The World Canal Conference was held in Bydgoszcz (Poland) from 24 to 27 June 2024. The city of Bydgoszcz teamed up with Inland Waterways International to host the conference, on the theme “challenges between ecology and economic uses: sustainable revitalisation of canals focusing on nature”. In addition to plenary meetings and parallel events, numerous field trips were organised to give delegates the chance to see the Canal de Bydgoszcz and local tourism infrastructures on the Brda and Vistula rivers, along with the canal’s technically impressive locks. The conference venue itself, Rother Mills, is a fine example of how a former industrial site can be successfully converted into a cultural and scientific centre. There was also an exhibition exploring the city’s history, and its important role as a river transport hub. In the downtown district, the banks of the Brda have been redeveloped to create high-quality public spaces, in addition to tourism and sports facilities (river cruises, rowing, floating tourist accommodation).

Noémi Mené, project manager at AIVP, spoke at a session devoted to human activities and their impacts on the natural environment, where she presented the Connected River project (for more information, see here: Connected River – AIVP), its methodology, and the pilot areas with an emphasis on nature conservation. In particular, Noémi described the Kleine Nete and Nijmegen pilot areas, both of which are focused on mitigating the impacts of human activities.

AIVP was delighted to be able to take part in this interesting event, taking the opportunity to talk to water infrastructure operators from all over the world and members of the scientific community.

If you’d like to learn more about the Connected River project, please contact Noémi.