Lublin Info Centre

Lublin’s urban projects receive European recognition

Two urban projects, "Let's Imagine Lublin Together" and "School Civic Budgets," are finalists in the European competition, The Innovation in Politics Awards 2024, in the Democracy category. The jury, consisting of 1086 European citizens, recognized Lublin's participatory actions as an outstanding example of political innovation in Europe. Out of 334 submissions from 26 different countries, with 314 deemed qualifying, two projects from Lublin made it among the top ten in their category.

Thanks to participatory tools, we developed the intelligent Lublin 2030 Strategy under the theme ‘Let’s Imagine Lublin Together’ and fostered student self-governance through School Civic Budgets. Creating the 2030 Strategy was one of the most extensive participatory processes in Lublin. We prioritized the concept of co-governance, placing residents at the centre of this process, involving them in planning the city’s future, and making them co-authors of the most important urban document. Meanwhile, School Civic Budgets often serve as students’ first experience of democracy, influencing the development of participation among the young residents of our city. It’s gratifying that our work has been recognized on the European stage. An international non-governmental organization acknowledged our efforts, categorizing them among the boldest and most creative political projects in Europe, says Krzysztof Żuk, the Mayor of Lublin.

The Lublin 2030 Strategy was developed through months of consultations involving nearly 100 experts from various disciplines, along with a thousand residents of the city. The participatory actions were based on the question: “What should Lublin be like in 2030?” As a result of responses from 12,000 individuals, 77 meetings, discussions, games, and workshops, a catalogue of opinions and visions was created, forming a societal vision of the city and its future. In the next step, 120 representatives of residents and professional groups, selected through an open recruitment process, worked on further details of the document. Recommendations developed in a series of nearly 40 workshops underwent verification within the city administration structures and additional social consultations through open meetings with residents. The verified recommendations, endorsed by the city’s community, became the basis for the Lublin 2030 Strategy. The document received support from the Ministry of Investment and Development in the form of a grant exceeding PLN 3.3 million.

School Civic Budgets serve as a tool for experiential learning and education on social participation. The city invites public primary and secondary schools, including artistic institutions, educational and care facilities, youth socio-therapeutic centres, and special educational and care centres to participate in this project. Educational institutions willing to co-decide on the allocation and implementation of the awarded budget are selected through a competition. Additionally, the city and non-governmental organizations support young students, teachers, and staff through training and mentoring. Through informational meetings, institutions form School Working Teams, which create regulations for school civic budgets, promote them within the school community (students, parents, staff), conduct recruitment, and jointly select projects for implementation by the school community. During the implementation process, institutions support each other, fostering inter-school integration, exchange of experiences, inspiration, and celebrating successes.

The Innovation in Politics Institute is an international non-governmental organization that identifies, develops, and implements innovations in politics to strengthen democracy in Europe and beyond. The annual Innovation in Politics Awards are presented in seven categories: democracy, climate protection, democracy technologies, government improvement, education, local development, and social cohesion. The winners in each category will be announced on May 2 during the awards ceremony in Barcelona.

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