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Trees are being felled in Krakow

Despite protests more than 1,000 trees are being felled in Krakow

Image source: © Jan Śpiewak / Twitter
Marta Grzeszczuk,
11.07.2023 17:30

City activists are protesting against the felling of trees to make place for a new road and tramway in Krakow. The authorities are adamant about their decision and not relenting.

We have already written about the dispute between the Krakow authorities, activists and some residents over the course of the tramway investment to Mistrzejowice district. The main objections from those dissatisfied with the project concern the cutting down of trees that are several decades old.

Tram in Kraków
Tram in Kraków (Tramwaj na Mistrzejowice , Facebook)

While being as much in favour of the investment in rail public transport as possible, activists from "Akcja Ratunkowa dla Krakowa" (pol. "Rescue Mission for Krakow") also maintain that the current shape of the planned redevelopment "is a gigantic, oversized road investment, and the tram line is just a façade or a cover-up".

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Tree-cutting has been going on in Krakow since early July

The Krakow authorities greenlit tree felling which started at the beginning of July without taking into account the objections of activists and residents.

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On 10 July a protest was held by residents who do not agree with the felling. In their opinion, cutting down trees is not necessary for the tram line to run. As a reminder, more than 1,000 trees are to disappear as part of the construction of the 4.5-kilometers long tram line.

Western European countries are going to great lengths to reintroduce greenery into their cities and reduce car traffic. This is needed to maintain tolerable temperatures in a warming climate, to reduce air pollution and to keep the soil moist. The latter is necessary, among other things, for the soil to be able to absorb water in heavy rainfall.

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Krakow seems to be following more in the footsteps of Egypt's Alexandria, which launched its latest road project next to the city's popular beach in June 2023. This is another example of how "concreting" cities to improve car transport not only doesn’t decrease, but in fact increases congestion problems.

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