Welcome from the Mayor of Gdynia

The city of Gdynia is honoured to host the XIII UBC General Conference. I am deeply convinced that it will be a really inspiring and significant international meeting of representatives from the Baltic Sea Region Cities, involved in the wide range of smart development issues.

Gdynia of today belongs to the fastest and  harmoniously growing metropolitan areas in Poland. It is an open and vibrant city which has always been associated with entrepreneurship, hard work and determination in pursuit of success.

The theme of this year’s Conference Building Smart Cities in the Baltic Sea Region underlines opportunities and challenges of the cities using smart solutions in all areas of life. The meeting creates an ideal space for exchanging experiences of the Baltic Cities and starting discussions leading to the implementation of new projects.

Gdynia is renowned for its hospitality and I hope that you will find some time beyond your busy schedule to appreciate the tourist and cultural attractions of our city.
I wish all the Conference participants lots of inspiration and innovative ideas as well as unforgettable stay in our city!

— Wojciech Szczurek
Mayor of Gdynia

Dear UBC Friends

The Baltic Sea Region has all the potential of being one of the most dynamic, innovative and competitive growth regions not only in Europe but in the world. With urbanization and urban growth being an irreversible trend, the development of cities is of cardinal importance for our societies.

The main theme of the XIII General Conference, organized in Gdynia on 27-30 October 2015, is “Building Smart Cities in the Baltic Sea Region”. We believe it will be a great opportunity to present Your achievements and challenges.

By cooperating and by learning from each other we can promote sustainable smart development in the Top of Europe.  We have invited prominent representatives from the European institutions and regional organizations to share their knowledge.

The Gdynia Conference held in the premises of Pomeranian Science and Technology Park will also be a forum to discuss the future of the UBC. During last years, our organization has undergone a remarkable renewal process. The new Commissions, which have started their work at the beginning of 2015, our new communication and marketing activities under way, have released new energy to serve better our Member Cities. What have the cities gained thanks to the UBC membership? What are their expectations? What could be improved? What are the UBC priorities for coming years?

Let’s meet in Gdynia and take a chance to shape our future.

— Per Bødker Andersen
President of Unin of Baltic Cities

Gdynia is a city and an important seaport on the Baltic Sea in Northern Poland. Together with Gdansk, Sopot and the neighboring communities it forms a metropolitan area which is called a Tri-City, with a population of one million people. Gdynia was founded in the 1920s as a result of a particular political situation after the First World War. Poland regained its independence as well as an access to the Baltic Sea, but Gdansk, the historical port of Poland, was given the status of a Free City (Freie Stadt Danzig), a fact that made the transport of goods through Gdansk difficult. Therefore the Polish Government decided to build a new port near Gdansk – in Gdynia. At that time Gdynia was a small, picturesque, fishing village with about 1,000 inhabitants. During the 1920s and 1930s the largest seaport of interwar Poland came into being and in 1939, just before WW II, Gdynia port became the most modern and one of the biggest harbours on the Baltic Sea. In the vicinity of the port the small village of Gdynia quickly transformed into a dynamically developing city, the population increased to 120,000. Today Gdynia is a modern and vibrant city, beautifully situated within a scenic coastal landscape, with a population of a quarter of a million.

Gdynia is a Polish symbol of modernity, broad horizons and perseverance in achieving objectives. This beautiful young city, frequently called the city of success, today is not only one of the most important ports but also one of the most prosperous, rapidly expanding business centres in Poland. It has everything that is essential for business development. Every summer tourists visiting this city are tempted by the sea with long sandy beaches and magnificent world class events.

The oldest part of the city, planned and built in the interwar period, is a listed monument of urban and architectural ideas of those times. The port as well as the maritime industries have remained fundamental for the city economy. Gdynia port is still busy, provides regular ferry connections with the Baltic countries. The city is known as Poland’s sailing capital, hosting numerous international races. Gdynia is also a place where the Headquarter of the Polish Navy is located. The Representative Navy Band is a popular and loud element of city life.

Apart from the traditional maritime industries that gave rise to the city, companies associated with new, twenty first century disciplines, like IT, industrial design, environmental protection, and biotechnology have been booming here as well. The old public transport depot was converted into a modern and leading Pomeranian Science and Technology Park Gdynia, which hosts over 400 companies, and will also serve as the venue of the Conference.

Gdynia is a young and vibrant city, well-known for having museums, such as newly opened Emigration Museum, theatres, and numerous cultural events in its offer. Considered the best of the major European festivals by both fans and experts, the Heineken Open’er Festival, is the biggest music event held in the city. More than one hundred thousand people from all over the continent come to that four-day event each year. Other important events include: Ladies’ Jazz Festival and Globaltica World Cultures Festival or the Polish Film Festival – the most important annual event in Polish cinematography.


Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) is the leading city network in Northern Europe. It was founded in Gdansk, Poland, in September 1991, by 32 cities. UBC’s goal is to foster sustainable, smart and safe cities through active networking and change of ideas and best practices.

The Union’s other aims are to:

  1. Promote, develop and strengthen cooperation and exchange of experience among the cities in the Baltic Sea Region,
  2. Advocate for common interests of the local authorities in the region,
  3. Act on behalf of the cities and local authorities in common matters towards regional, national, European and international bodies,
  4. Strive to achieve sustainable development and optimal economic and social development in the Baltic Sea Region with full respect to European principles of local and regional self-governance and subsidiarity.
  5. Contribute to joint Baltic identity, cohesion and common understanding in the region.

Practical work takes place in the seven UBC Commissions: Cultural Cities, Inclusive and Healthy Cities, Planning Cities, Safe Cities, Smart and Prospering Cities, Sustainable Cities, and Youthful Cities.

The President of the UBC is:
Mr Per Bødker Andersen, Councillor, Kolding, Denmark

The Vice-Presidents are:
Mrs Marie-Louise RĂśnnmark, Mayor of UmeĂĽ, Sweden
Mr Jarkko Virtanen, Deputy Mayor of Turku, Finland
Mr Taavi Aas, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, Estonia

UBC Secretariat is situated in Gdańsk, Poland and led by the Secretary General, Mr Paweł Żaboklicki.

More information: www.ubc.net /unionofthebalticcities

Registration is closed 14-10-2015

The registration to the Conference has been closed.
In case of individual requests as regards joining the Conference, please contact the UBC Secretariat: info@ubc.net.

Read more »

Registration is still open! 01-10-2015

Due to the growing interest in the XIII UBC General Conference in Gdynia, we have decided to change the registration deadline.

Read more »

Welcome to the website of the XIII General Conference 2015 21-08-2015

Welcome to the website of the XIII General Conference 2015!

Here you can find all important information about our autumn event: a programme, accommodation details, practical information etc.
We are also pleased to inform that the Conference Registration has started.

Read more »