Krakow has enjoyed a range of big-impact investments in the past few years. What will 2011, and the start Mayor Majchrowski’s third term, bring? As in his previous terms, the independent mayor will be restricted by the fact that Civic Platform (PO) representatives make up a majority on the council.
A potentially large-scale project still hovering uncertainly in the wings is the proposed sports centre in Czyżyny. The city has been searching for a year for an investor willing to take on the project. The stumbling block appears to be a lack of faith in the potential to make money from the site.
By the spring, the city should know if a long-awaited 400-million złoty EU grant for the construction of waste disposal facilities will become a reality. The grant, which would be largest in EU history, was applied for in October of 2010 and is currently being pored over by EU officials.
Spring should also bring new hope to the inhabitants of Rucaj as the tracks for their longed-for tram link start going down. It won’t be until at least the end of the year that the project approached completion, however. Drivers will benefit from the renovation of the major ul. Klimeckiego—ul. Nowohucka intersection and, later in the year, a completely new Ofiar Katynia roundabout.
City-government watchers are speculating that 2011 will be the year for a major shake-up in public transport. An addition 800,000 visitors came to Krakow last year, at least 100,000 of them business travels, which is adding strain to an already overworked bus and tram network. Although big improvements to city-centre tram lines were completed in 2010, the number of trams and buses on outlying routes is widely reported as too low. It has been a few years since the price of public transport tickets rose—a hike may now be inevitable if gaps are to be plugged.
Four-to-five thousand new jobs are expected to be created in Krakow’s burgeoning outsourcing sector—an area of expertise for which the city was recently recognized by global outsourcing experts Tholons.