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Krakow Climate Assembly: shaping a sustainable future together

Krakow aimed to increase public interest in the climate crisis, gather ideas on energy efficiency and derive collaborative recommendations for city actions. The assembly led to high-quality binding recommendations which are binding for the Mayor of Krakow. The success of this assembly has already led to the organisation of a new assembly in 2023.



Recognising the need to deepen cooperation with residents beyond traditional information dissemination and occasional consultation Krakow introduced the citizens' assembly as a way to strengthen collaboration. Specific aims of the Krakow Climate Assembly include:

  • Increasing public interest in the climate crisis and sparking discussion
  • Building a community supporting the climate transition comprising residents, experts, social organisations and entrepreneurs
  • Gathering ideas on energy efficiency and renewable energy use
  • Obtaining recommendations for joint actions of the city and its residents
  • Gaining broad acceptance for the city's transformation efforts

The Krakow Climate Assembly, comprised of randomly elected residents, tackled the pressing issue of climate change. Their efforts resulted in 32 high-quality recommendations submitted to the city authorities, becoming binding for the Mayor of Krakow. These recommendations often required interdisciplinary coordination and involved multiple departments, municipal teams and units of the city of Krakow. Individual approaches, planning, and financial resources are crucial for the implementation of recommendations.

As of 2023, a majority of the 32 recommendations have already been implemented or are in the progress. The city consistently updates residents on the progress and status of each recommendation’s implementation via its website, ensuring transparency and accountability.  

Description of the measure

The Krakow Climate Assembly is funded by the city of Krakow and organised by an independent Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with a socio-expert profile. The process involved several stages:

  1. Public consultations in January 2021 gathered input through online workshops and telephone discussions from residents, NGOs, and informal groups regarding climate challenges, energy consumption reduction, and renewable energy use. These consultations were aimed at ensuring transparency, gathering ideas, and addressing the organisational aspects of the assembly.
  2. Invitations were sent to 20,000 randomly selected households in Krakow to participate in the assembly. The invitations were provided with the necessary information about the Assembly and the participants' expected involvement. At first, the response was not enough, so the city ran a large media and social media campaign encouraging people who received invitations to participate in the assembly. The participants were compensated for their involvement.
  3. The representativeness of the assembly's composition was ensured by considering socio-demographic and spatial criteria such as gender, age group, district of residence, and level of education.
  4. A random draw was electronically conducted among invited and willing participants, with the process broadcasted live. A total of 580 people applied to participate in the Krakow Climate Assembly.
  5. A group of 60 Assembly Participants, with a reserve group of 10 people, was selected.

From April to June 2021 the Krakow Climate Assembly took place. Before the Assembly formulated possible measures and recommendations for the city, a series of meetings were organised for the Assembly.  Through educational workshops and presentations by representatives from the City of Krakow, independent experts, NGOs and businesses, the participants gained knowledge about climate change and possibilities to address it. Subsequently, the Assembly collaboratively develop a list of potential measures and recommendations for the city. An experienced facilitation team supported the participants in reaching consensus on contentious issues through moderated discussions. Finally, through a voting process, the Assembly decided which measures and proposals were most promising. The voting process resulted in the selection of 32 recommendations.  


Implementation of the citizens' assembly presented organisational challenges, including meeting schedules, facilitation, logistics, and communication. The COVID-19 pandemic added logistical difficulties. Furthermore, it was challenging to gain sufficient involvement in the subject matter of the NGOs Assembly because only a small portion of the NGOs are (pro-) actively engaged in emissions reduction and energy transition efforts. Ultimately, the city succeeded to engage activists who brought valuable knowledge and ideas to the table.Lastly, there was a concern that recommendations developed and voted on by Citizens under the Assembly might be either too trivial or overly ambitious and unrealistic to implement. This challenge was successfully addressed by arranging a series of well-prepared educational sessions.


Participants of the Krakow Climate Assembly included 60 randomly selected Krakow residents. Experts from universities, companies, municipal units and NGOs were involved to share their knowledge related to the Assembly’s topic, which focused on climate change and becoming a zero-emission city. The pathway to achieving this has to be a fair transformation where the local community is involved. To ensure that the Assembly was well-informed, stakeholders such as institutions, NGOs and informal groups also shared their insights. Online broadcasts of the meetings allowed observers to participate for educational purposes.

Achievements and benefits

The Krakow Climate Assembly engaged residents in addressing climate change and enabled them to collaborate with offices, institutions, and organisations to develop recommendations for the city's climate transformation. Out of the 35 recommendations developed, 32 were approved by over 80% of the Assembly making them binding for the Mayor of the City. This active participation not only favoured the progress towards climate neutrality, but also demonstrated the significant level of public support for pro-climate activities. Currently, most of the recommendations have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

Among the binding recommendations, the highest support (98%) was obtained for the use of photovoltaic installations in municipal public buildings and facilities such as parking lots, garages, bus stops, and depots, along with efforts to secure financing from internal and external sources (of course when feasible and justified).

The success of the Krakow Climate Assembly led to the organisation of a second assembly: the Krakow Transport Assembly, focused on sustainable transport. This demonstrates the value of this innovative participatory tool approach.

Learning points and recommendations

The city of Krakow learned that residents are eager to participate in pro-climate activities and support the city's goal of achieving climate neutrality. One of the positive outcomes to highlight was the high number of recommendations for strengthening climate education. The city recommends adopting citizens' assemblies as an effective citizen engagement tool.

View of Krakow
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