The city of Gdynia economic brochure
Gdynia - the best deal Poland has done!
For Poles, Gdynia is a synonym of entrepreneurship, hard work and determination in the successful pursuit of one's goal.
It takes these qualities to make a city well-functioning, comfortable and friendly; where an interesting job, a good school and accommodation are easier to find than anywhere else. Public passenger transport functions well here, all services are available and there is a variety of opportunities for attractive recreation, enhanced by the favourable natural conditions - the sea, the beach, the hills, and the forest. You can really feel an appetite for life in Gdynia!
Those who have not yet experienced the rare phenomenon of Gdynia and may be sceptical of the prevailing opinions about it, should come here and check for themselves either as tourists or as business persons.
We suggest using this publication as a guidebook. By giving examples and evidence, facts and figures where necessary, we will try to show that the praise Gdynia receives is justified and to remove any possible doubts about it.
The people of Gdynia love challenges!
This city is only eighty-odd years old, so it is really surprising that so many favourable circumstances have cumulated in such a relatively short time, allowing Gdynia to build its reputation. In 1920, while looking for the best site for a port, young engineer Tadeusz Wenda chose a fishing village in the Chylonka valley on the Gulf of Gdańsk. His expertise and imagination told him that a large, modern port should be designed and built right there.
And the idea materialised swiftly.
It took less than two decades for a fishing village, which Gdynia still was in 1920, to become a city with 100 thousand people in 1939, with modern commercial, fishing and naval ports, shipyards, banks, shipping companies, shipping brokers, forwarders, cinemas, a theatre and extensive artistic life.
This was possible due to the kind of people who had come here from the most distant corners of Poland - hardened by earlier experience, daring, hard-working and determined. They decided to build from scratch not only a port and a city, but their own lives as well. They were engineers, architects, builders, craftsmen, merchants, doctors and artists - the crème de la crème of the Polish population.
A specific blend of characters, talents and professions was formed, as well as of customs and traditions - the cornerstone of a unique community. The people of Gdynia today are the third or even fourth generations of those settlers.
Today, Gdynia and its legend continue to attract people from various parts of Poland. They all have this special gene of romantic entrepreneurship, hard work and good management, which the founders of our city must have had.
People who want their daring plans and dreams to materialise believe this can be achieved here. And they are right.
The genius loci of Gdynia certainly favours such people today, as it did in the past.
What business people like most about Gdynia is the good, investor-friendly business environment, with modern technical infrastructure, energy resources, well-educated people, good accessibility, high levels of service, and last but not least, good leisure opportunities.
Gdynia, because of the consistent policy of harmonious development, implemented by the local authorities, has sufficient water resources, an advanced waste disposal system, is easily accessible by road, rail and sea, and soon by air, too. It enjoys a clean environment, quality education, an efficient health service and public transport, as well as ample cultural and recreational opportunities.
There is strong financial sector in Gdynia - banks, insurance companies, consultancies, brokers and forwarders. The trade, transport and construction markets are also large and varied.
According to a large-scale sociological survey Diagnoza Społeczna, which is a kind of portrait of Poland and the Poles, among the 19 largest Polish cities Gdynia it the one that provides the highest quality of life. This is good news for business.
Diagnoza Społeczna is the responsibility of the Council for Social Monitoring headed by Professor Janusz Czapiński. The results are available at www.diagnoza.com./index-en.html.
Let us quote at least some of the facts and figures.
23.1% of the inhabitants are very satisfied with their city. This makes Gdynia rank first among the 19 largest Polish cities
49.5% of the inhabitants see their lives as great or successful
3.16% have symptoms of depression (the lowest rate of the 19 cities)
46.2% of the inhabitants have lived in the same place for years - the lowest rate of the 19 cities - indicative of high mobility
35.8% have changed employment at least once in the last 7 years (the highest rate of 19)
41.4% are entrepreneurial people
61% have access to the Internet at home
26 minutes is the average time spent travelling to and from work in Gdynia
9.5% planned to work abroad in the last 2 years (the lowest rate except Warsaw, compare with Olsztyn - 27.1%)
3.2% worked abroad between 2005 and 2007 (compared with the figure for Wrocław - 6.8%)
66% segregate waste
83% declare egalitarian views
19% trust other people (compared with 22% in Poznań and 5% in Toruń)
38% think democracy is the best form of government
Pathology index: -0.6, with the starting value of 0
3,3% have been victims of a crime (compared with 21.3% in Katowice).
Gdynia ranks second in Poland for per capita income.
Gdynia has for years been ranking high on various lists for good management. The recent example is the "bronze medal" in the ranking of the Best Polish Cities (held in July 2008) of a major national daily Rzeczpospolita. The criteria were the financial standing, investment spending, growth rate, level of debt (too low means not very active in investing, too high - spending money too easily), spending on infrastructure and the environment, and the level of EU funding.
The stable local government, getting record support at the polls, creates good conditions for the local businesses, by building within the Polish and the EU regulatory framework a system of incentives for investors and by shaping an innovation-friendly environment.
The city en route
Gdynia lies at a crossroads of the Pan-European Transport Corridor VI and the future Via Hanseatica. It is also a node of road, rail and sea, and soon - air transportation.
Gdynia has regular liner shipping with Scandinavia, the UK, Germany, the Mediterranean and the two Americas. The line to Karlskrona - a gateway to Scandinavia - is particularly vital and promising. In June 2009, two additional ferry connections were introduced - to Travemunde in Germany and to the Finnish capital Helsinki.
The recent years in Gdynia have been marked by massive investment, especially in roads, resulting already in greater interest of investors, more cargo handled by the port, greater activity in the banking sector and a record low rate of unemployment. This, in turn, translates into better quality of life and greater prosperity of the people.
The largest and most important road project implemented by Gdynia with the help of EU funding is the Kwiatkowski Route (Trasa Kwiatkowskiego), made operational in June 2008. It is very picturesque (which is not insignificant) and provides swift connection between container and ferry terminals at the port and the national and international road network. In fact, this is where the A-1 motorway in Poland begins.
The Port of Gdynia Authority is involved in the upgrading of the road network in Gdynia. It co-funded the redevelopment of Janka Wiśniewskiego Street - the ring road of the port - completed together with the Kwiatkowski Route and redeveloped Polska Street, crucial arteries for business in this part of the city.
Further development of the port and the port operators will be fostered by the Logistic Centre (Centrum Logistyczne) of ca. 175 thousand square metres. To make it attractive to investors, the Port of Gdynia Authority has started cooperation with the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone, to make the site of the Logistic Centre part of the Zone.
The Centre is being developed by the side of the Kwiatkowski Route, next to the container terminals and not far from the PKP-PLK sidings, which connect the area with the main E65 railway (Tri-City to Warsaw and Tri-City to Silesia). This railway line is now undergoing major redevelopment, as part of the regeneration of the Pan-European transport corridor linking the Baltic with the Adriatic and the Balkans. It takes about 5 hours by train from Gdynia to Warsaw today, which should go down to 2.5 hours when the project is completed.
Another boost for the city and the region will be the challenging project of converting a former military airfield at Gdynia-Kosakowo (Babie Doły) into a civilian airport. A project company Port Lotniczy Gdynia-Kosakowo Sp. z o.o. has been established to this end.
The airfield, nearly seventy years old, is only a few minutes drive from the Kwiatkowski Route and the port. Constantly upgraded by the military, it is one of the safest and most advanced in Poland - fitted with state-of-the-art homing devices and perfectly situated, in terms of the weather conditions and its position relative to the coastline and the sea. It now covers an area of 700 hectares and has a vast reserve of land, where service facilities can be built.
It also has a railway line, which will soon be the starting point of the metropolitan rail, connecting the airport with the centre of Gdynia and further on, with the Lech Wałęsa Airport and the Baltic Arena stadium - one of the Euro 2012 venues.
Basic reasons behind the idea of an airport in Gdynia, however, are the rising passenger figures on routes to and from Poland and the growing popularity of the so-called general aviation.
According to experts, the Gdynia-Kosakowo airport should play an important role in the airport network policy of the region. Initially, it should be an alternative to general and business traffic at the Lech Wałęsa Airport in Gdańsk. Within a longer time frame, depending on the growth in the volume of traffic in Gdańsk, the Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport can be seen as a second commercial airport in the Gdańsk-Sopot-Gdynia metropolitan area.
The local authorities and the Navy - the sole user of the facility today - are greatly committed to making the Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport a reality. There is also interest from companies in the aviation business in making capital investment in this promising enterprise.
With the sea in the coat of arms
Gdynia is one of the most rapidly developing Polish cities, where small and medium-sized enterprises play the leading role. The smallest among them - those with up to ten employees - account for more than 90 per cent of all businesses in Gdynia. Twenty years ago, like in the rest of Poland, it was heavy industry that prevailed. In Gdynia it was connected with the maritime economy and enterprises would employ a few thousand people each.
But maritime businesses have changed dramatically since then - introducing new technologies, new systems of management and winning new markets. At the same time they have had to confront previously unknown challenges, resulting from the opening of the borders and market competition. They are no longer monstrous enterprises, but modern companies - be it the port with numerous terminals, forwarders, brokers, logistic companies or shipping agencies. Forty per cent of Gdynia's work force are employed in the maritime sector.
And this is the sector that is most likely to grow.
Gdynia for modern solutions
A good company looking for highly-skilled people will find them in Gdynia, like Thompson Reuters did, starting their data aggregation centre here, one of six run by them all over the world. It studies the markets of Central and Eastern Europe and of the Middle East and employs young, well-educated economists. The Spanish company Geoban has done the same, choosing Gdynia as its first Polish location. The ambitions of the local people are also illustrated by the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park, initiated by the local authorities and significantly co-funded by the European Union. This is a modern complex, perfectly situated, housing laboratories, prototype development sites, office, conference, exhibition, as well as leisure space. All of this has been constructed to the highest standards, on a post-industrial site. The companies short-listed by the Academic Committee enjoy many bonuses here that assist them at the initial stage of competitive struggle. They can also count on professional support and consultancy.
Young, creative people, who are only start-ups in research and business, find good conditions here to make their daring, sometimes even brilliant ideas become a reality. This applies mostly to biotechnology, the environment, industrial design and IT.
More than seventy companies operate in the Park, and the waiting list is growing. The planned extension seems necessary.
Business leaders in Gdynia
Most of the Gdynia businesses have been founded in recent years, but the Port of Gdynia Authority, a real gem in the crown, is one of the oldest - after all, Gdynia started with the port in the 1920s.
The port of Gdynia is an A-class port, situated in Corridor VI of the TEN-T network. Its development is a priority in the policy documents of both Poland and the European Union.
The volume of the cargo handled in Gdynia has been growing steadily (by an annual average of 10-15% since 2003) for all cargo groups. The growth of ro-ro handling is one of the three priorities in the policy documents of the Port, together with container and ferry traffic. Two million tonnes of cargo are expected to be handled in 2010.
The Port of Gdynia is going through an investment boom. Major projects for the next few years are:
* building ferry-handling infrastructure, including road and rail access facilities;
* redevelopment of the port canal;
* building the infrastructure for the Logistic Centre of the port;
* building more infrastructure for the handling of ro-ro vessels, including road and rail access facilities;
* development of the Bulgarian Quay area;
* building the facilities to control gasoline vapour emissions;
* refurbishment of the Pomorskie Quay, a mooring site for the Dar Młodzieży and a passenger ship berth.
The completion of these projects will assist the development of the business leaders operating at the Port of Gdynia: Bałtycka Baza Masowa sp. z o.o., BCT - Bałtycki Terminal Kontenerowy sp. z o.o., Gdynia Container Terminal S.A., Bałtycki Terminal Drobnicowy sp. z o.o., Bałtycki Terminal Zbożowy sp z o.o., Morski Terminal Masowy Gdynia sp. z o.o.
Business leaders in Gdynia are companies of nationwide or international renown, from a variety of industries. This group include forwarders, among them C.HARTWIG Gdynia S.A., one of the oldest in Europe, or its new rival, AGROLAND.
Construction and real estate are strong in Gdynia, represented by developers, design offices, contractors, auxiliary services and estate agencies. The leaders here are, beyond doubt, Allcon, Hossa, Invest Komfort and Mega.
The IT sector is growing fast in Gdynia. Most outstanding, award-winning companies here are VECTOR, IVO SOFTWARE and Asseco (formerly Prokom Software).
Gdynia is a real cradle of telecommunications companies. It is here that operators like Vectra and MULTIMEDIA Polska have emerged and grown, but also RADMOR - manufacturing radio stations and radiotelephones.
One of the best banks on the market, NORDEA Bank Polska has its head office in Gdynia, which adds splendour to both.
These are but a few examples. The full list of actual leaders is much longer.
Although Gdynia is not exactly a holiday resort, it nevertheless deserves to be called a tourist gem of Pomerania. It attracts visitors with its natural beauty - exquisite location among wooded hills, close to the sea and the beaches - just as much as with what it has to offer; the marina, the passenger terminal, the Aquarium, the ship-museums afloat, as well as with other cultural, recreational and sports attractions.
And one of its seashore districts - Orłowo - with it wooden pier, picturesque cliff, fishing harbour and the summer stage on the beach, atmospheric coffee bars, taverns, boarding houses and stately residences is a resort in the full sense of the word.
Even though Gdynia is so young, it can attract tourists interested in history. It also attracts with its historical monuments - of very stylish and elegant modern architecture.
Recent years have added to Gdynia's attractions, both for the inhabitants and the visitors, enhancing the recreational opportunities of the region. As the accessibility of Gdynia improves, every year sees an increase in the number of incoming tourists. More than a hundred thousand are brought in the summer on board large cruise ships. Another 350 thousand (2007 figure) use the Stena Line ferry service from Karlskrona.
Something virtually magnetic to tourists is the Tall Ships' Races. Gdynia has hosted the event five times already (1974, 1992, 2003, 2009 and 2011). It is a very good occasion to promote the city.
The place to do shopping in
Trade is certainly another strength of Gdynia; both large scale trade, represented by international forwarders and wholesalers at the port, and retail trade as well.
The period of transition in Poland was the time of massive expansion of new retail outlets. Owing to rational spatial planning, Gdynia avoided the mistake made by many Polish and European cities, where retail centres were located beyond the city limits, causing the decline of city centres.
In Gdynia, shopping malls are situated not far from the centre, yet in the vicinity of transit roads and housing estates. This has helped to avoid travelling problems, especially on access roads in peak hours.
The shopping streets, however, are changing dramatically. Shops selling daily staples and services have given way to designer boutiques, shops selling jewellery or other luxury items as well as cafés, pubs and restaurants. Like other European cities, in the main streets you can also find travel agents, law and notarial offices, posh surgeries and clinics as well as branch offices of banks and finance consultancies.
Banking outlets mushrooming in the city centre are indicative of Gdynia's business vitality and attractiveness, but they are also an issue for the local authorities, who would like this part of the city to develop harmoniously and attract shoppers and tourists.
There is no doubt that their efforts to make this "outdoor parlour" of Gdynia look its best do attract business. Świętojańska Street - one of the best known in Poland - has undergone a major renovation and upgrading. It is now the pride of Gdynia residents and a walking route, too. The whole city centre, a unique example of Modern Architecture built in a relatively short time (1926-1939), has been listed as heritage. Noblesse oblige - property owners in this part of the city can obtain grants from the City Hall to have their historical tenements renovated, after years of communist ill-management.
Gdynia - a meeting place
As a city, Gdynia demonstrates great potential and vitality. Therefore, it is not surprising that organisers of various business forums, scientific conferences, congresses, conventions, fairs or festivals - often international - are eager to choose Gdynia as the venue.
The local government is the organiser of such meetings, too. The event with the longest tradition is the International Economic Forum, the purpose of which is to provide an occasion for experience sharing, meeting outstanding personalities of the business world and for the promotion of Gdynia. The merits of Gdynia as a city of business are known across Poland. The point is to get business people from other countries to learn about them and to decide that coming to Gdynia with their business is an opportunity. The city is particularly welcoming to those investing in new technologies, IT, biotechnology, industrial design and financial services.
There is more and more A-class office space in Gdynia. The most recent facility is the Łużycka Office Park, offering its users a comfortable working environment in its perfectly located five office buildings.
No city in northern Poland can provide more office space than Gdynia.
It has to be said, though, that at present there is no adequate congress facility in Gdynia. Events of this type are held either at the Musical Theatre or on conference premises of Gdynia hotels. However, an investor from the hotel industry in Gdynia is planning to build a multi-purpose hall with a capacity of 1500 people. If this becomes a reality, it will certainly be another factor bringing business tourists to Gdynia.
Education in Gdynia - first class!
High standards of education at all levels - from school to university - is another of Gdynia's assets. The quality of education is the apple of the eye of the local authorities, sparing no expense in order to constantly improve it. Capital spending, but first of all, a system of incentives produce excellent results. The young people of Gdynia top the ranking lists in Poland and score high in examinations. More than 80 per cent of young people in Gdynia decide to complete their upper-secondary education, many of them continue at university level - in Poland or abroad.
Education in Gdynia is broad and attractive as it is constantly adjusted to current market needs. Schools and universities in Gdynia show a maritime bias (the Maritime University, the Naval Academy or the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography of the Gdańsk University) and provide education which fosters personal development and employability.
There are good business locations here!
"Gdynia is the best deal Poland has ever done", as was once said by Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski - pre-war minister of trade and industry and vice-premier, and not without reason referred to as the founding father of Gdynia.
Re-wording this idea to match the present day situation we might say that the best business is done in Gdynia. And there is hardly any exaggeration in either of the quotes.
Gdynia has a lot of land for development, both land owned by the city and by legal entities like the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A., Dalmor S.A., PKP (the Polish Railway) or by private realtors. Some of the land is ready for development, other is waiting for formal procedures to be completed, such as change of ownership or land use plans.
Property can be found within industrial estates and the Waterfront, as well as in attractive locations away from the city centre, meant for housing.
What all the estates for development have in common is the proximity of either the sea, or the forest. This applies to industrial estates as well.
The Waterfront is the area between the city centre in the narrow sense of the word and the sea. It will change considerably in the coming years - to accommodate current trends and the aspirations of the city.
For example, in view of the expected ownership changes at Dalmor company and under the land use plan now in preparation, the former fishing port will be available for development. The previous function of the area will give way to tourism, culture, sports and retail. This will certainly become an interesting investment proposal.
The site of European Council Park (Park Rady Europy) and the surroundings of Kościuszki Square (Skwer Kościuszki) will also change. For years, this area has been waiting for the erection of the so-called Forum Morskie. Time has come for this old concept to materialise. An international competition has already been decided for the architectural concept of the cultural centre that will be built here, which will comprise a drama theatre, a modern art gallery and a library.
The area should certainly see new hotels and boarding houses, with all the cultural, restaurant and recreational services nearby.
The area near the City Hall and Plymouth Square will be another large construction site in Gdynia. Under the new land use plan, a new city hall is to be built here, as well as a multi-purpose retail and service facility.
The City Centre Development Zone (Strefa Rozwoju Centrum Miasta) is one hundred hectares of unique, undeveloped land, yet fitted with all the infrastructure, lying between the city centre and the port. It will be the "Manhattan of Gdynia" - a financial centre standing out from the surroundings because of its high-rise architecture. It will become possible when all the procedures connected with the legal status of the land have ended.
Gdynia-West is the direction in which the city is to develop spatially. It is in the districts of Chwarzno and Wiczlino, on the other side of the ring road, where housing estates with the accompanying services are emerging. Beautifully situated - in the sea of green - the area is the target of expansion for developers.
The south-western districts of Gdynia, up to the boundaries of the city towards Chwaszczyno, are also earmarked for housing. However, non-disturbing industry is also permitted.
And soon, the Gdynia-Kosakowo airport will become the investment buzz word. To begin with, the development of all the necessary infrastructure; later - a dream location for all accompanying services that can capitalise on the proximity of a passenger and cargo airport.
Gdynia - such a beautiful natural setting
It is no exaggeration to say that in Gdynia - not a small town at all, and a modern one - it is Nature, not people, that calls the tune. And the people are happy about it.
There is the sea, the woods (taking half of the total area of Gdynia), and there are animals - hares, hedgehogs, deer and even wild boars, which accustomed to human presence, can accompany you as you walk across the Tri-City Landscape Park or one of the four nature reserves. All this in the close vicinity of housing estates.
This harmony and closeness of nature is something many cities might envy us. It is also something valued by business people, who often do not have the time for holiday. In Gdynia, you don't mind, as you quickly get invigorated before work in the morning, and can relax on the beach or in the forest close to your home at the end of the day.
Culture is not forgotten
The long-standing image of Gdynia as a city of maritime business has recently been changing slightly. Today, Gdynia is also known for its cultural life - artistic vitality and numerous events on offer. This makes it a good place not only to work in, but to live in as well.
It is really important that every year new initiatives emerge from the young and creative local artistic community; but people, who want to put their ideas into practice here also come from afar. The local authority supports most of these initiatives, owing to which they go beyond the local dimension. This is the case with the festivals: Heineken Open'er, World Culture Festival - Globaltica, Gdynia Film Festival, Ladies' Jazz Festival, during which you can see and listen to genuine stars, like Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Cesaria Evora, Sinead O'Connor, Al di Meola, Jay-Z, Beastie Boys, Faith No More, Prodigy and many others.
Gdynia has two good repertory theatres (musical and drama), usually playing to full houses. Both organise festivals, to which the best companies from Poland and abroad are invited.
Gdynia Design Days, organised for the first time in 2008, are a major success. Gdynia itself is an icon of design because of its unique, uniform Modern Architecture of the city centre.
Modern, with respect for tradition - this is what Gdynia is like.
There are more and more places in Gdynia offering something extraordinary. One such place is certainly the City Museum (Muzeum Miasta Gdyni) - very modern in terms of architecture, but more importantly, in the way it presents history. It is really worth seeing - apart from the permanent gallery there are frequently changing thematic exhibitions.
Its modest sister facility is the Motor Museum (Gdyńskie Muzeum Motoryzacji) - a real gem, set up due to the passion of a devoted collector of vintage cars and motorbikes. Children are delighted when they visit the EXPERYMENT science centre. They can touch and tinker with everything here, learning the laws of physics in the process. So can the adults...
On the move and healthy
Active leisure is a very popular form of recreation in Gdynia. The conditions are excellent - both natural and man-made. The forest tracks and the beach invite you to take a walk or practice jogging, the sea invites yachtsmen, divers and swimmers. But there are also facilities prepared for specific sports, such as golf, tennis, horse riding, hang-gliding, etc. And what is most important, they are all close at hand.
An interesting new facility for both inhabitants and visitors fond of active pursuits is the Kolibki Adventure Park. The rough terrain once used for motocross racing, today offers a quad track, a rope park, a climbing wall and a shooting range. People looking for a thrill spend the time here, often with their families.
A new formula of game, movement and safe yet exciting fights is offered by the Zoltar Centre (Centrum Zoltar), where you can move to the land of science fiction, together with electronic weaponry.
Cycling routes are the apple of the eye of the local authorities. There are quite many in Gdynia, especially in the woods. When the network is connected to those of the neighbouring cities, safe cycling will also be possible alongside major roads throughout the whole conurbation.
Gdynia local government - a partner of business
The local authorities in Gdynia have for years worked towards supporting local entrepreneurs and attracting investment. Most coveted is the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in the sector of new technologies.
The local government is working to ensure good municipal infrastructure, quality education, availability of services, an attractive cultural offer, a clean environment - all up to European standards. They all translate into quality of life, which is high - by subjective and objective assessment. It is also what investors take into account when making location decisions.
This would not be possible without up-to-date economic mechanisms in management applied by the local authorities and their well-thought out investment and social policies.
Among the numerous initiatives of the local government in Gdynia, there are some which are really innovative, even on an international scale. One of them is the annual competition known as the Business Plan of Gdynia, encouraging start-up in business. Another is the Business Assistance Centre (Gdyńskie Centrum Wspierania Przedsiębiorczości) also targeted mostly at start-ups. There is also the EU-supported programme www.innowacje.gdynia.pl, which encourages businesses to apply innovative solutions and share experiences in this respect in order to achieve synergies.
Intensive and successful promotional efforts of the local authorities are also important. Owing to its good business promotional activities, Gdynia is perceived in Poland as an attractive location and the local authority as a modern and creative partner of entrepreneurs. This is demonstrated by Gdynia topping various ranking lists of major media, as well as by studies of various research institutions.
The low rate of unemployment in Gdynia is a measure of the activity and entrepreneurial spirit of the people as well as of the efficiency of local government initiatives.
Gdynia - facts and figures
* with the highest quality of life among 19 Polish cities with a population of more than 200 thousand (the Diagnoza Społeczna survey headed by professor Janusz Czapiński);
* with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Poland (3.1% in June 2009);
* with the fastest growth rate in Pomerania (as reported by the Pomorski Przegląd Gospodarczy 4/2007);
* with the most business friendly environment in Poland (according to the Forbes List of Best Business Locations in 2007, 2008 and 2009);
* with style - often referred to as the European gem of Modern Architecture;
* hosting the HQ of the Polish Navy;
* with the most advanced port in Poland and container terminals leading into the Baltic;
* most frequently visited by the largest cruise ships in the world;
* with the largest marina in Poland;
* with the rapidly growing Pomeranian Science and Technology Park, hosting some of the best companies in the world;
* with universities and colleges providing instruction to future maritime economy specialists;
* with great schools and children, ranking among the best in Poland in exam results;
* with Poland's only science centre EXPERYMENT - a hands-on learning facility for the youngest;
* where major cultural, business and sports events of European dimension are held - festivals, concerts, exhibitions, fairs, economic fora, sports games;
* with a wonderful location - on the sea, among wooded morainal hills.
Photographs: Maciej Bejm, Tomasz Bołt, Andrzej Gojke, Kacper Kowalski / aeromedia.pl, Przemysław Kozłowski (archives of Gdynia Development Agency), Marek Pęgowski, Krzysztof Romański, Maurycy Śmierzchalski, Tadeusz Urbaniak (Zarząd Morskiego Portu Gdynia SA), Halina Wasielke-Cieślak;
other sources are:
Gdynia City Hall archives, C. Hartwig Gdynia SA, Gdynia-Karwiny Swimming Pool.
Gdynia Sport Centre Stadium, design: Anna Kasprzyk, Architect, Studio Projektowe SPAK.
Expansion of the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park, design: AEC Krymow & Rogoyska Architekci.
Gdynia Culture Forum, design: Fiszer Atelier 41 Warsaw.