Social Research

Pursuant to § 2 of the concluded agreement, as part of Stage Two of the project, the team of experts will prepare and conduct meetings with the stakeholders of the World Heritage site, for which it has 3 months. In Stage Four it is planned to prepare and conduct social consultations of the Management Plan, which are to last no longer than 3 months.

Through the hyperlinks activated here, you will be able to access the survey questionnaires to be completed online.

Survey for the representatives of local authorities in Toruń

By scanning this QR you can get a hyperlink to the questionnaire.

By clicking the QR code you can access a questionnaire directly.

3A2 - Please feel kindly invited to filling up the questionnaire which is open from 5.06 to 31.08.2023.

Survey Questionnaire for Non-Residents to Toruń (Tourists and People on Business)


3A3 - A survey questionnaire for German-speaking visitors to Toruń // Ein Fragebogen für deutschsprachige Toruń-Besucher

1. Summary of meetings with stakeholders


The consultations were planned in such a way that affine social groups could participate in them separately. Thus, we distinguished 4 categories of stakeholders that were invited separately:

- the world of science

- non-governmental organizations

- entrepreneurs

- residents of Toruń


  1. The first session, intended for representatives of science, was attended by 10 representatives of the world of science – mainly the scientific staff of the Nicolaus Copernicus University, dealing scientifically with history and art history as well as the conservation of monuments.


The main demand of the scientists was that there should be as much scientific research for the UNESCO World Heritage Site as possible and that it should be planned and preventive in nature. The issue limiting the research is the paucity of financial resources.


The city neither finances nor initiates such research, and the university's own programs are based on grants that finance research in a scope that differs from the needs of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In relation to revalorization plans, it would be necessary to define "fuses" protecting the attributes of entry on the list, which should be visible preferably in the local development plan. The unpleasant experience of the area not obtaining the status of a priority landscape in the province of Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship shows the undefined formal situation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The need to monitor changes in the area from the perspective of climatic factors and possible changes for which the area of UNESCO World Heritage Site should be prepared through cyclical evaluations was also indicated.

The coordination of activities within the Toruń City Hall should be concentrated in such a way that the overall picture of changes and transformations is in the first place. This is postulated by many meeting participants. However, coordination must take into account the scope of competences and the existing legal status.


  1. Representatives of two organizations took part in the session intended for non-governmental organizations: Association Curious about Poland and Society Toruń lovers – ToMiTo.


ToMiTo submitted a comment to the text of the plan regarding the date of foundation of Toruń. According to the results of new research they have, the date of location should be moved back a year. The issues of social activity in space and opinions expressed about improving road traffic organization in the space covered by the boundaries of the UNESCO World Heritage Site were also discussed.


On the second day, consultations for entrepreneurs and residents of Toruń were held.


  1. The session for entrepreneurs was attended by 8 representatives of entities operating within the UNESCO World Heritage Site or for its benefit.


The representative of the Tourist Information Center pointed out that approx. 3,000-4,000 people in the city live off cultural heritage so tourism is the second employer in Toruń. Therefore, it is important in what direction everything related to monuments, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, should go.

The question is whether the Plan is to turn the Old Town space into an open-air museum or whether it is to be a living space. Because visitors don't really chase history. They are more interested in relaxing in a nice and compact setting. Visitors to museums and monuments are a minority.

Some visitors often raise the issue of rebuilding the ruins of the Teutonic castle, where you can now admire an inflatable snowman, rather than historical reconstructions - showing life in the Middle Ages. And that is why guides around Toruń have discomfort when explaining certain gaps in the monuments.

However, there is no coherent narrative for the medieval urban area and the fact that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is not a motive for visitors. This fact is often an argument when choosing places to visit by tourists from the Far East - e.g. Japan.

Trips are often guided by the values recognized by UNESCO when choosing a tourist route.


Renovation is a problem for owners of historic buildings, which are often converted into apartments for sale or rent. When adapting the facade, there are problems with respecting conservation recommendations. The interiors are being transformed to a large extent and the protection of the historic substance in this respect is only partial.

Although making owners aware of the importance of preserving some historical solutions could be beneficial for both tenants and owners. It would be advisable to publish a guide for investors in the space of the UNESCO World Heritage Site so that they know what challenges are associated with the transformation of a historic substance and how they should proceed to obtain the desired effect. Another problem is the growing number of commercial premises on the ground floors of tenement houses. It is profitable for owners not to launch a business that may be too expensive.

The lack of events referring to medieval traditions was also reported. The inclusion of the Vistula River through the tourist marina in May 2024 is intended to restore the memory of the role of the Vistula River in the development of the city.


Due to the diversified ownership structure, the implementation of joint investment plans for buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, in terms of thermal insulation or modernization of heating installations/media, etc., is difficult because private owners are reluctant. A system of incentives for participation in joint investment projects, including conservation protection, is needed.


  1. 4 people took part in the session for Toruń residents.


The reported problem is allowing a situation in which information campaigns are carried out using banners, posters, etc., the content of which has nothing to do with the World Heritage site, and only disturbs the perception of heritage and even leads to tourists leaving it disgusted. Information filtering should be carried out by all city services. The activity of developers who are interested in constructing buildings that would disturb the historic panorama in the buffer zone has also been noticed. Protection against such a threat should be included in the local development plan.

To sum up, it should be noted that most participants had not read the content of the draft plan and learned about its important elements during the consultation session. This had an impact on the course of the consultations and their superficial nature.


Until February 12, 2024, we were waiting for comments from interested parties, which could be sent by e-mail to the following address:

Until then, we have not received any comments.