Climathon 2016: residents’ proposal

The completed Kraków 24-hour CLIMATHON brought victory to a project for an alternative organisation of public space in Kazimierz, free of cars. Eight teams worked on ideas for local action for climate protection.

The event was jointly organized by our foundation and the Cracow City Hall. On the weekend of October 28-29, 2016, 8 Krakow teams took part in an international marathon on climate change. The competition for the best project to be implemented by the city was entered by students, representatives of NGOs, local activist communities, such as:

  • Napraw Sobie Miasto Foundation,
  • Strefa Zieleni Foundation,
  • Zero Waste Movement Poland,
  • Citizens’ Climate Lobby,
  • „Ogród Grzegórzki” Association,
  • Scientific Circle of Renewable Energy Sources “Grzala” from AGH,
  • Scientific Circle “Green Energy” from AGH,
  • Self-government of PhD students of UEK,
  • International Association of Social Innovators “Ashoka,
  • Polish Section of the European Movement for Renewal of Villages and Small Towns ECOVAST,
  • The Wawel Co-operative.

Representatives of the organizersw – Andrzej Łazęcki, Deputy Director of the Department of Municipal Economy of the City of Krakow, and Joanna Mieszkowicz, President of the Aeris Futuro Foundation – stressed the importance of cooperation of all local communities for the quality of life in our city today and in the future.

„CLIMATHON is part of the 10th anniversary of the Aeris Futuro Foundation, our motto is: Let’s create a climate for the future” – adds Joanna Mieszkowicz.

The competition was won by the project “Alternative Public Space”, whose authors are Żaneta Nguyen Huu, Marek Grochowicz, Grzegorz Smułek /students of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Jagiellonian University/ and Piotr Podsiadły /Citizens’ Climate Lobby/. Honorable mentions were awarded to two projects: “How Pre-Teps protect against global warming”, and the second: “Green Roofs 2.0”, the implementation of which would increase the city’s green space and rainwater retention. Other participants worked on activities concerning the use of unusable building materials and food, supporting the reduction of waste generated by grocery stores or the replacement of coal stoves, the development of green space in the Czyżyny residential area.

The CLIMATHON action means real change in the place where we live. A tangible result of the Krakow edition will be the implementation of the Alternative Public Space project in Kazimierz. Andrzej Łazęcki, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Utilities, Chairman of the Jury, stressed that the project is consistent with the city’s policy. Other ideas will be analyzed for possible implementation by city units.
Climathon is a global 24-hour marathon on climate change. This year it was held in 121 cities around the world at the same time. The goal of Climathon is to develop local projects, which will then be implemented. Participants in the Krakow edition searched together for answers to the question of how to strengthen residents’ participation in climate protection efforts. The winner was selected by a Jury chaired by Andrzej Lazęcki, Deputy Director of the Department of Municipal Economy of the City of Cracow. Jury members included politicians and councilors, representatives of the city hall, municipal units, scientific centers, business, NGOs and the media.

The winning project, “Alternative Public Space for Kazimierz”, involves reclaiming streets for public space. Their closure is to be gradual, first for a weekend, then for two weeks or more, and finally, after reaching a consensus, permanently. The ultimate use of the street will be decided by the residents themselves, who have been actively involved in the project from the very beginning. A large mock-up depicting the envisioned changes will help in the decision. Through successive implementation and stakeholder participation, it will be easier to get used to the changes and improve the solution. Witold Śmiałek, Advisor to the Mayor of Cracow on Air Quality, is of the opinion that car traffic should also be restricted in other places in the city, such as around Podgórski Square.

The award-winning project “Green Roofs 2.0” envisions establishing gardens on the roofs of buildings, thereby increasing the amount of greenery in the city. The pilot project would be carried out by the city on a public building, and subsequent projects would be carried out through a competition for residents and developers. The innovative aspect of the project was provided by the proposed computer software. Using the latest IT technologies, it will be possible through a web-based application to provide residents with information about soil moisture and the need to water plants, and to accrue points for donating compost or maintenance work. The use of a gamification element will influence the involvement of residents.

  • The organizers of the first edition of Climathon in Krakow were our foundation and the Cracow City Hall. The initiator of the action is the EU agency Climate-KIC.
  • Climathon Kraków partners: Climate-KIC Poland, „Ignatianum” Academy, Strefa Zieleni Foundation, Samorząd Doktorantów UEK, Koalicja Sprawiedliwego Handlu Fair Trade
  • Media Patrons: Gazeta Wyborcza, Radio Krakow, What’s Up magazine, Koalicja Klimatyczna, Chrońmy Klimat, Klimapolka,, BE.NAVIGATOR,
  • Sponsors: Intersnack, Retro Confectionery, Stara Zajezdnia Restaurant