Creating a Space for Active Citizens
civic activity
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
Phronesis SA, Oslo, Norway
Municipality of Krakow, Kraków, Poland
01-02-2021 - 31-08-2022
Project cost:
87 499,00 EUR
82 603,00 EUR
Types of activities:
activities to activate local communities (animation), action for change/establishing new legal solutions, civic participation, good civic participation
Target groups:
local community

According to the research conducted in Cracow, citizens of the city have a low sense of agency and are not actively engaging in civic initiatives.

We addressed this issue by creating a pilot program called the “Space for Active Citizens” in Cracow. We have included local population of the Kozłówka neighborhood, as well as other citizens and local organizations and institutions in the designing process. We tried different methods and different forms of civic engagement. In total we have conducted 494 meetings (as a series and stand-alone), including salsa workshops, Polish language lessons for Ukrainian refugees, English lessons, self-defense classes, yoga, pilates, boardgame meetings, and travel narratives.

Additionally, we have organized a food-sharing initiative, clothes swap and two garage sales. We also celebrated the first anniversary of the program’s creation and the program for the event was co-designed by all the neighbors. We had a series of civic education workshops during which all the participants were able to learn about the participatory budget, local initiatives, access to information, and civic panels. In collaboration with our partners, we have created a model for a civic center that the city could implement as a permanent element of its development policy.

The city of Cracow was our partner and provided a space for the creation of the civic engagement center, while supporting the design process to assure it is attractive and useful for the city’s population. A Norwegian organization, Phronesis SA, was our second partner and hosted a working visit. During the visit we have toured a similar civic center operating in Oslo.

From our conversations with individuals using the center we know that, apart from learning new skills during classes and workshops, they have made new friends and relationships that extend beyond the building’s walls. They started to notice opportunities to do more -whether it’s feeding a stray cat after work or supporting others in their every-day chores. We plan to create more centers across Cracow. We have also began working with Skawina municipality, where we plan to promote the concept and teach the local population about civic animation.

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