The citizens budget, also known as the civic or participatory budget, (Budżet Obywatelski – BO) provides residents an opportunity to propose community improvement projects in a public competition for a slice of the city budget.
Submitted projects bid for city funds for local district (Dzielnicza) projects in your own neighbourhood, as well as larger citywide projects.
The projects are then assessed and verified for compliance by the city, those which comply with regulations and formalities are put to a public vote in October.
Previous citizens budgets, have resulted in some fabulous initiatives, transforming and improving areas and communities, many of which we all enjoy and benefit from, without knowing their origin.
2021 Citizens Budget
We present our guide on the citizens budget, which will tell you how to move from an idea to a project and its implementation, for those who would like to improve their local neighbourhood, or a city-wide space,
It’s important that, we too, as foreigners, can contribute and participate in city life, and be active in the communities which we live in. We believe this is the first time a guide to the citizens budget has been made available in English.
Free Online Workshop by Multicultural Centre – (in English)
The Multicultural Centre & Foreigners Information Point, both of which are part of the city’s Open Kraków (Otwarty Kraków) Programme are providing an online workshop, in English, on the Citizens Budget.
In this first online information meeting, we will host a city activist, get input from city officials and introduce you to the workings of the participatory budget in Krakow. Join us! The session will be “LIVE’ on FB, with the possibility to ask questions on the chat feed.
- How does Krakow’s participatory budget work?
- Examples of projects – past and present
- The process – how to initiate a proposal, regulations, forms, the selection process, etc.
- Success stories
- Forums for cooperation / networking within your neighbourhood
Tuesday 20th April 2021
English (with translations of materials into Russian, Ukrainian & Polish)
Do you have an idea for Krakow?
Submit your project to the 8th edition of the Citizens Budget
The 2021 – 8th edition – of the Citizens Budget, opened for the submission of projects on 12th April, submission of projects.
The deadline for accepting applications will be 14th May. During this time, any resident of Krakow can present proposals for changes in the city as community improvement initiatives.
How to Submit a Project
The online registration and application forms are in Polish only , but can be navigated with the assistance of Google translate.
Residents must first register on the budzet.krakow.pl website
Once you have registered and logged in you will have access to the Citizens Budget dashboard/user panel, from there you can submit your project.
Who can submit a project?
Projects may be submitted by a person whether or not they are registered in Krakow, it is enough to be a resident of the city. Residents under the age of 18 can also submit proposals and vote on projects.
Citizens Budget – Interactive Map
The interactive map allows you to search and check whether the plot selected for your project belongs to the city, this is very important as projects can only be implemented in these areas.
Plots which are eligible for citizens budget projects (approximately 30,000) are marked in blue on the map. Confirmation of eligibility will be verified during the substantive and legal assessment of the submitted projects.
Price list of typical/estimated Costs
To assist applicants in estimating project costs, the city have provided a detailed list of typical city costs. The price list includes estimated costs, of work e.g. of building 1 km of a bicycle path, renovation of a playground or setting up an open-air theatre in the park.
The cost estimate of the task is not a necessary condition for submitting the project, and the final valuation of the task is made by the units responsible for the substantive and legal verification of the submitted projects. However, it is worth estimating the costs of the task implementation in order to know if they fall within the financial limits allocated to the citizens budget.
Endorsement/Support list for district and citywide projects
The applicant should attach to the application a list of support for the project, signed by at least 15 residents of the district – in the case of district projects or 15 residents of the city – in the case of city-wide projects.
After submitting a task proposal, the citizens budget online platform automatically generates a list of support for a given project, which should to be printed and used to collect the required number of signatures.
To inspire you, encourage your participation, and belief that you, and your community led projects can make a difference, we think Park Krakowian demonstrates perfectly what can be achieved.
Whilst it was not part of the Citizens Budget, Park Krakowian, is a great example of a very successful community initiated project, which was proposed by community activist Agata Bloswick of aDaSie, where children, (including my own family) planted trees in designated ‘parks’ to mark their birthday.
Tree planting by Krakow families as part of annual Park Krakowian campaigns has grown, since 2017, to include six locations, with almost 2000 trees planted. The parks can be found at: Ks. Józefa, Rybna, Falista, Ptaszyckiego and Puszkarska.
CITIZENS BUDGET TIMETABLE
Applications to the citizens budget can be submitted until 14th May. On 6th August, we will find out which projects have passed legal verification. On 15th September, a list of projects will be announced, which will be put to the public vote between 1st-10th October. The winners will be announced on 29th October 2021.
Funds allocated to the 2021 Citizens Budget
For this, the 8th edition of the citizens budget of the City of Krakow, a record amount of PLN 35 million has been allocated to all projects. This is divided between city-wide projects and district projects.
The amount allocated to the implementation of city-wide projects is PLN 7 million, with the remaining funds allocated to district projects The cost of implementing one project must be between PLN 25,000 and PLN 1,400,000. In this year’s edition, the submitted task proposals may be implemented in a one-year or two-year cycle.
The amounts allocated to the implementation of district projects as part of the citizens budget of the City of Krakow and the limits for individual tasks are as follows:Not sure which district you live in?
Interactive Map of Kraków Districts
Guide to Kraków Districts & Their Websites (Dzielnica)
From idea to design -“Bank of Ideas” (BANK POMYSŁÓW)
The Idea Bank, is a convenient solution for those who do not have time to develop a project or are not sure if they can manage the formal application process.
The Idea Bank, or Bank of Ideas, provides an opportunity to briefly describe the task or project, indicate its category and place of implementation. The submitted idea can then become an inspiration or a hint for others.
Any resident interested in creating a proposal for a task under the citizens budget of the city of Krakow, and from this year also as part of a local initiative, will be able to use the ideas sent . People interested in this tool of social participation and activities undertaken as art of a Local Initiative (Inicjatywa lokalna -IL) in Krakow, please visit the website: Current Local Initiatives.
In 2020, residents submitted nearly two hundred ideas using this simplified application. The list of proposals included such ideas as creating new recreational and leisure places, bicycle repair stations, pavement construction and pedestrian crossings.
BANK OF IDEAS is a place where you can send your idea, for an even better Krakow, where you are able to suggest what can be done in your area, and which may become an inspiration for others.
Where to find out more?
If you have a question or would like to learn more about the 8th edition of the Citizens Budget, you can take part in online meetings on the citizens budget which are currently ongoing and run until the end of April – in Polish only.
This is a great opportunity to talk to practitioners and experts in the field of activities which are worth implementing in the city. More information can be found on the website budzet.krakow.pl
There are also Citizens Budget ‘Local Participation Ambassadors’, who are community activists, with experience in the budget, who can be contacted to assist with your project.
Alternatively, feel free to contact the team of the Department for Participation and Dialogue:
Krakow City Hall
Department of Social Policy and Health, Section for Participation and Dialogue.
(Wydział Polityki Społecznej i Zdrowia – Referat ds. Partycypacji i Dialogu)
ul. Jana Dekerta 24, 30-703 Krakow
Tel .: +48 12 616 11 11
Useful Telephone Numbers
The city have provided a listing of telephone numbers, for several city departments, that residents may find useful when preparing their project.
Article on Polish Participatory Budgets. (source: www.publicfinancefocus.org/)
Watchdog highlights success of participatory budgets in Poland
Participatory budgets have enabled “effective cooperation” between residents and municipal authorities in Poland, the country’s Supreme Audit Office has said.
They usually make between 0.5% and 2% of the budget open to the public. Projects are proposed by the community and are then put to a popular vote.
Examples of successful projects the Supreme Audit Office found included new sports facilities, new roads, defibrillators in public places, playgrounds and air quality sensors in cities.
But there was generally low turnout on the public votes: an average of just 18% of eligible residents took part between 2016 and 2018, although there was high regional variance.
In Kalisz and Pleszew turnout averaged at about 70%, but in Piotrków Trybunalski, Aleksandrów Łódzki and Kraków the figure was between 4% and 5%.
The watchdog pointed to Sopot as having “good practice” in informing residents, who all receive leaflets with information on the budget schedule, details of meetings and model application forms, and every year the budget is promoted with a themed campaign including recognisable images and a slogan.
In some areas, auditors found that rules specifying a minimum level of local support for a project before it can be put to a vote, such as requiring signatures on an application, could discourage people from submitting their suggestions.
The report argued: “Some residents with interesting ideas do not want or do not have time to engage in creating lists of support for their proposals.”
Participatory budgeting is a growing trend around the world, as the senior director of policy at the International Budget Partnership told PF International earlier this year.
David fell in love with Kraków 24 years ago, making it his home in 2011.
In 2020 he was awarded the title of Kraków’s Ambassador of Multiculturalism, by the President of Kraków, and is also a member of the GlobalScot network, representing Scottish culture and business abroad.
We’re always looking for interesting stories, events, characters or groups to feature. Likewise, if you’d like to join us, as a contributor, please get in touch.