Mariusz Wołosz: We always put all cards on the table and help investors with due diligence
Interview with Mariusz Wołosz, Mayor of Bytom, Poland
- February 06, 2020 11:30
- Aseniya Dimitrova
Mariusz Wołosz has been Mayor of Bytom since 2018 and a councillor for 14 years. Between 2010-2012 he was Vice-Mayor for health care and social policy. He completed postgraduate studies in Master of Business Administration.
Mr Wołosz, how would you describe the city of Bytom?
Bytom is one of the oldest cities in Upper Silesia. It has a great potential and exciting perspective of revitalization, both social and infrastructural; with large number of historic tenements and many brownfields ready for new enterprises.
Central location in the province of Silesia makes Bytom a significant communication node in the regional and country road network. Main regional, national and international routes run through the city. Bytom is adjacent to the A4 motorway and Silesian Diameter Route.
You have walked all the way from a councillor, through a deputy mayor to mayor of Bytom. How did the city change over time?
During this time Bytom grasped a unique opportunity and reached for 100 million Euros to start the revitalization process. We prepared also new plots in a Special Economic Zone. We are also working hard on increasing the participation level and our residents are more and more involved in the decision-making process and they care more about their surroundings.
Now that you have the highest authority, what is your biggest goal for the local development?
I prefer to think about sustainable development rather than particular fields of interest. The most important challenges are depopulation, economic transition and environment.
More than a year since you stepped in office, can you say that Bytom is a cleaner, friendlier and safer place to live in, as your electoral programme promised? If yes, what projects or initiatives helped you achieve this?
I can definitely confirm that we have delivered on our promises. We have revoked the waste processing permissions. We use spatial development plans and traffic organisation to fight the illegal activities. We are working hard also to improve the quality of air. To do so, we have introduced new subsidy programme to help residents change their heating systems to more effective ones and thus decrease pollution.
What measures were introduced to promote entrepreneurship and attract investment?
First of all we work more transparently than our predecessors. We always put all cards on the table and we help investors with due diligence. We invited companies to participate with their properties in the revitalization programme which makes us pioneers across Europe. We are preparing new plots including new roads, gas pipelines and water and sewage networks.
How does European Funding enhance the social and economic development of Bytom? Would you say a few words on the latest and ongoing EU-funded projects that you find most beneficial to Bytom?
EU funding is of course very helpful. Revitalization and infrastructure would go much slower without EU funds. Now we have to focus on post-industrial degraded areas.
The most important EU funded project is revitalization as a whole. We hope that a revitalized city-centre will influence other districts. Almost 50% of funds of this project is dedicated to social revitalization which is very important.
Finally, what would you like to share with the other mayors in the EU?
The more local people participate in developing the projects, the better the results are.
Learn more about Bytom here.
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