Winners and Finalists of the “Local Government Leaders of Governance 2023” Competition
Lądek-Zdrój, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Konin and Lublin are winners of this year’s Competition with a focus on “Urban Energy Transformation for Climate Neutrality and Life Quality Improvement”. Competition results were announced in Piła on 8 December.

Competition Winners and Finalists

“Local Government Leaders of Governance 2023 – Urban Energy Transformation for Climate Neutrality and Life Quality Improvement”

Category: Urban-and-rural cities/towns and municipalities

WINNER – “Local Government Leader of Governance 2023” title

Lądek-Zdrój, for the project “Energy self-sufficiency and air quality improvement achievable by increasing the share of RES (Renewable Energy Sources) in energy generation throughout the Lądek-Zdrój town and municipality. Use of thermal energy from geothermal borehole LZT-1 (2,500 m) and of electricity from the municipal photovoltaic power station, as part of the special-purpose Lądek Energy Co-operative vehicle”

Justification – the municipality’s activities are based on a distinctly comprehensive approach to energy management, fostering climate neutrality and energy self-sufficiency based on Renewable Energy Sources. All projects listed allow their use in other local government units as an off-the-shelf model solution.

WINNER – “Local Government Leader of Governance 2023” title

Ostrów Wielkopolski, for the project “Ostrów Wielkopolski – a city with (its own) energy”

Justification – the comprehensiveness of action taken to improve municipal energy effectiveness is clearly observable in the presented project. An analysis of the city’s energy management activities points to a consistency of efforts intended to replace traditional energy sources with local resources and energy generation from renewable sources, conducive to improving municipal air quality.

Category: Cities/towns with county rights

WINNER – “Local Government Leader of Governance 2023” title

Konin, for the project “Strategic urban management based on delivering the Development Strategy for the City of Konin, including the Strategic Project Listing – New Development Path 2020-2030”

Justification – activities described in the Competition entry application are comprehensive and consistent, launched by municipal authorities in the field of energy transformation to set the city on a path to climate neutrality. All activities involve a far-reaching educational campaign. The participatory approach to problem solving – with local residents’ expectations and needs accounted for – stimulates assorted communities into collaborating with municipal authorities. The chosen urban development management system is a model solution, easily implementable in other cities and towns.


Tychy, for the project “Renewable Energy Sources as an opportunity to improve air quality in Tychy”

Justification – the energy transformation process and efforts to achieve climate neutrality have been duly confirmed in municipal strategic documents. It was duly noted at the application analysis stage that the Competition entry is a piece in the puzzle of a comprehensive approach to the energy transition process. Designed to improve air quality, endeavour delivery in co-operation with local residents as described in the application is based on replacing traditional fossil fuels with Renewable Energy Sources. Many cities suffer of air quality issues. Comprising a full Renewable Energy Sources catalogue, the completed project can serve as an exemplar of efficiency for other towns and cities in Renewable Energy Sources-based improvements to municipal air quality.


Gdynia, for the project “Calculating the carbon footprint for the City of Gdynia – why, what and how?”

Justification – climate neutrality-targeting goals are an extraordinary challenge for all European Union member states who have shouldered ambitious commitments in the area. We should all engage in greenhouse gas abatement processes. Gdynia was the first city in Poland to present so-called carbon footprint calculation results, and identify a progressive follow-up reduction goal (by 43% by 2030), the achievement to be duly described in the decarbonisation strategy and included in all strategic documents of the City. Carbon footprint calculation is a significant item on the agenda of planning climate neutrality-aimed activities. Gdynia’s auteur carbon footprint calculating model will certainly become an example for other cities and towns intending to implement precise decarbonisation policies based on specific data.

Category: Cities – seats of voivodship (regional) authorities

WINNER – “Local Government Leader of Governance 2023” title

Lublin, for three projects: “Energy-effective, zero-emission public transport system in Lublin”; “Developing an effective smart district heating system in Lublin”; and “Improving the energy effectiveness of the «Hajdów» wastewater treatment plant in Lublin to achieve climate neutrality”

Justification – application entries point to comprehensive and holistic actions diverse in origin, all targeting energy effectiveness enhancement and coinciding with the “Lublin 2030” urban development strategy, approved and under implementation. Basic municipal service-related activities addressing the local community include water supplies and wastewater collection, district heating, and public transport. In all aforesaid areas, the City of Lublin has been engaging in a number of activities forming part of campaigns matching climate neutrality goals. State-of-the-art energy transition processes reduce the use of energy from conventional sources, replacing it with renewable and waste-sourced energy pursuant to the circular economy rule. Methods of reducing energy use, renewable sources-based energy generation, and modern public transport solutions may be a solid model and good practice to be followed by other cities and towns.


Gdańsk, for the project “Start line of energy transformation of the Gdańsk Urban Municipality”

Justification – the City of Gdańsk has engaged in a variety of activities targeting energy transition for climate neutrality. They have been described in official documents, such as the ‘Plan of Adapting to Climate Change’, or the ‘Low-Emissions Economy Plan’ meeting SECAP reporting standards. The City’s campaigns point to a comprehensive approach to energy transformation. A number of initiatives have been taken with intent to modify the local mindset and approach to the use of energy and ecological resources. A point of departure for all activities listed, collaboration with local residents is of particular significance. Model solutions of engaging in education and dialogue with local residents with regard to energy transition may be valuable to cities and towns planning similar activities.


Pursuant to Competition rules, cities and towns submitting entry applications with a score of over 60 points earned following substantive evaluation by Competition Jury experts shall be recognised as Competition Finalists.

Finalist Cities/Towns:

In the Cities/towns with county rights Category

Gliwice, Grudziądz, Siemianowice Śląskie, Jelenia Góra

In the Cities – seats of voivodship (regional) authorities Category

Bydgoszcz, Kielce

Competition prizes include a diploma and “Local Government Leader of Governance 2023” title. Representatives of Competition Winners and Honourable Mention holders will attend a study visit to Norway. All Competition Finalists shall receive a diploma to confirm their participation in the final the Competition stage (“Local Government Leader of Governance 2023” Competition Finalist).

Fourteen cities and towns submitted a total of 17 application entries in response to the Competition announcement:

• Two application entries submitted by urban-and-rural cities/towns and municipalities,

• Eight application entries submitted by cities/towns with county rights,

• Seven application entries submitted by cities – seats of voivodship (regional) authorities.

The Competition is organised as part of the “Local Development” Programme financed with the use of funds of the EEA Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021. The Association of Polish Cities is the Project Leader, Project Partners including the KS Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy is the designated Programme operator.