Poznan, Poland

The development strategy for the River Warta in Poznan 2012-2030 prepared by KuiperCompagnons, Royal HaskoningDHV and residents of the city of Poznan is the first of its kind in Poland. The document is a long term vision to protect the city of Poznan from flooding in combination with a high quality of life for its 600,000 residents.

The development strategy consists of proposals of some 70 projects ranging from developing river islands, new river channels and a marina, the revitalization of river fronts and realizing a water bus, connecting neighbourhood playgrounds to the river.

The strategy is underpinned by six guiding themes: connectivity (traffic and pedestrian areas), river safety, living and working (residential areas and public space), tourism and recreation, historical heritage and landscape, and nature.

Restoring the river to the city

Throughout history Poznan was frequently damaged by floods leading to the decision to canalise the Warta early 19th century. However the canalisation led to the river becoming an isolated area with no connection to the historic city centre.

Recent years again dangerously high water levels of the Warta occurred in Poznan. Some areas were flooded but luckily a large flooding did not take place.

The City of Poznan acknowledged the need for a strategy to increase water safety and to restore the river connection with the city, and entered into a partnership with KuiperCompagnons, Royal HaskoningDHV and SwedeCenter.

Portowo: transforming an abandoned port

For the actual implementation of the strategy several projects will be combined to create synergy and to share costs. The first location to be addressed shortly is Portowo which is an old, abandoned port, closed to general public and with very limited contribution to the city of Poznan. A new river arm will be created to increase river safety and the area will be transformed into an attractive living, working and leisure environment.

Our contribution

Royal HaskoningDHV introduced in the plan the flood safety concepts from the Dutch Room for the River programme, adapted to the specific conditions in Poznan. Opening old meanders and creating lateral channels in the floodplains would improve safety against flooding, giving at the same time more space for enhancement of spatial planning of the city, e.g. improvement of road infrastructure,  bringing river to the city, development of nature in the floodplains. Several pilot development plans were thoroughly assessed for the flooding safety issues. Our experts contributed also to the plans for the development of water navigation in the city (water taxis, marina), and carried out an economic assessment of the proposed development strategy.