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12.-14.09.2012 | Cracow | Poland

Co2ol Bricks on Second Urban Regeneration Congress

On 12 – 14 September 2012, Cracow held Second Urban Regeneration Congress. First edition of this event in 2010 was a huge success of organizer – The Institute Of Urban Development. So was this year, when the next edition brought together nearly 250 professionals from various areas, such like architects, conservators, representatives of local authorities, ministries and scientists from all over Poland. Since the renovation of the building is an important part of urban renewal, the European Foundation for Monuments Protection, Polish partner of Co2ol Bricks, decided to participate in this event.

The goal of the Congress was to provide a forum for a large group of people, representing research circles and towns and cities, who are directly involved in regeneration projects, together with politicians, to present main directions of urban policy including regeneration programmes conducted on all levels of urban management. This Event gave opportunity to reach a group of people, who also deal with the issue of refurbishment of historical buildings.

Main topics of Congress:

  • national heritage preservation in the process of regeneration,
  • regeneration of post-military and former railway sites,
  • monitoring of regeneration programs,
  • regeneration of housing estates (identification of problems, examples of solutions),
  • economic and social aspects of regeneration.

Congress was divided into daily Plenary Sessions, Thematic Sessions and Discussion Panels There was two thematic sessions specially relevant to the issues of the Co2ol Bricks project:

  • Thematic Session A (First Day of the Congress) was “Historical Heritage in Urban Regeneration”. There were presentations of best practice protection of historic buildings in the process of revitalization. One of them was complex revitalization of several historic brick buildings in Warsaw, located within “Koneser” Vodka Distillery.
  • Thematic Session B (Second Day of the Congress) was “Problems of Regeneration of Downtown Areas”, where guests could get familiar with refurbishment plans of brick houses in Łódź, planned to rebuild in public/private partnership, with using new technology and materials ( energy efficiency). On the other hand,  officials of few polish towns presented their successes in complex revitalization in downtowns areas.


The problem of thermal historic buildings and energy efficiency has been noticed and appreciated by the participants who visited the Co2ol Bricks promotional booth and filled out the questionnaire, which was prepared specially for this occasion. At place they could become familiar with the multimedia presentation of the project, find out about its issues and achievements and receive promotional materials.

During the time scheduled for exchange of opinions, a representative of the Foundation led discussion on issues of brick buildings refurbishment, in particular trying to pay attention to the methods of thermal insulation, and related legal conditions in Polish and European law. Thoughts made by few monuments conservators, officials and architects were so interesting and relevant that it is worth it to mention. For example, one of representatives of municipal authorities claimed, that the introduction of an energy audit requirement for historic buildings can result in prolongation of the revitalization project preparation and increase its cost. On the other hand was the opinion, that it would help with showing the real costs of maintaining the facility for potential investors. Other voice comes from local monuments conservator, who said that  knows a few examples in Poland, where similar buildings insulated in the same way, considering the cases of the same. Unfortunately, what turned out to be good for one building turned out to be fatal to another and result in degradation of the brick facade. He pointed out that it should be to promote an individual approach to the monument in determining methods of modernization.

Participation of Polish partner in the Congress have provided material for analysis in the form of completed surveys. It was also an opportunity to promote Co2ol Bricks among specialists, which are close to the issues that the project dealing with.

Original content of the survey and its results (in English)  are available at: