Krakow, Poland. Sustainable city makeover and a new look at the natural and cultural heritage.
A large and populus urban environment, Krakow suffers from a lack of easily accessible green spaces. As well as ecological and climate concerns, this means a lack of places for community to meet and engage spontaneously. Developing large-scale green areas is costly and takes time. Meanwhile, disused back-alleys and other hidden pockets of the city were breeding-grounds for anti-social behaviour.
Krakow is solving all these problems at once by building pocket parks. These miniature parks are built in cooperation with local people in formerly neglected outdoor public spaces. They promote serindipidous community encounters and socialising, and provide a healthful space that encourages residents to leave their homes. They also have ecological benefits, helping bees and wildlife, absorbing excess rainwater and fighting air pollution.