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Suits on bikes



How can Warsaw be made a better place for those who live and work here? This very broad question was on the minds of all those who recently ventured onto the streets of the city when they took part in the ‘Suits on bikes’ ride organised by ‘Eurobuild CEE’ with the support of non-profit environmental organisation ‘Zielone Mazowsze’. The event gathered together members from the real estate community, as well as office workers and anyone else who wanted to come along for the ride.
However pretentious it may sound, it was a chance to reflect on how we really want to live: in dense or in dispersed cities; with lots of bike routes and pavements or with lots of motorways. How do we want to use Plac Defilad, the city’s main and the largest square? There were also more specific issues like how to improve this or that passage for the disabled or make certain buildings more accessible to pedestrians. Unsurprisingly (or not?), more questions were asked than answered. Various views and ideas clashed at each of the short stops the cyclists took along the way when they had the chance to discuss each of these particular problems. The riders were led along two routes with ten stops each by activists from Zielone Mazowsze: Krzysztof Gubański and Robert Buciak. One started at ul. Prosta 70, in front of Immofinanz’s Myhive Crown Point office building and the other at ul. Grzybowska 58, where Echo Investment’s Browary Warszawskie flagship mixed-use project is located. Both ended at Pomost 511, an open air bar on the Bulwary Wiślane embankment with a spectacular view of the Vistula as well as of the abundant flora of the river’s wild right shore. The question of whether to develop it or not was another matter that spontaneously came up as everybody sat in their chairs on the terrace. But this last stop was really a chance to wrap everything up with a slightly more formal panel discussion. It was also an opportunity to hear from Marlena Happach, the chief architect of the city of Warsaw and the director of the department of architecture and planning (who had also been cycling along one of the routes), as she spoke of what could be done and what the practical challenges of improving the city actually are.
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