Dolnośląskie)


Adam Grehl, deputy Major of Wrocław, Municipality of Wrocław

Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (secretary) Tel: +48 71 777 70 54 or +48 777 72 43

Sebastian Wolszczak, Revitalisation Project Manager, Project Management Group, President's Department, Municipality of Wrocław,

Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: +48 71 777 73 44


http://www.Wrocław.pl (no specific website for revitalisation programme).


Urban renewal, disadvantaged neighbourhoods