Growing a city

Discover how the city of Mikolow is tackling climate change and urban challenges through innovative investments and workshops funded by the EEA and Norway Grants, enhancing eco resilience and fostering sustainable urban development.

Mikolow has faced pressing vulnerabilities when it comes to climate change, exacerbated by urban challenges like inadequate infrastructure and biodiversity loss. The project, supported by the EEA and Norway Grants, aims to fortify the city against these threats. By fostering a holistic approach to urban development, it seeks to address not only environmental concerns but also social and economic disparities. Through this initiative, Mikolow endeavors to enhance resilience, ensuring a sustainable and thriving future for its residents. Such comprehensive strategies are important for navigating the complexities of modern urbanization and climate change, setting a precedent for resilient cities in Europe.

Working together on the Mikolow for Climate project has been an extraordinary experience for us. The challenges we faced required us to be flexible, determined and involve the local community. Thanks to this project, we are not only changing the landscape of our city, but we are also building environmental awareness and mobilising residents to act to protect the environment. This is not only an investment in infrastructure, but also an investment in our common future. Agnieszka Adamek, Mikolow for Climate project manager  
New trees planted in the market square. ©Silesian Botanical Garden
New trees planted in the market square. ©Silesian Botanical Garden


Mikolow has grappled with critical infrastructure gaps, from insufficient green spaces to ineffective water management, exacerbating biodiversity loss. Societal factors like low environmental awareness and security concerns compound urban challenges, restricting recreational opportunities. The project evaluates the economic and environmental repercussions of these issues on urban ecosystem services, emphasising the interconnectedness of environmental and societal well-being. Addressing these multifaceted challenges demands a comprehensive understanding of their root causes, paving the way for targeted and effective interventions in Mikolow's urban landscape. 

“The main challenge we faced during the implementation of the "Mikołów for Climate" project was a mental one. It revolved around the necessity of changing the mindset of our engineers. Accustomed to urbanizing cities, building various infrastructure elements into the ground, and focusing more on sealing off the terrain than making it permeable, this time they had to act in the opposite direction—replacing urbanized areas with nature. That proved to be quite a challenge.

Another one was operating under time pressure. The work had to be synchronized with the schedule, and as it is known, anything can happen on a construction site. There were situations where the excavator unearthed hidden objects that caused difficulties and led to delays. However, all of this was successfully mitigated through efficient management.

We received many positive signals from the residents who enthusiastically reacted to the changes happening in the town. Several activities within the project are just concluding now, and we will undoubtedly be able to admire the full effect of the work in spring. Nevertheless, residents are already eagerly utilizing and praising completed actions, such as the construction of the green parking lot in the town center or the revitalization of Planty Park.” - Mateusz Handel Deputy Mayor of Mikołów supervising project implementation

City walk. ©Silesian Botanical Garden
City walk. ©Silesian Botanical Garden


Partnerships are pivotal in the project, fostering knowledge exchange and skill-sharing among stakeholders, including the Liechtenstein Institute for Strategic Development. Cooperation with partners such as the institute is essential in integrating blue-green infrastructure into city development strategies, enhancing sustainability. Structural and procedural solutions for sustainable urban management, including leveraging open data in planning, are highlighted through collaborative efforts. The vision extends towards Mikolow's transformation into a smart city, exemplifying systemic change and bolstering climate resilience, marking a significant step towards a sustainable and resilient urban future.

Developing environmental strategies and investing in biodiversity and strong ecosystems in European communities is one of the priorities of the EEA and Norway Grants. The activities in Mikolow are an excellent example of how communities can take important steps towards sustainability. Learn more about the Environment and Ecosystems focus of the Grants.

The Polish project partner, Silesian Botanical Garden, emphasised the focus of community education when it comes to environment.

In this way, the Mikolow for Climate project has become not only an investment in infrastructure, but also in the knowledge, awareness and involvement of the local community, creating a lasting and holistic impact on the future of our city. Ewelina Roszkowska, coordinator at Silesian Botanical Garden  
Workshop for kids.
Workshop for kids. ©Silesian Botanical Garden


“The Mikolow for Climate project transcends the boundaries of a traditional investment project, becoming also an extraordinary educational journey for the local community. During its course, we not only transformed the cityscape through innovative blue-green infrastructure solutions, but also transformed the awareness and skills of local residents.

As part of the project, we worked with local primary schools to deliver extensive educational activities. Not only did we provide lessons on climate change and sustainability for all pupils, but we also trained teachers to integrate climate topics in different subjects, creating a holistic approach to education.
In addition, we actively met with local residents to share knowledge about implementing BZI (Building Sustainable and Smart) solutions in their own backyards. Our workshops not only showed what practical steps you can take to make your surroundings more environmentally friendly, but also inspired you to act effectively and creatively.

We also did not forget to highlight community involvement. We organised competitions for students, teachers and residents who stood out for their contribution to climate education and the implementation of BZI investments in the city.

In this way, the Mikolow for Climate project has become not only an investment in infrastructure, but also in the knowledge, awareness and involvement of the local community, creating a lasting and holistic impact on the future of our city.” - Ewelina Roszkowska, coordinator at Silesian Botanical Garden

Mikolow for Climate project