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Parliamentary Street in Brussels

As a result of collapse of the city’s industry, Łódź, once a strong centre of textile industry, goes through a period of stagnation. Huge potential of the city is still waiting to be rediscovered and exploited. Recently, the light at the end of the tunnel appeared with the idea to bring our city back to life. We believe in culture as the new city building factor. The idea is strong and original. I am taking part in it for I finally realised that it is worth staying in Łódź. I have the opportunity to promote my city, to show Europe that we have large creative potential and all the necessary skills and possibilities, which, in turn, assure better chances of success. The time of Łódź is about to come and we, young people, with our fervour and heads full of ideas, will look after it.

A young architect from Łódź

In April 2009, EC1 Lodz Foundation (EC1 Fundacja Łódzka) and several young architects from Łódź started construction of the PARLIAMENTARY STREET (ULICA PARLAMENTARNA) in Brussels.

The PARLIAMENTARY STREET is an attempt to write down human thought, an attempt to transfer words into images. Young Łódź architects, in cooperation with members of the European Parliament, changed words into elevations. We asked members of parliament what they are proud of. Their answers enabled young architects to design hypothetical elevations which created the one and only street, which changes its appearance according to the rhythm of life of the European Parliament.

We were present at the place where paths of all the MEPs cross in order to present the idea of the Special Zone of Culture of the New Centre of Łódź, which is to become a place created to be there, meet people there and develop.

‘We want to promote Łódź in the EU as a city of culture, the most European one due to its multicultural tradition, and a city which has new ideas for culture – the EC1. This exhibition is different from other exhibitions, which are a total sum of images or photos, since it is an interactive show. As of today, it consists of 14 elevations meant to represent the tenement houses of Łódź. Each of them was designed by a young architect of Łódź, basing on an interview with a specific Member of the European Parliament who says what s/he is proud of and what their country contributed to Europe. We entitled this exhibition ‘Parliamentary Street’ and subtitled it ‘Łódź in the centre of Europe’. We want this street to live longer and lead us to the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2016. It will be made into a website and it will become a board for the discussion about ‘Europe – culture – Łódź’. So far, we have over 50 MEPs on our list. They want to join the project and help us create more elevations transferring ideas to images. This exhibition will be expanded and presented in Łódź in the European Institute. We will do our best in the future to allow each MEP to have his/her own elevation – we want everyone to know where Łódź is and that is has European ambitions, output and interesting architecture. It is an interactive way of promoting Łódź. Upon the opening of the exhibition, the comments were that it encourages Members of the European Parliament to cooperate,’ commented Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, the patron of the project.