Blue-green cities. Meeting with Jan Mencwel (6 December 2023)

Paraphrasing a well-known quote, we can exclaim in Bialystok “Make the Biała River great again!”. It’s just a bit of a joke, because there’s a lot of truth in it about how much we don’t pay attention in our cities to rivers – sometimes small, but extremely important for both urban ecosystems and residents. So we will talk about how our cities are changing, how they are being revitalised, how both the perceptions of local authorities and residents are changing.

Our guest will be Jan Mencwel. Cultural animator, publicist and reporter, social activist and urban activist. Editor of the “Kontakt” magazine published by the NCU.] He publishes and comments, among others, in the portal, “Kultura Liberalna”, “Res Publice” or “Rzeczypospolita” . Since September 2018, he was professionally associated with ClientEarth, where he was responsible for campaigns related to climate protection. He is the author of two recently published important books, around which the discussion about the city is still ongoing: “Betonosis. How Polish cities are being destroyed’ and ‘Hydrozagadka. Who takes Polish water and how to get it back’.

The meeting will be hosted by Jakub Medek, a TOK FM journalist who writes about himself: “For a decade, I drew maps in the woods, another I wrote for the Wyborcza newspaper. Eventually, I decided that I was most comfortable holding a radio microphone, TOK FM of course. But my love of forests, or nature more broadly, still stubbornly clings to me. That’s probably why I left Warsaw and settled in Białystok, where the forest is practically on my doorstep. And in the forest – a lot of radio topics – such as the Białowieża Forest. Privately a father to children, carer of cats and a dog. A lover of reading, computer games, a tiny garden and anything to do with water.”

Citizen Science Week is a series of meetings among people from the world of science, social activists, city authorities and residents to discuss the impact of modern cities on our wellbeing and health – physical and mental.

Citizen Science Week is organised by the SocLab Foundation, the University of Bialystok and the Medical University of Bialystok as part of the JU4H project.

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