Warsaw2030 Strategy

City, Country

Warsaw, Poland

Initiative/ policy

The #Warsaw2030 Strategy (2005) defines the city development policy until 2030. The strategy is a result of two years of work, which has been implemented via a wide stakeholder consultation regarding the future of Warsaw as a place to live, study, work, spend free time, and pursue development opportunities.

Initiative's relationship to REFLOW

  • Co-creation design & framework

  • Technical infrastructure & software

  • Collaborative governance & urban strategies

  • Capacity building


City level

Period of implementation

2018 - 2030

Core vision

#Warsaw 2030 Strategy builds around the concept of ‘Warsaw’s residents as a driving force’, focusing on those areas where the proactive action of citizens can meaningfully contribute to the sustainable development of the City. Encompassing core values such as openness, social solidarity, shared responsibility, individual and collective empowerment, the Strategy identifies three main pillars of action - i.e. active residents, friendly spaces and open metropolis. The strategy was developed based on a participatory model which engaged the local community, experts and institutions responsible for its future implementation. Open meetings and workshops including debates, conferences, questionnaires, meetings with advisory groups, competitions for children and young people have been set in place in order to implement a collective diagnostic of the main challenges of the City, and to develop a common vision for its near and long term future. While reflecting broader goals of sustainable development and smart city, the Strategy also accounts for the objectives of relevant national and regional policies, and the priorities identified in international agendas (i.e. Agenda 2030 and the EU Urban Agenda). Moreover, the Strategy positions itself as an overarching policy document that integrates thematic and more vertical city initiatives, such as Warsaw Social Strategy, the Innovation Warsaw 2020 programme aimed at supporting entrepreneurship, the Environmental Protection Programme, the Strategy for Sustainable Development of Warsaw Transport System, and the Integrated Revitalisation Programme.

Implementation and governance

The ultimate goal envisaged by the Strategy is to make Warsaw more inviting for residents, tourists and investors. The Strategy acknowledges the booming of Warsaw’s economy since Poland joined the EU; yet, it recognizes the need to promote homogeneous development across the City. The City still suffers from low levels of social trust, and there are growing concerns around gentrification processes stemming from recent regeneration processes aimed at creating cultural and creative hubs in Warsaw.

The practical fulfilment of the vision of Warsaw extends across four strategic objectives, along with thirteen operational objectives that correspond to the integrated approach shaping Warsaw’s development policy in the social, economic, as well as spatial and functional dimensions.

The Strategy is characterised by three pillars (i.e. active residents, friendly spaces and open metropolis), each of them related to a number of specific action areas, including:

  • Citizen engagement and strengthening of social ties, via support to local animator networks and partnerships. The set-up of Local Activity Centres helps foster social competencies and active participation in civic life, while major support is given to cultural and heritage-led initiatives aimed at promoting a sense of common identity and memories of previous Varsovians’ generations.

  • Development of joint management models that actively engage citizens in city-making processes, and that strengthen a sense of common mission among City’s officials. This includes civic education measures, information on the local government and city functioning, as well as a core effort to improve multi-stakeholder and collaborative governance. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the specific attention posed to integration of the City’s digitalisation measures. Furthermore, the Strategy explicitly mentions the need to develop a compact city with a polycentric spatial structure comprised of a network of districts and sub-districts rendering a full range of services. This is seen as a key to promote homogeneous development, while contrasting uneven investments.

  • Improvement of basic services across education, care and health, with the development of multi-functional municipal infrastructures, facilitation to service access and expansion in number and quality of service portfolio;

  • Creation of favourable business development conditions, with better access to information, business-related knowledge and advisory services, as well as via business incubation and networking measures that also use municipal non-residential premises. In this respect, the Strategy also envisages specific actions for developing/expanding structural partnerships between the business, education, science and culture sectors, as well as for promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The Strategy does not mention specific measures and actions for accomplishing the set objectives; instead, such measures are defined in programmes which function as executive documents for the strategy.

When it comes to governance, the Strategy is implemented via a multi-stakeholder and collaborative framework that sees the Municipality acting with a leading role, yet through structured collaboration (via both formal and informal partnerships) with a wide range of local actors. In particular, the role of the Municipality is to ensure consistency of all measures and actions implemented with the objectives of Warsaw 2030, as well as to monitor, evaluate and report the progress achieved. Every operational objective of the Strategy has a leading implementing body, in charge of the programme preparation, specific partnerships development, as well as of monitoring tasks. The monitoring of the policy implementation is conducted according to a number of predefined indicators referring mainly to quantitative progress in achieving the planned effects. These indicators have been selected so as to reflect the resident-centred concept of the Strategy.

The Strategy implementation is mostly financed from the budget of the City of Warsaw, with an overall budget of around PLN 30.4 BN, with also combinations of public-private funding. The financial resources are distributed across thematic programmes, and then to projects selected via competitive procedures.

Results, impacts and learnings

The City has been successful in pioneering a concept of smart city within a cross-sectoral collaboration. Systemic measures are specified in its strategic objectives in order to engage a broad range of stakeholders in the process, including the establishing of far-reaching partnerships, e.g. with NGOs, institutions, and businesses operating in specific areas, as well as with formal and non-formal resident groups. In order to foster a responsible and engaged community, #Warsaw2030 clearly promotes the active role of residents in decision-making. The Strategy also includes the integration of City’s digitalisation measures to unleash more transparent local government actions through open information policies. Digitalisation has been considered as a crucial tool to create innovative and sustainable opportunities in Warsaw. In this direction, the #Warsaw2030 Strategy focuses on key aspects of a Smart City – wide participation, co-decision making, and the growing of creative potential and creative responses to urban challenges.

In parallel with the Strategy, the City Council has been supporting several initiatives aimed at improving quality of life and services. These include:

  • Smart mobility, with urban bike systems (Veturilo), mobile apps for public transport and traffic (Mapa Targeo) and systems supporting sharing-based transport solutions ;

  • Smart economy, with its numerous business incubators and multiple strands of support for developing entrepreneurship and start-ups. In addition, the Warsaw University of Technology is working on the creation of Europe’s largest urban living lab - the Kampus Nowych Technologii. The campus will offer the possibility for testing intelligent technologies designed for urban spaces, and its village will have service properties and public spaces where smart technological solutions will be implemented;

  • Smart Environment, with The Smart Heating Network, one of the largest heat distribution system in the world with the intention of optimising the energy use, and the “A million trees” (2017) urban app that enables citizens to designate a location where a tree will be planted;

  • Smart government, with the participatory budget and local projects to improve the quality of local infrastructure and respond to its specific needs. In addition, Warsaw also has an open data system which contains detailed and unified information of shared collections and records, along with access to APIs. Via a dedicated web platform Otwarte dane, the city council has shared more than 200 data collections. As a result, anyone can easily gain access to data from official sources on subjects such as transport, education, culture, entertainment, real estate, and social projects. The sharing of open data has also led the development of the Warszawa 19115 City Contact Centre in Warsaw, in which residents can report issues in the city and share their ideas for improving urban services.


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