World Canal Conference 2024 in Poland

Światowa Konferencja Kanałów

The history of inland waterways in Poland dates back to the Middle Ages, when rivers such as the Vistula were major transportation routes. The current challenges of IWT are different, focusing on adapting the industry to sustainability considerations and the consequences of climate change. Among other issues, the World Canal Conference – WCC2024, to be held June 24-26, 2024, is dedicated to these issues. in Bydgoszcz. The annual celebration of shipping and inland water enthusiasts will provide an opportunity to exchange experiences and views internationally. “Water Matters” provided media sponsorship for the event.

World Channel Conference
pic. Bydgoszcz Information Center

World Canals Conference

The World Canals Conference is an international event with a long tradition: the first conference was organized in 1988, and since then there have been 34 editions. The event changes location every year between countries on three continents. In previous years, discussions on inland waterways were held in Germany, the US and China, among others. As the organizer writes, The World Canals Conference is an opportunity to bring together hundreds of canal enthusiasts, professionals and scholars from around the world to share best practices for canals, including canal or historic preservation, revitalization of canal systems, port areas, canal trails and amenities; presentation or interpretation of canals and corridors – their history and various elements of the.

World Canal Conference – location of this year’s edition

After more than three decades of an international event, the time has finally come for Poland. Bydgoszcz, the heart and co-capital of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region, has been chosen as the next host of the World Canals Coference. The choice is not accidental: the history of Bydgoszcz has been intertwined with inland waterways since the dawn of time, which have permanently grown into its landscape: two socially and economically significant rivers – the Brda and the Vistula – flow through here; the Bydgoszcz Canal, celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, was also of great importance for the city’s development.

Sessions of the conference will be held in two historic locations of Bydgoszcz’s Old Town. The first is the restored Chamber Theater, with stage traditions dating back to the mid-19th century. The other is the Rothera Mills – former grain mills on the charming Mill Island, whose restored, huge spaces now function as a modern Science and Culture Center.

Objectives of the conference

Each edition of the WCC features a new theme, a new perspective on water management and inland waterway issues. The main goal remains the mutual exchange of views, ideas and plans on investments and solutions applied to waterways around the world. This year’s meetings are also a good opportunity to discuss the development of inland waterways in Poland and put them in an international context. The event will be attended by experts from the IWT community, including politicians, scientists, tourism industry workers, NGO representatives and entrepreneurs.

This year’s conference will focus on three main subject areas:

– Speeches in the Ecology and Technology session will be devoted to presenting environmental issues related to rivers and canals, including resource and ecosystem protection and environmentally friendly modern technologies.

– Speeches in the Water, Heritage and Tourism session will focus on the tourist and recreational use of rivers and canals, as one of the important meanings of the combination of economy and environment. A special session on water museums is also planned.

– Man and his activities are an indispensable part of the human-water environment relationship, including rivers and canals. The speeches in the session will focus on defining the catalog of human impacts in time and space. In addition, the session will present revitalization projects for rivers, canals and waterways to counteract historical and current negative impacts.

Schedule of the event

The program is divided into three days and consists of various activities. In addition to discussion sessions in the main congress buildings, there will also be a number of thematic excursions. Participants and guests of WCC2024 will have the opportunity to visit hydrotechnical facilities and power plants around the Brda-Vistula estuary, take a walk along the Bydgoszcz Canal and visit a museum dedicated to it, as well as go to the Lower Vistula Valley. The organizers encourage people to come a few days earlier: the weekend preceding the conference, June 22-23, the annual Bydgoszcz Water Festival “Ster na Bydgoszcz” will be held on the Brda – the largest summer water festival in the city center.


Anyone interested in attending the conference is invited to register at the organizer’s official website. There are four ticket packages, which differ in additional services and amenities.

pic. main: Robert Sawicki, Bydgoszcz Information Center

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