18 Apr 2013
Combining flood safety with high quality of life
KuiperCompagnons and Royal HaskoningDHV were engaged in the very prestigious project to produce a strategy for the development of the River Warta in Poznan, Poland. The final recommendations resulting from the strategy and vision for the river development were presented by the municipality of Poznan.
The project was supported by the Dutch Partners for Water programme and investor SwedeCenter.

Room for the Warta River in Poznan. Copyright: KuiperCompagnonsThe development strategy for the River Warta in Poznan 2012-2030 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 & working (residential areas and public space), tourism & recreation, historical heritage and landscape & nature.

Restoring the river to the city

River Park and City Islands for Poznan. Copyright: KuiperCompagnonsThroughout history Poznan was frequently damaged by floods leading to the decision to canalize the Warta early 19th century. However the canalization 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 in 2013 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.

Financial-economic assessments show that each million Polish zloty invested by the city of Poznan in the project will result in 3 million zloty of private investments in the long term.