Bialystok (Poland) - Green city. Historical Greenways in a Contemporary City



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In contemporary theories of city design the issue of green corridors appears more and more frequently. They concern the development of greenways of communicative, ecological and recreational functions. Their purpose is to change the modern city landscape. Routes network dominant in the city space is to be replaced by ecological structures, improving the quality of life and introducing the green into the city. This issue is discussed by a number of research teams and relates to the cities of different scale. Conducted works tend to indicate the direction for transformation of the existing urban structures. This process is to be accomplished by adapting the existing space or formation of new - greenways. Specific solutions for individual cities which create their own green corridors are based on local conditions and include defined cultural values of the place.

This attitude is presented by a team from Bialystok who searches for a new shape of the city in relation to the history. The authors in their works refer to the spatial composition formed in the eighteenth century on the initiative of Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki, in the valley of the Biała River, which became the nucleus of the city of Bialystok (Jan Klemens Branicki - lived from 1689 to 1771, he was one of the biggest Polish magnates in the eighteenth century, the owner of 12 towns, including Bialystok, 257 villages and 17 palaces (Dobroński, 2012). The spatial arrangement of Branicki’s premises during its founding was multi-elemental and the area equaled the size of a modern city. The individual elements of the composition (villages, architectural and natural objects) were connected by roads, which may be the prototype of today's system of the town green corridors (Turecki, 1996). The essence of the presented works is an attempt to make the elements of eighteenth-century composition readable in the structure of the modern city (Il. 1), and the green corridors reproducing the old communication links can make the tool for its realization.