Katowice - the capital of the 2.1 million people agglomeration, once associated with heavy industry and 'familoks', is today the genuine European city where tradition meets modernity. The city is situated in the Upper Silesian Highlands, the southern part of Poland, at the crossing of the major European communication junctions.
In the neighbourhood of the centre there is the A4 highway and the A1 highway is under construction. The city is conveniently connected with the rapidly developing Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport from which flights go directly to several destinations in Europe. Moreover, close to the city centre there is the local airport – Muchowiec - which is being now adapted to serve business flights.
The contemporary image of Katowice is the result of consistent policy carried out by local authorities throughout the recent years with the use of the city's perfect localization as well as economic, administrative and intellectual potential. Katowice localization in the centre of vast urbanized area made by 16 cities with 16 mln citizens is the element that generates possible development perspectives. Another stimulus for expansion and progress is establishment of the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia (GZM) which includes 14 neighbouring cities. Current changes along with the city centre transformation projects for the following years prove that future will bring prosperity and economic boom.
Present achievements would not be plausible without investments in transport infrastructure, especially road-building. Trans-Regional Highway (DTŚ) connecting the agglomeration cities is the communication backbone of GZM. In Katowice new routes linking up arterial roads with new housing estates and large shopping centre are still being marked up and all this makes the city more attractive to settle down in.
Katowice has an extensive recreational background. Half of the city is covered with woodland and what is more, every year new pitches, playgrounds, parks and cycling paths are created. Remains of the primeval Silesian Forest are called the Murckowski Forest where the beeches are between 150 to 220 years old. The postindustrial areas have been subjected to revitalization while sewage treatment plant was erected in order to protect natural environment. Thanks to it the industrial image of the city is fading away and, in the meantime, deserted factory halls and mine shafts are adopted to become shopping centres, art galleries and museums.
Through the year Katowice offers a wide range of cultural events, such as “Summer Theatrical Garden” (Letni Ogród Teatralny), International Students' Folklore Festival (Międzynarodowy Studencki Festiwal Folklorystyczny) and promenade concerts in the wooden church located in the Kościuszki Park. The Spodek Arena hosts regularly Rawa Blues Festival, Metalmania, Mayday and sport events, e.g. World Volleyball League, European Men Basketball Championship and Free Style Motocross.