Wrocław is home to 634,500 people and the fourth largest city in Poland. It features a unique location on several islands connected by more than one hundred bridges (being often called the “Venice of the North”), situated strategically between Prague, Warsaw and Berlin, each reachable by car in around just three and a half hours. Convenient connections across Poland and Europe are offered by traditionally wellestablished rail and flight networks (around 40 destinations served by a new terminal which opened in 2012).
The high number of people in working age and the constant growth in the level of the education of its citizens show the significant human potential of the city and its labour market. Wrocław is one of the three largest academic hubs in Poland, with more than twenty universities and higher education institutions and has one of the largest numbers of IT students nationwide, second only to Kraków.
As a result of this the city has become the largest R&D centre in Poland, with a constantly growing number of knowledge-based investments. The presence of nearly twenty companies with R&D divisions (e.g. Atos, Diehl Controls, Dolby Laboratories, Hamilton Sundstrand, Nokia, Opera Software ASA, QAD, Tieto, Viessman, Wabco, and Whirlpool), several independent R&D centres, including the leading Wrocław Research Center EIT+, and the Wrocław Academic Hub (Poland’s first co-operation platform for local government and academic institutions), as well as the vast research potential of the Wroclaw University of Technology, create a base for advanced research and innovation in the fields of IT, biotechnology, nanotechnology, engineering and medicine. The city has also emerged as a top choice location for Knowledge Process Outsourcing centres in Poland, and has attracted centres belonging to such companies as Crisil Irevna, Credit Suisse, Hewlett-Packard and McKinsey & Company.
Wrocław is one of the oldest and, due to its multicultural past, the most cosmopolitan cities in Poland. As the host of several events of international reputation (such as the Nowe Horyzonty International Film Festival, the Dialog International Theatre Festival and Wratislavia Cantans), the city is regarded as an important Polish and European cultural centre, which was reflected in it being named European Capital of Culture in 2016. It is also well recognized globally in prestigious economic and social rankings, placed ninth in the emerging cities category in Global Cities of Future 2016/2017 by fDi Intelligence (Financial Times), 58th in 2016 Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations by Tholons and 99th in the 2016 Quality of Living ranking by Mercer (in which Warsaw ranked 79th).
Wrocław is the third largest office market in Poland (after Warsaw and Kraków), offering around 670,000 m2 of modern office space. Since the beginnings of the growth of the modern business services sector in Poland in the 2000s, Wrocław has always been on short lists of shared service centres and outsourcing companies looking to nearshore, or even off-shore operations to a cost-effective destination with high quality of services in multiple languages.
Over time, the city has developed a critical mass of modern service centres whose excellent performance has led to an organic growth of existing operations and encouraged other market entries, resulting in a robust growth in modern office stock.
Both existing and planned office supply show a strong concentration in the central parts of the city. Outside of the city centre, the market is developing most dynamically in the western part of the city, especially the areas around Strzegomska and Legnicka streets, i.e. towards the airport.