WARSAW, January 28, 2022 – The World Bank has become the technical partner to the Partnership Initiative of Cities, a Polish program designed to facilitate knowledge exchange between cities and to support their sustainable development, according to the agreement signed by the World Bank and Polish Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy on Friday.
Over the course of this 14-month project, World Bank experts will help the participating cities identify impediments to sustainable urban development and propose solutions that can be employed over the next few years. The project is also intended to stimulate collaboration and participation in knowledge-sharing networks. The lessons learned will be instrumental in designing future support instruments that the Ministry may put in place to promote sustainable development.
“Through our new collaboration with Poland, we will support the Partnership Initiative of Cities by sharing our international expertise and best practice. The priority areas selected by the Ministry, such as digitization, public-private partnership, and green investments, resonate with the challenges that are currently faced by many cities in Poland and the entire European Union,” says Gallina A. Vincelette, World Bank Country Director for the European Union.
Sustainable urban development is a strategic priority for the Government of Poland. It is also of special interest to the World Bank, which has a long track record of advisory and technical assistance projects on regional development in Poland. The World Bank’s flagship Catching-up Regions Initiative, financed by the European Commission, is now emulated in a successful series in other European Union countries. It was thanks to this Initiative that, among others, the Podkarpackie Innovation Center was established and the concept of joint spatial development planning for functional urban areas was introduced in Poland.
“Supporting the sustainable development of cities is one of the strategic goals of the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy. We help cities identify and solve their concrete problems that slow development. We asked the World Bank to first, help us identify these issues, propose feasible solutions, and finally facilitate knowledge sharing among the stakeholders,” says Grzegorz Puda, Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy in Poland.
The 2021-2023 Partnership Initiative of Cities is a project of the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy. In the current cycle, priority areas include a digital city, a city with public-private partnership projects, and a green city. These areas have been identified in consultation with the local authorities, associations, and the community of experts.