With the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) showing an interest, funding for the River Warta development project in the city of Poznan is likely to be secured. It's an important milestone after eight years of NWP's efforts on behalf of the Dutch Government’s Partners for Water programme and the Dutch consortium partners.
Reconnect to the river
Wouter Vos of consortium partner Kuiper Compagnons: "After the Second World War, many Polish cities, including Poznan, became disconnected from their rivers. With increasing prosperity, the Poznan authorities want to reconnect the city to the Warta River. This entails developing a 2,000 hectare stretch of desolate land and 20 kilometres of river. The Poznan conurbation is home to around 1.5 million people, the equivalent of redeveloping the Rotterdam conurbation along the River Meuse. Two challenges for the development are the heavier rainfall caused by climate change and the river’s depth range of between a trickle and nine metres."
Polish-Dutch River Warta Partnership
"Facilitated by NWP, the Polish-Dutch River Warta Partnership was established in 2011. With funding from Partners for Water, KuiperCompagnons and Royal HaskoningDHV drew up an integrated development strategy. A development like this can take years as authorities have to set up relevant institutional and organisational frameworks. Where relevant, we shared advice and knowledge, and Poznan delegates attended the Amsterdam International Water Week in 2015 and 2017."
MoU and attracting investors
"In June 2017, NWP and the municipal authorities in Poznan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) stating the intention to create a development plan and investment strategy. The next step was to produce a detailed business plan to attract investors for the implementation phase."
“After two meetings with Dutch water sector representatives in London and Warsaw, the EBRD is considering co-financing the River Warta Development project. The fact that the EBRD considers the project to be a promising investment offers wonderful prospects."
"We still have a long road ahead. The project itself is fantastic and the prospects good, with tenders for public amenities such as parks, boulevards, footpaths and bike lanes. And in the private sector there will be opportunities to build housing, hotels, shopping centres … These prospects keep us going."