Revitalization of a zinc spoil heap near the city center. The transformation solved environmental and spatial-functional problems.
Lands formerly degraded by the mining industry in central parts of cities were not only an undesirable element that disfigured the landscape, but were also areas of ecological threat due to strong degradation of the earth's surface, dusting of waste and a highly transformed area. Main problem and target of actions designed for area of zinc spoil heap in Ruda Śląska was the soil contamination and the process of the situation improving with remediation, to reach safe recreational open space there. Additional targets were: to mitigate dangerous sharp and high crags on the northern heap edge; build possibly low cost in maintaining leisure infrastructure with possibly broad offer, vandalism resistible, and with deep connections with local identity and history.
Actions included:
Formation and stabilization of the northern slopes.
Remediation and phytostabilization of the upper layer.
Construction of a path system, alleys, lighting installation and monitoring system.
Recreational infrastructure: viewpoints, barbecue areas, a gym, playground, educational path.
As a result of the project, a 19.419 m² zinc heap area was reclaimed located in the area in Ruda Śląska - Nowy Bytom, which was secured against further emission of harmful substances and obtained natural and aesthetic values.
Visitors include residents of Ruda Śląska, but also from Silesia and Poland (tourists, families). An educational trail and pedestrian-bicycle connections and functions are planned.

Resources needed

Project value: PLN 1 806 015,77
Project co-financing from the EU: PLN 1 535 113,40
ROP Silesia 2007-2014

Evidence of success

The dump developed for recreational purposes is unique on a national scale as phytostabilization ( i.e. planting of plants, whose task is to protect against the escape of heavy metals outside and stabilize the slopes) was applied for the first time on such a scale.
Revitalization of post-industrial areas with preservation of biodiversity and protection of natural habitats of protected species.
Creation of green and safe connections between housing, shopping, recreation and working areas.

Difficulties encountered

Lack of permanent monitoring, menace of violent hooligan behaviour, garbage in the area, nearby industry with noise and air pollution.

Potential for learning or transfer

Revitalization design for zinc spoil heap in Ruda Śląska is an attempt to solve as many environmental and social problems as possible. According to sustainable development rules, technologies of remediation and phytostabilization were taken into consideration and were applied to whole accessible area. Much of the local flora was preserved as a source for natural succession. To support biodiversity nearly all added plants are native.

Spatial and architectural solutions have original form and should be legible and easy to use. Small architectural elements, among them area information elements, are resistible for vandalism and possibly not too much expensive, easy to maintain, repair or exchange. All solutions were designed to follow spatial, social, economical and natural demands of sustainable development and following ideas of green urbanism, the local action for biodiversity, European Landscape Convention and others.
The realization was a part of the LUMAT Interreg project.
Main institution
Ruda Śląska City
Śląskie, Poland (Polska)
Start Date
January 2018
End Date
January 2019


Christian Gruessen Please login to contact the author.