33. Lodz – extended short definition 2011

Lodz*

(to be pronounced: woodge, Polish original spelling: Łódź). Other names: (German) Lodtsch, Litzmannstadt, (Ukrainian and Russian) Лодзь, Lodz, (Yiddish) לאדזש, Lodzh.
Nickname: The Boat City.

Poland’s third largest city with a population of about 750’000 (2010). A relatively young city which for some unknown reason sometimes tries to build it’s identity as a mecca for historical monument lovers. The city has indeed few fantastic examples of 19th  and early 20th century industrial and bourgeois architecture.

Lodz, city of fallen textile industry is currently looking for it’s new identity. It is defined somewhere between multicultural (not anymore, historical fact), academic (indeed), sports center (not really), business center (possible in future), and finally, most recently and supposedly most accurately a center of creative industries (art, design, fashion…).

The multicultural aspect is derived from the fact that before the WW2 Łódź was indeed occupied by coexisting Polish, German, Russian and Jewish communities.
The academic character of the city is a result of a large number of universities operating in the city. Among them there are large national schools like Lodz University, Technical University of Lodz, Academy of Fine Arts, Medical University, the famous Lodz Film School and many large private universities of various profiles.
Lodz as a sport center is a hallucinatory vision of Lodz sport fan communities which does not have much to do with reality. The city currently lacks as well good venues (apart of the potentially successful and useful Atlas Arena) as top successful teams.
As a business, manufacturing and logistic center the city has already some significant success in the field of BPO, mid-tech production. Lodz also has a broad future perspective in this field thanks to obvious advantages of location (transport, proximity of capital city…), availability of educated staff, reasonable property prices.
As a creative industries center it represents a quality in brands like Lodz Design Festival, Photo Festival, Fashion Week and presence and attention of large authorities like Li Edelkoort, Kenzo… The city has many growing creative businesses.

The city is suffering from problems like poverty, urban disintegration of central areas, dirt, lack of common dedication to aesthetics and order (recognizable in disharmonious decoration and furnishing of all city areas), deficiencies in infrastructure, deficiencies in the citizen’s sense of security.

The green / urban landscape of the city together with all of its resources mentioned above makes it a great challenge and a wonder playground for all kinds of entrepreneurs and creative souls, social workers and representatives of civil society.

* After placing a definition of „Lodz” in urbandictionary.com I share with you „extended verison 2011” here.

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