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The future city game: Zablocie for the Vistula – the Vistula for Zablocie!


The FCG ‘Zabłocie for Vistula - Vistula for Zabłocie!’ was played in Kraków on June 9 – 10, 2010.


The aim was to work out ideas for enlivening Vistula’s Boulevards in the Zabłocie district. The game took place at Atelier Hothaus, a modern and creative, post-industrial space, and was organised by the Department of Strategy and Development of Kraków’s City Council in partnership with Projekt Barka, Arsharter, – The Power of Human Talent, Hothaus Foundation and

Winning idea

‘Zabłocki Melting Pot’ (‘Zabłocki Tygiel’)

The concept of the winning idea ‘Zabłocki Melting Pot’ (‘Zabłocki Tygiel’) involved a comprehensive revitalisation of Zabłocie by combining social activities and investments based on the existing infrastructure of ‘Zabłocki Quadrangle’. The key investment would be rendering usable the space on Vistula’s embankments at the back of Krakowska Akademia. The team proposed turning the present reloading wharf into a marina for passenger ships and smaller boats and yachts. Locating a water tram stop at the marina could be an alternative to on-land city transportation. It is also possible to open an Academic Water Sports Centre there, using existing examples from e.g. the UK (Oxford University Boat Club, Cambridge University Boat Club, Cardiff University Rowing Club, etc). Creating green areas with simple recreational infrastructure (benches, chess tables, playgrounds, small concert shell, etc.), visitors (city residents, students, tourists) will attract artistic and integration events at new, partly outdoor cafes and restaurants, and allow small businesses to flourish.

Players would like to open a Centre for Creative Development, located e.g. in the post-industrial spaces of either the former Telpod factory (manufacturer of electronic components) or Oskar Schindler’s factory. The Center would play the role of the ‘local animator’ of Zabłocie artistic development.

Winning ideas from the other teams

Green Team ‘Zabłocie – broad perspectives’ (‘Zabłocie – szerokie perspektywy’)
The project involves building a 25-35m high tower with a viewing terrace and a cafe at the top, equipped with viewing telescopes and rows of comfortable seats. Visitors could admire the panorama of Kraków and beyond. The terrace would lay asymmetrical, on three soaring ‘legs’, and accessed by lift or stairs. The tower would be backlit with lasers and therefore visible from a big distance. On one of the ‘legs’, a climbing wall could be installed, while in between the other two – a screen for an outdoor summer cinema or artistic visualisations shown during various cultural events. The tower would be surrounded by green recreational areas; located below it would be a multi-level parking lot.

Blue Team ‘Jump onto the Boulevards’ (‘Skocz na Bulwary’)
Blue Team proposed arranging the area under one of Kraków’s bridges – Kotlarski Bridge. The players would gladly see new cafes and restaurants there with natural exhibition spaces (gallery) on bridge’s pillars. On the wall supporting the bridge, they would like to locate a climbing wall, and directly under the bridge, an ‘adventure mini-playground’ with, among other things, rope bridges that could enable people to reach the other side of the river. Visitors could use public BBQ utilities and take part in various cultural and artistic events. There should also be a space for mothers with children in prams, rollerbladers and cyclists. There is a possibility of creating an attractive route for cyclists from Zabłocie to Tyniec – the same route could serve ski runners in winter. The last part of this idea is creating a ‘four-leaf clover meadow of luck’.

Orange Team ‘Zabłocie Stop’ (‘Przystanek Zabłocie’)

Orange Team let the inhabitants and visitors of Zabłocie speak and recorded their opinions and views. What speakers lack most are green spaces and places where they could relax and rest. Therefore, what the team would like to introduce is an Agora of Zabłocie – a meeting point, with a marina at Akademia Krakowska, a river park on Vistula’s Boulevards, a children’s park and other place to relax for all social groups in Zabłocie. The main idea is ‘Cities are for people’. According to the Orange Team, there should also be a meeting point for students called ‘The Power of Knowledge’ and an amphitheatre on the Boulevards for holding various cultural events. Elements of small architecture should be present in all areas.

Yellow Team ‘Zabłocie Power’
The idea of the Yellow Team involved integrating the divided areas of Zabłocie proper with Vistula’s Boulevards. This could be done by eliminating the transportation barrier by extending the dike, building a little ‘grassland’ slope with a tunnel inside. Part of the new route would be for pedestrians and cyclists only, and at some point the Team would like to build an agora for various activities. There would be a connection with the river tram stop and Akademia Krakowska (a small bridge made of colourful pipes) and a natural beach on the other side of the dike.