Krakow’s cultural rap sheet growing

In order to shape the new Promotion Strategy, city representatives held several meetings with local residents and journalists. Subsequently, the main goals of the strategy are to promote Krakow as an attractive location for culture, tourism and business, while also characterizing it as a unique place to live and spend leisure time.

The strategy identifies four areas of promotion that realize the objective: the trademark, residents and economy of the city, along with its presence among Europe and the world. This last point is key in the development of Krakow. According to Filip Berkowicz, the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Krakow no longer measures itself against other Polish cities. Instead, it is competing at the level of highly recognized, European cities such as Berlin and Barcelona.

As the first city in Poland to establish its own promotion strategy, Krakow has a lot to offer and continues to develop. The team of specialists who created the document explains that the task was to identify the route of operation, not to list specific points to be realized. “The strategy defines the direction towards which we should strive. This direction does not change – we aspire to be named the most attractive place in Europe,” says Mateusz Zmyslony, of the Eskada Market Place agency, which devised the document under the order of the Krakow Municipality.

The document, which is soon to be introduced to the City Council, has yet to be made available. Accordingly, details such as the cost and time necessary to turn plans into reality have not been settled. However, the strategy introduces the new promotional slogan for the city: “Krakow. Form & Content.”

The “form” refers to what distinguishes Krakow from the majority of cities in the world: its originally conserved central part, maintained without any drastic interference in the architectural layout, function or purpose.

Though the character of some areas has changed, such as that of Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter, their essence remains the same. Special attention is paid to areas other than Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square) and Kazimierz, namely Debniki, Nowa Huta and Podgorze. These parts of Krakow are considered crucial, as they offer a chance for further growth in the number of places worth discovering’ by tourists.

The “content” completing the “form” is made up of the people. This broad concept includes all social groups that can be encountered in Krakow, specifically students, artists, businessmen and the clergy, among many others.

In addition, as a result of the research conducted during the formation of the strategy, Krakow has obtained its own Unique Selling Proposition: “Krakow – Best Walking Distance.”

A recognized feature of Krakow, it allows tourists to see an enormous amount of intriguing sights in a short time and to go from place to place without relying on transportation. For instance, in the space of a single walk, tourists can visit both the old town and the Jewish quarter.

In an effort to keep the title of Krakow as “capital of culture,” the strategy also puts forward a number of artistic projects. One involves kicking off five large festivals, as a way of taking part in a race with other big Central European cities for the most spectacular cultural events.

Another undertaking consists of having famous painters from Poland and abroad decorate the residential blocks in the spring. “This will be the biggest outdoor gallery of contemporary art in the world,” commented Berkowicz. Details of the project are to be revealed sometime in February.

Though at this stage the suggestions proposed by the strategy seem somewhat remote, they present an exciting future for Krakow and many novelties towards which residents and visitors can look forward.

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