This is an example of successful cooperation between citizens and municipality which proves that top-bottom initiatives in urban gardening can exist.
Krakow has a long history of urban gardening, mainly with allotment plots. However prior to 2019, there were only a few examples of community gardens in Krakow, The municipality started from recognition of the obstacles and in further steps, it initiated the process of education and the encouragement of inhabitants to take their first steps in urban gardening. Educational campaign called the “ABC of urban gardening” was started in 2017. It was designed to share basic information about gardening. It consisted of educational boards, leaflets and workshops. The inspiration for the whole concept came from the understanding that some of the reasons people are not willing to start a community gardening adventure stem from the combination of the lack of knowledge, low community trust and difficulties with relationships. This experience from 2017 led to a new program called “Krakow’s Community Gardens” launched in 2018.Thanks to RU:RBAN project financed by URBACT the regulations on the city level regarding starting and maintaining the community gardens in Krakow were launched. That helps a lot in long term sustainability of them in the city and gives clear rules for all gardens. The municipality also supports gardens by sharing the land for free, giving the package of tools for start and help from a dedicated coordinator. The active promotional campaigns in the media and during many city events, together with the leaflets, resulted in the growth of awareness and interest among inhabitants in gardening. At the moment Krakow has 16 community gardens and the next ones are in progress.