Warmia is a historical region in north-eastern Poland, which - together with the neighbouring region of Mazury - is called the Land of a Thousand Lakes. The conquest of this territory by the Teutonic Order, which took place in the 13th century, gave rise to the foundation of 12 towns in Warmia. The towns were planned in line with the medieval urban patterns, featuring chessboard-like layout of a grid of streets, a central marketplace with a town hall in the middle, and compact blocks of townhouses. The problems related to the revitalization of small towns in Warmia are mostly associated with their historic centres, which manifest their identity. The complexity of elements of which such historic urban centres are composed (spatial factors, such as urbanistic and architectural ones, related to the conservation of historic buildings and structures, economic and social aspects) necessitates such transformations that will lead to a better exposure and functional revitalization of the old town in comparison to other parts of a city. The aim of our study has been to find out how the image and functions performed of old towns can be improved. The changes involve certain urbanistic and architectural transformations as well as economic and social revitalization. The key to success is to develop revitalization programmes for individual historic districts in the towns of Warmia. The research has enabled us to draw conclusions in regard to including numerous aspects and connections between spatial factors and functions of old towns. Revitalization efforts should focus on the elimination of sources of threat, improvement of the technical condition and aesthetic values of the space (urbanistic patterns and layouts, architecture of urban complexes) and the betterment of living standards and conditions for local residents. Having achieved this, we will re-focus on the status of historic town centres, on their essential role in the contemporary life of towns, and on the need to preserve the heritage of whole Warmia.
Zagroba, M. (2016). Issues of the Revitalization of Historic Centres in Small Towns in Warmia. In Procedia Engineering (Vol. 161, pp. 221–225). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2016.08.537