Katowice to organise 2022 World Urban Forum - minister

Katowice to organise 2022 World Urban Forum. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

The World Urban Forum in 2022, under the auspices of the UN, will be organised in Katowice (southern Poland), Investment and Development Minister Jerzy Kwieciński announced on Tuesday.

"Katowice, with a beautiful congress centre, with a wonderful example of revitalisation of old post-mining terrains, can be the perfect example for other countries, other cities, how it is possible to successfully conduct the transformation from a mining city to a city which is a calling card of culture, tourism," the minister declared.

Kwieciński noted that good transport infrastructure (an airport, the proximity of the A4 motorway and Kraków) as well as the great achievement in the field of revitalisation had an influence on the selection of Katowice for the venue of one of the biggest conferences under the UN's auspices. He added that Katowice had competed with other cities including St Petersburg, Dortmund and Mexico City.

"We managed to present Poland as a country of transformation successes (...), that Katowice is a symbol of those changes," Kwieciński stated, pointing out that the World Urban Forum is one of the two biggest events that the UN organises on a cyclical basis and adding that representatives of more than 100 countries would attend with the number of attendees totalling 20,000-30,000.

"The event will be a perfect occasion to show Poland's economic achievements and the effects of the activities of the Strategy for Responsible Development," he asserted. He highlighted that the forum would present an opportunity to raise such issues as residential development, the territorial cohesion of cities and regions, and sustainable spatial development.

"We want to talk about our programmes, such as Accessibility Plus in the context of accessibility of apartments or public space," Minister Kwieciński explained.

Asked about the costs of organising the undertaking, Jerzy Kwieciński noted that the event would be organised jointly with the UN. "We would obviously cover a part of the costs ourselves," he replied, "but there is no better way to promote the country." He indicated that among the participants will be representatives of governments, cities, the biggest global institutions and businesses. He asserted that the benefits of organising the event far outweigh the costs.

The year 2020 will see the 10th edition of the Forum, organised by Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The previous edition was held in 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia