Kraków-based Global Correspondent Marta Kotlarska

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

Introducing our Kraków-based Global Correspondent Marta!

Here at Pedestrian Space we recently launched a Global Walkability Correspondents Network, as a way to build solidarity among walkability advocates around the world and continue to create media on sustainable mobility and urbanism.

We are grateful to welcome Marta as a Global Correspondent to our growing network of individuals who are passionate walkability advocates.

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

WHO

I’m Marta and I come from Kraków, Poland, but I’ve always been drawn to new places and cultures. Advocating enthusiastically for the slow travel lifestyle, I like to immerse myself in the localness and authenticity everywhere I go.  

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

I spent my university years traveling to various places in Europe and China. Since the pandemic started I’ve been based in Kraków, Poland, in the beautiful Małopolska region where I come from.  

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

I have a great passion for sustainability, environmental and animal protection and circular economy. I am constantly educating myself on those topics and taking part in initiatives for the improvement of our planet and economy. I am particularly interested in e-waste, and the challenges as well as opportunities it poses. A great aspiration of mine is to conduct research on blockchain applications in e-waste management to encourage impactful urban mining in our communities. 

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

WHERE

Currently, I live in Krakow which is my favorite city in the whole world and I wish to bring the place closer to everyone from another perspective than that of city-break tourism. One of the most recognizable places in Central Europe, Kraków is a historic capital of Poland, and the heart of literature, art, engineering expertise and traffic congestion.

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

Kraków is a city loved by many, but rather despised by car owners. Incessant roadworks, narrow streets, everyday traffic jams, lack of parking space, pollution, and high prices for parking could put anyone off yet that is the daily reality for car-dependent inhabitants and micro-migrants. These problems cannot go unnoticed even by pedestrians and public transportation users who often hesitate about which option is better – or worse.

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

Krakow’s tram and bus infrastructure has been improving greatly over the years but there’s still a lot to do. A network of electric buses and silent trams with AC is enlarging which is great, as many areas are poorly connected. There’s also the last mile problem and exclusion of people with disabilities that needs to be taken into consideration. 

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

I also aspire to correspond from other places I visit or live in, and hope you’ll enjoy the updates. 

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

WHY WALKABILITY

I walk the cities I live in which lets me get to know them well and see all the fascinating and positive things about them as well as some areas for improvement. I do not imagine myself living in rural places as cities are too exciting – they are spaces created by and for their citizens, and this should never be forgotten in urban planning. I enjoy all aspects of urban life and take great pleasure in comparing global experiences in this regard: urban construction, architectural revival, street art, and streets as a space for social causes. I particularly endorse public transportation and within it – tramways, as not only a convenient and relatively quick means of transit but also one of cultural value, spanning across generations and evolving with the city. 

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

I wish to promote the ideas of sustainable urbanism so all future generations can enjoy living in cities in the future – which might bring new, strenuous challenges such as deadly high temperatures, food and water deserts, mass migrations, overpopulation and pollution. I hope that through early action we can prevent some of the hardships from becoming reality. 

Photo: Marta Kotlarska

A Krakovian but also a cosmopolitan, passionate about the natural environment and urban life, Marta strongly believes that cities are organic, living organisms that belong to its citizens and should be shaped according to their needs.

View Global Correspondent Marta’s content here

Learn more about the Global Walkability Correspondents Network here