Continuation of controversial deregulations

The second deregulatory tranche, in force since 10 August of a current year, enables the access to many occupations, including i.a. architect or urbanist. Therefore, is it going to have a negative effect on quality of Polish cities and native property market?

Foregoing representatives of both disciplines do not agree with new regulations. Architects fear that structural engineers who profess their occupation will influence on increase of unemployment among graduates of architecture, and additionally they will contribute to deterioration of aesthetics and functionality of designed structures by now. Defending their position, they point out differences in syllabus envisaged for architecture and construction, including i.a. disproportions in the amount of hours intended for subjects such as: architecture, urban planning, history of art, paining, or landscape planning. On architectural studies these lectures concern over 1000 hours, whereas students of construction have nearly 100 of them.


Deregulation is not that one profession obtains rights to perform another profession – comments Piotr Gadomski, vice-chairman of Krajowa Rada Izby Architektów Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej. According to him, foregoing duties on the part of architects and construction engineers should remain without changes – construction engineers, who guarantee a construction’s safety, are ought to take care of technical part of performed projects, architects, in turn, should be well-oriented not only in architectural questions, but also in i.a. town-planning, creating culture, landscape, social and legal to design a structure properly.


In case of an urbanist’s profession, an obligation of work practise and examination were abolished, and also an urbanists’ professional society was liquidated. In practice it means that institutions ordering public procurements in the area of physical planning, will have to specify independently requirements to designers (for instance, experience).


The local government of urbanists believes that the Act, instead of facilitating an access to practise a profession of an urbanist, actually removes it, which causes a deterioration of provided services, including i.a. developing of land management’s plans. If we now liquidate Izba Urbanistów, that is we liquidate a possibility of checking the professional training, in reality all people who graduate of architecture, town planning and landscape economy, even after fist-cycle studies, will be able to start working in the area of town-planning – points out Danuta Strembicka, secretary of Krajowa Rada Polskiej Izby Urbanistów.


Will construction companies resign from architects’ services, and urban space will be planned by urbanists with no experience?


Jakub Zagórski, marketing and communication director of Skanska Residential Development Poland believes that deregulation of architect’s profession will not bring any significant changes for companies such Skanska, because – as he explains – experience allows to define precisely the requirements for external partners. The market is able to verify abilities of certain specialists and companies, and experienced developers will not have difficulties with choosing right suppliers.


The necessity of a careful choosing of architectural studio is related to compulsion of adjusting a domestic construction to global trends aimed at reduction of degradation’s degree of natural environment, specified by international organizations. The marketing director of Skanska, gives as an example a directive of the European Union, according to which, all new-built structures should be energetically self-sufficient till 2020. This challenge will be impossible to accept by people from the streets, but experienced architects with wide knowledge of planning, who cooperate with engineers – building construction experts, will not have any problems with it.


Last year’s report titled “About economic losses and social costs of uncontrolled urbanization in Poland” reported about crisis of Polish landscape economy, and presented economic, social and environmental damages, which are the effects of uncontrolled urbanization. Similar problems were pointed out by reports, prepared by i.a. Business Centre Club (2012), Resolution IV Congress of Polish Urbanism (2012) or Lewiatan Confederation (2013). In Skanska we realize how important these issues are. Therefore, we are realizing modern projects, which are signed in urban fabric, remaining in harmony with widely understood surroundings; comfortable but also economical. Experiences gained in such projects convince us that the building of so called balanced residential complexes, offices, or infrastructural buildings is not possible without the highest class of specialists, who gained knowledge within years, abilities and innovative approach to planning – says Jakub Zagórski.


Will not a consequence of an urbanist professional self-government liquidation, which controls rights of people who perform this profession, be a deterioration of the image of Polish cities? Will not self-governments, in search of savings, prefer to resign from services of qualified employees, in favour of people with lower consequences? Costs of an excessive development’s expansion total annually over 100 billion zlotys. Their reduction is possible only while cooperation with urbanists, who have a task of ordering Polish cities. People without proper education and knowledge of town planning, graduates of architecture or people without professional experience may not be equal to this task. Therefore, we hope that a potential deregulation will not entail a decrease of requirements against people deciding about appearance and functionality of development in Poland. We are counting on the fact that another introduced changes in regulations in a country will allow to a wise planning of space and building, facilitate work to good experts and introduce new talented architects, designers and urbanists on the market – says Jakub Zagórski.

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