The March visit of guests from Norway to Starachowice is the next stage of international cooperation, which is possible thanks to the implementation of the project "Direction Future - Starachowice Local Development Program", financed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for 2014-2021 (85%) and the state budget (15%) from the "Local Development" Program.
During the three-day stay, the Norwegians got acquainted with the current situation and development plans of Starachowice. A large part of the meetings was devoted to the presentation of good practices in Scandinavia - solutions that have been successfully implemented.
Poland was visited by Sverre Hoynes - Housing Advisor to the Governor of Vestkand Province, Margrethe Moss-Iversen Lundegård, Advisor to the Bergen City Council for Health and Social Affairs and Sonja Ljostveit - Deputy Director at the Department for Persons with Disabilities in the City of Bergen.
Let us remind you that it is Bergen - the second largest city in Norway in terms of size - that is the official partner of Starachowice in the implementation of the project.

The first part of the visit was devoted to housing policy in Poland and Norway. The guests visited e.g. area and building of the former hospital at ul. Radomska, where a modern housing estate is to be built. Development of the concept of this part of the city is possible thanks to the support of Norwegian funds. The issues of the planned eco-buildings at ul. Polna and other residential investments. During the stay, the new blocks that were built at ul. Piłsudskiego, the Wzgórze housing estate, where subsequent buildings are undergoing thermal modernization, the area of a residential investment at ul. Kościelna and the Bugaj housing estate.

An important point of the program was the accessibility of the city, during which the subject of accessibility standards, elimination of architectural barriers, support for people with disabilities and activities carried out under the senior policy and social assistance were discussed. In Starachowice, the health care system, current challenges and needs as well as Norwegian solutions that are worth transferring to Poland were also discussed.

The meetings and workshops, apart from representatives of the Municipal Office, the Social Services Center and STBS "Wspólny Dom", were also attended by local entrepreneurs, representatives of the Poviat Healthcare Institution, Starachowice Association of the Disabled Plus and the University of the Third Age. The Norwegians also visited CUS centers in the "Skałka" Gallery, senior clubs, and also visited the offices of non-governmental organizations in Starachowice.

- I would like to thank our partners from Bergen, because from the very beginning they paid us a lot of attention and approached this project with great commitment. This is an excellent, very substantive cooperation, we try to draw as much from it as possible to implement solutions that will increase the quality of life of the residents even more and ensure further development of Starachowice - emphasizes Marek Materek, Mayor of the City.

The next visit of partners from Bergen in our city is planned for the end of April.

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