Mariusz Sagan on Shaping Lublin: Innovative Strategies for a Dynamic City Brand

Meet Mariusz Sagan PhD, the strategic mind behind Lublin’s rise as a dynamic and culturally rich metropolis. As the Head of Strategy and Investor Relations at Lublin City Hall, Mariusz has played a key role in shaping the city’s future through innovative urban planning and robust economic development initiatives.

In this interview, Mariusz shares his personal insights into what makes Lublin a unique place to live, study, and work, and discusses the strategic moves that are positioning Lublin on the global stage.

Mariusz, when you describe Lublin to someone who’s never heard of it, how do you capture its essence?

Lublin is a vibrant mosaic of cultures, largely thanks to our diverse student population, which infuses the city with energy and creativity. It’s not just our educational offerings in technology, medicine, and the arts that attract students from around the world, but also our welcoming spirit and rich cultural scene. We’re proud to be considered one of Europe’s top student-friendly cities. Beyond academia, Lublin is a city where everything you need is just a short walk away, making it a fantastic place to live, work, and play.

Innovation seems central to Lublin’s development. Can you tell us how the city is leveraging technology to enhance its growth and innovation?

For over a decade, we’ve been honing our focus on sectors like IT, medical industries, and engineering, pushing Lublin to the forefront of technological advancement. Our approach involves creating collaborative ecosystems, such as the Lublin Medical Cluster and the Lublin IT Upland. These initiatives not only spur development but also foster a deeply interconnected community of businesses and educational institutions, driving our city’s economic dynamism and innovation.

Lublin has become a draw for international students and businesses. How does this contribute to the city’s economic diversity?

Lublin’s appeal lies in its ability to offer top-quality education and a vibrant job market without the financial strain found in larger cities. The presence of international companies provides graduates with ample career opportunities, enhancing our local economy and adding a rich multinational dimension to our community. Our city’s strategy to attract and retain such talent and investment has been integral to our economic diversification and resilience.

Looking ahead, what are Lublin’s strategic priorities to maintain its dynamism and appeal on both a regional and global scale?

We’re committed to open innovation and smart city solutions, with awards recognizing our efforts in promoting entrepreneurship and sustainable development. Our “Let’s Imagine Lublin Together” initiative involved thousands of residents in shaping our city’s future, illustrating our commitment to inclusivity and collaborative urban planning. As we aim for the title of European Capital of Culture 2029, we continue to invest in cultural and creative sectors, ensuring Lublin remains a forward-thinking and vibrant city.

Sustainability is a key focus for many cities. How is Lublin integrating sustainable practices into its planning?

Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our transportation strategies and urban development plans. Lublin is leading in zero-emission public transport in Poland, with significant investments in electric and hydrogen-powered buses. This focus on sustainable transport, combined with comprehensive urban planning, ensures Lublin remains a green and accessible city for all residents and visitors.

Your thoughts on The Place Brand Observer?

The Place Brand Observer is a crucial tool for me, providing global insights and best practices that inform our strategies and initiatives. It would be great to see more interactive features and networking opportunities on the platform to enhance collaboration and exchange among place branding professionals worldwide.

Thank you, Mariusz – we will take these suggestions on board!

Connect with Mariusz on LinkedIn, or explore more about Lublin’s growth and opportunities through Invest in Lublin or via our Lublin Showcase.

A more detailed version of the interview can be found here.

Lublin was nominated for – and featured in – the 2024 Place Brand Leaders Yearbook. Download it here


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