One of the biggest ironies of appreciation, or lack of it, rather, is that if we have access to something on a daily basis, we tend to underestimate its importance, not to mention its formative impact on our lives. Too much of a good thing, in a sense, one could say.

The cities we grow up and live in are a perfect example of the above. Over a long period of time, they inevitably “infect us” with their genus loci, their social milieu, their intellectual and cultural climate and aspirations. And yet, it often takes us ages to acknowledge this simple fact, let alone better understand the many areas where we are shaped by the cities we live in.

To address challenges, such as risks attached to overtourism, cities often come up with campaigns revolving around words such as respect, love and care. They develop campaigns and awareness initiatives aimed at making their inhabitants (and/or visitors) realise an important aspect of ‘sustainable city lifestyle’.

A Streetcar Named Kraków

A few months ahead of the 15th World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in Kraków, we came up with an idea that instead of the usual billboards and hoardings scattered around town before the Congress, we would take things a step further and put some of our key identity and awareness messages on a tram. It will be travelling on different routes all over the city till the end of the year, reminding everyone (in two languages!) that we should never take the beauty and the importance of the city we live in for granted. To understand things in proper perspective, it’s probably a good idea to recall and paraphrase a famous quote by J.F. Kennedy: Ask not what your city can do for you, ask what you can do for your city!