In December Katowice will be the host of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24). First organised in 1995, the event serves as a forum for developed countries to address climate change, as well as their progress, cooperation and obligations in dealing with it. Close to 20,000 participants are expected to attend, including politicians, NGO representatives, the scientific community and the business sector.
COP24 in Katowice will encompass:
- the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24)
- the 14th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 14)
- the Conference of Signatories to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1)
This will be the third time that the event takes place in Poland (following Poznan 2008 and Warsaw 2013) and it is no surprise that Katowice is in the leading role this time. The last few years have seen this historically industrial, working-class city emerge from a decades-long post-industrial funk. Once a black spot on the map, today Katowice and the surrounding area of Upper Silesia is one of the most innovative, culturally dynamic and economically vibrant regions in the country, undergoing major infrastructure and urban renewal projects.
‘From heavy industry to creative industries,’ the city has come a long way in only a short time, thanks to innovative solutions to its post-industrial problems. With the black cloud that once hung over the region clearing, the future is looking bright indeed.
How about ‘Katowice for a change?’
Here are a few reasons why Katowice is an ideal host for the UN Climate Summit:
Brand new city centre → Katowice is a poster child for urban renewal, with its downtown having been reclaimed and revitalised as a space for social interaction and civic pride.
Industrial Casualty turned Culture Zone → The successful transformation of the former Katowice Coal Mine and its surroundings into a place for culture and relaxation is a perfect example of responsible urban renewal for all cities to follow.
Venues within Kato’s ‘Culture Zone’ include:
a. International Congress Centre → One of the largest, most modern venues of its kind, built upon a former industrial site, Kato’s Congress Centre is not only ‘green,’ but also literally covered in grass and moss.
b. Spodek → A strange unidentified lying object, this much-loved multipurpose venue is a city icon, and its use for such a huge international congress boosts the colourful, fun profile of the city.
c. NOSPR → The headquarters of the Polish National Radio Orchestra, Katowice boasts one of the most acoustically pristine performance halls in all of Europe.
d. Silesian Museum → Spread out over four underground levels, this modern, cutting-edge museum has a floor area of nearly 25,000 m².
Katowice City of Music → In 2015 Kato became part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Betting on innovation, artistic talent and culture, the city has launched important projects such as MusicHUB and events like the World Music Expo.
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