Krakow?s city center is full of exceptional pubs, clubs and other places where anyone can enjoy themselves.
Rynek Glowny and Maly Rynek, permanent elements of the urban landscape, are also places of important cultural events. They can be called the real city squares. Rynek Szczepanski finds itself among them. However, it also preserves its guarded parking lot status, the only alternative for those who want to park in the city center.
Currently the square has two future options. The optimistic option assumes that Rynek Szczepanski, like Maly Rynek, will be permanently transformed into a real, beautiful urban square. Krakow?s city council is undergoing a long-awaited project, the realization of which would make Rynek Szczepanski a city landmark.
Though the debate has been in the media for some time, nobody has openly questioned the square becoming a real square instead of remaining a parking lot. Currently the square is an open, beautiful space with tenement houses in need of repair. With a little financial effort this can be yet another of Krakow?s beautiful attractions.
The second option is more obvious ? next year the city council will organize another tender for the parking lot, allowing it to pay for itself. Although the people leaving their cars on the square will not be happy, the opportunity to get so close to Rynek Glowny will be too tempting.
Despite the controversy aroused by the question of such a big square in the city center, it is impossible to disagree with the parking keepers working there who support the visitors? point of view: ?Where can a tourist or someone who has come just for a moment leave his car? A few kilometers away from the city center? That?s nonsense! The easiest thing is to close the car park, but before that a new place for parking should be appointed. […] They can do nothing about those multi-story car parks but talk.?
The aldermen?s idea is to make Rynek Szczepanski not only a venue for artistic events, but also for festivals and antique and collectors? fairs, partially relieving the over-crowded Rynek Glowny. Making Rynek Glowny the venue only for exclusive events seems to be an equally good idea. Krakow?s Mayor Jacek Majchrowski emphasized, at the grand opening of Maly Rynek, the necessity of joining other squares to the city center.
Even though Rynek Szczepanski parking lot is closed at present, it will be re-opened after Krakow?s 750th anniversary celebrations end. Many cultural institutions situated around the square ? the Old Theater, the Palace of Art, museums ? would undoubtedly benefit from the parking lot?s closing. Maybe they would become more noticeable to tourists, thereby more frequently visited. Following other European capitals, City Hall might also organize a vote to determine the fate of the square and to choose the best solution.
If Rynek Szczepanski will be restored, hopefully it will be done without financial scandals which accompanied the unfinished repairs of Rynek Glowny.
The urban space management plan must also take into consideration needs of the disabled.
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