My Street, My Neighborhood, My City
civic activity
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
Arendal Adult Centre, Arendal, Norway
01-01-2021 - 31-10-2022
Project cost:
87 224,00 EUR
87 224,00 EUR
Types of activities:
activities to activate local communities (animation), advocacy activities, civic participation, self-organization / self-help
Target groups:
local community

According to the 2018 “Civic Cities” ranking by Europolis, measuring civic engagement of the citizens, Białystok was ranked as 45th out of 65 cities ranked. The low engagement of its citizens can be also observed through a low turnout during its neighborhood boards elections, which renders neighborhood boards’ operations impossible. This project was addressed to the people of six neighborhoods in Białystok: Bema, Tysiąclecia, Przyjaźń, Piasta, Białostoczek and TBS. These are all communities with varying histories, traditions, and size. You can find individuals who lived here since “forever,” as well as newcomers.
We have meet with the representatives from local institutions and other citizens in order to collaborate on stories that tell the history of these places and of the people who live there, to get to know each other and plan and organize events that will strengthen the sense of local identity. We organized historical walks, field games, and “people meeting people” events. We documented and photographed places worth remembering and published local mini guidebooks. We have also organized the Neighborhood, Street and Apartment Days. After concluding our Workshops for the Future, the most interesting ideas have been implemented as a part of the Local Initiatives program. Simultaneously, our animators supported the work of six Active Citizen Forums, which enabled local leaders to collaborate with the City Hall and the councilmen, but, most importantly, created a space necessary to find an answer to the question: “What does the place we live in mean to us?” We have also collected signatures under a citizen project for a resolution on the rules for neighborhood boards elections.
Arendal Adult Centre from Norway is our partner in the project. We have learned more about different methods for enabling engagement of citizens in social activities and creating a friendly urban space (e.g. People Meeting People and “With Heart for Arendal”)
Our evaluation surveys revealed to us that the participants have increased their knowledge on recognizing local needs, involving others in direct action and having conversations with the representatives of the Town Hall. Our interviews indicate that many people have an increased sense of attachment to their environment and an awareness of possibilities to influence their surroundings.

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