Going to Wola Justowska was like leaving the city behind us and entering a green oasis. This is the crew that accepted the urban challenge:
We were quite surprised that the neighbourhood did not have a buzzing market place, cafes and many people strolling around, since we expected something more lively and city-like. Instead, we found a quiet neighbourhood where the only noise was produced by barking dogs that did not anticipate our arrival.
We continued walking and concluded that the neighbourhood primarily consisted of houses tucked away behind closed fences and green bushes.
After walking around for fifteen minutes, we approached a man called Patrick, who shared some stories about the area with us. He explained that Wola Justowska has been the richest area of Krakow for decades and until not so long ago kidnapping was a frequent trend here. As a consequence, the local residents started to protect their property and themselves by installing security systems and erecting fences around their homes.
Nevertheless, the neighbourhood is appreciated by its residents, who enjoy its green and quiet character. Popular public spaces include the park in the woods, the riverside, Villa Decjusza and a burned out church surrounded by green fields.
We talked to several locals and asked them what they liked and what they did not like about the neighbourhood:
- Villa Decjusza
- The forest
- “I like everything”
Negative (‘nie lubie’)
- Narrow streets
- Bad quality of main road
- Too much traffic
Judging by our first visit, we think that green space is the primary concern of people who live in and visit Wola Justowska. This idea is underlined by the fact that plans to transform a park into a housing block were strongly condemned by locals, we were told by a resident. In order to improve the public space, this needs to be taken into consideration.