Gdańsk is quite uniquely located at the crossroads of sea and river routes, waterways of the Vistula river at the Baltic estuary, as well as the Radunia and Motława rivers. This specific waterscape and landscape have determined the spatial development of the town. The daily living as shown in literary and iconographic records proves that water was the omnipresent element of the city’s life.

It is important today to show Gdańsk through its relation to water. It could serve as a starting point for the improvement of existing and future public spaces, establishing the directions and the character of the town’s development in the future as well as identifying of challenges. The Gdańsk future vision should incorporate water as the basis for formulating the town’s concept of freedom, creating attractive public space – venue for artistic expression and daily activity of the inhabitants.

Members in Gdańsk, Poland

The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre in Gdansk, Poland, established in 1992, aims at enhancing cultural diversity in the Baltic Sea Region by realizing projects of European significance.
The Centre’s goal is to implement multilateral artistic projects, which in terms of structure and concept are more than the traditional form of bilateral cultural exchange. The Centre, through its activities, aims to connect artists, curators, cultural operators, researchers and policy makers who are interested in creating a new quality for cultural cooperation in Europe.

The Centre's activities focus on nearly all fields of arts. It organises interdisciplinary projects such as scientific and literary seminars, conferences, debates, contemporary art exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, new media presentations, festivals and concerts. The Centre administrates also St. John's Cultural Centre (Gothic church in Gdansk Old Town). The BSCC is a public institution subsidised by the Regional Government (Office of the Marshal of Pomorskie Voivodship).

The BSCC’s seat is the 16th- century Old Town Hall in Gdansk situated on the canal of the Radunia river - the town’s oldest hydro-technological monument. The Centre’s membership in the international network "River//Cities" shows its long lasting interest in waterways. Several of the Centre’s international projects such as: SEAS (meeting of the Baltic and the Adriatic: conference and artistic actions); international conference "Riverbanks as a space for inhabitants integration" and smaller, local ones e.g. historic walks “Gdańsk Fortifications”, "Zuławy" about the area in the Vistula delta or multidisciplinary "Gdańsk the city on water" have been inspired by water and took place on the water or river/canal banks. There are many more similar projects planned in the years to come.

Although today just a distant reflection of its past glory, Gdańsk picturesque network of canals, with the biggest Motława River, still constitutes a great attraction for the inhabitants and tourists alike and should serve as an inspiration for the town’s contemporary spatial and cultural development.


Gdańsk University of Technology, Archit. Faculty