Katowice - the capital of the Upper-Silesian region and formerly - a town identified exclusively with heavy industry and workers' houses is today a real European city where tradition meets modernity.
Nowadays, Katowice with the population of 320 thousand residents is a city of dynamic transformations, open to changes, attracting young people who associate their future with the city. In the first place it is them to who the city authorities address their projects of social and town planning reconstruction.
The city whose origin goes back but to the nineteenth century prides on the possession of numerous objects registered as historical monuments. Among them there stand out art nouveaux tenements in the city centre, neo-baroque and Neo-Gothic buildings with architectural details restored with reverence, as well as the workers' housing estates in the Giszowiec and Nikiszowiec quarters that constitute examples of unique architecture.
As remains of a few, already inactive, coalmines and steelworks there have survived some interesting monuments of industrial architecture and specimens of restored unique machines.
Katowice is also a powerful academic and cultural centre on the national scale. A lot of artists and scientists famous and recognized all over the world come from the city where they made first creative steps in order to leave the place then to win worldwide famous scenes and galleries.
The city is situated at the crossing of transport routes and impacts of several cultures, i.e. the Polish, the German, the Jewish and the regional Silesian ones intermingle here. They all have left a firm mark on the image of the city whose history includes both splendid and tragic moments. Its monumental buildings, such as the pre-war seat of the Silesian Seym, remind of the past years' glory of Polish Katowice. On the other hand, emerging at a hectic pace office buildings, seats of companies, trade centres, cultural centres and great arterial roads are signs of the new builders' dynamics.
Katowice is the heart of one of the largest population centres in Europe. Along with the neighbouring towns and cities it constitutes a huge market to be developed by economic subjects, and it is from the economic viewpoint that Katowice has a great future ahead. The present authorities of the city take care of developing a favourable background for investments. Katowice is considered to be one of the best developed Polish cities in terms of a modern infrastructure involving traffic systems, preparing land for investments, water supply, sewage disposal system and appropriate environment for economy in the form of housing undergoing the development process, sporting and recreational facilities, commercial facilities, catering industry, modern cinema halls, libraries, museums, etc. It is worth mentioning that 40 % of the area in Katowice is covered by forests and greenfields including 2 nature reserves. Everybody can appreciate values of our city's natural environment during a long cycle tour of signposted routes.
The significant position of Katowice on the maps of Poland and Europe is strengthened by its role of the Silesian Voivodship administrative centre - the seat of the voivodeship authorities constituting along with Wroclaw and Opole the main centres of the transfrontier and multicultural Silesian Euro-region. All the characteristics decide of a strong position of Katowice as the European leader of sustainable development.