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Urban Regeneration - Large Housing Estate, Ruczaj, Krakow, Poland
Graduation project, 2007
Ruczaj is a large housing estate in southern Krakow. This urban regeneration project deals with its oldest part, built in the 1980's. Most of project-covered area is stretched between three streets Grota-Roweckiego, Kobierzyńska and Zachodnia (approximately 50 hectares of land, inhabited by 7000 people).
Ruczaj is a typical example of urban development in the communist era and suffers from various problems. Its high population density mixed with virtually non-existent infrastructure (other than that of housing nature), causes alienation, non-existent local identity and poor participation in civil society among the residents.
This area has a high potential, with a scenic flooded quarry, forests and large meadows and proximity to the city centre. These assets, combined with the current problems and many potential beneficiaries, make Ruczaj a prime candidate for urban regeneration.
The design stage was preceded by landscape, architectural and botanical analysis of the area as well as inventarization of existing greenery. Also, resident's input was gathered and taken into account. Students from a local primary school participated in a workshop and sketched facilities they would like to be built in the neighbourhood. Informational posters were placed throughout the estate, asking residents to visit a dedicated Internet discussion board, to share their ideas and to point problems related to project's area of interest.
The conception of the land management includes:
- An introduction of visual identification system
- A construction of recreational infrastructure (sports equipment, small parks)
- An enrichment of the greenery
- A construction of segregated cycle facilities
- An expansion of parking lots
- An expansion of road and footwalk systems.
Apart from the general land management design, several detailed, small-scale designs were prepared:
- Sports and leisure area in the western part
- Sports and leisure area in the eastern part
- Dog park in between Bułgarska and Pszczelna streets
- City square and underground car park by Grota-Roweckiego and Rostworowskiego intesection
- Premises of Public Primary School #40 (Pszczelna street)
- Premises of the catholic church
- Road system