Popularity among tourists presents cities with undeniable gains but also with serious challenges. This was the theme of a talk by Joan Roca i Albert, director of the Barcelona History Museum, MUHBA, during the panel Kraków – the heritage city. Roca i Albert argued at MCK that Kraków should “take a lesson from Barcelona, which became popular with tourists more than 20 years ago. The authorities there have recently decided to rethink the city again, actually taking it away from tourists and giving it back to residents. Why? When a location starts to fulfil a purely tourist role, it becomes an open-air museum, a decorative feature. A similar problem is faced by many cities in Europe. It is therefore necessary as to create an active policy to protect the residents" as soon as possible

Participants in the panel Kraków, city of the future debated Kraków’s main development potential. The numbers are impressive: hundreds of thousands of square meters of new office buildings, which puts the city in first the first rank of commercial real estate developments; 4.2 million passengers are handled annually through the airport in Balice (80 destinations, 21 carriers), which puts it in second place among the airports in Poland in terms of number of passengers. Kraków already has 55,000 people employed in international centres of advanced business services - according to the Thalons rankings, the business-friendly environment and a very large number of educated workers puts Kraków in the first place in Europe and ninth in the world when it comes to companies wanting to invest in outsourcing centres. Tauron Arena, the largest indoor arena in Poland and one of the largest in Europe, has in the past two years organized 60 events, attended by 1,100,000 people. These statistics were set out by Andrzej Zdebski, president of the Kraków Chamber of Commerce and Industry. At the same time, he noted that Kraków was one of the few Polish cities where the population is still increasing.

On the other hand, Kraków is a city of innovation, where new initiatives are based on cooperation between science, business and culture. “Dragon Valley” – a half-joking name given by foreign investors to the capital of Małopolska. A great example of this is the startup Brainly, which received tens of millions of złoty from investors for the global development of the company. Brainly owns the educational website Zadane.pl, known to most Polish students. It is a service in which anyone can ask a question about a school assignment and receive a response from another user within just a few minutes. The website is available in 12 languages in 35 countries. It has over 60 million users. Others competing on world markets include KoalaMetrics (specializing in the analysis of data from mobile devices for large telephone networks) or DrOmnibus (a producer of programmes and games on tablets supporting the treatment of developmental and behavioural disorders in children).

Poll prepared by "Gazeta Wyborcza"
A City of heritage A city of future

Conference Kraków and the World: A city of heritage
Joan Roca i Albert, Gabor Soós, Matthias Ripp, Ruth Ellen Gruber, Stsiapan Stureika

Conference Kraków and the World: A city of future
Jerzy Hausner, Franco Bianchini, Magdalena Sroka, Andrzej Zdebski, Andrew Hallam