Night panorama of warsaw

How Warsaw is becoming a sustainable city for all

In this episode of The City Citizen podcast, Michał Olszewski, Warsaw’s Deputy Mayor, describes the city’s efforts to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

For the last couple of decades, Warsaw has been facing challenges common to cities of its size, from climate change to social inclusion. More recently, its physical and cultural closeness to Ukraine has also put it on the front line of a migration crisis.

In this episode, the Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, Michał Olszewski, tells Meghan Mills, EY Strategy and Operations Leader – Government and Public Sector, about the initiatives used to tackle these challenges.  

The discussion shows that making a city a better place to live, work and invest is never easy. Switching energy sources requires more sophisticated skills, but possibly fewer (better-quality) jobs. And while securing funding to tackle the climate crisis can be straightforward, convincing citizens to change their behavior is an ongoing task.

That said, Michał believes the Polish capital has a key advantage in the global competition for talent and investment: an open society. The Mayor won the last election with the mandate “Warsaw for all,” and the city has integrated many Ukrainian refugees. 

Key takeaways:

  • Invite citizens to suggest ideas for the city to implement, and consult them on plans for urban transformation, to make them feel more included.
  • Build a sharing economy—for example, by providing food exchanges—to help citizens waste less and create a more sustainable city.
  • Preserving green spaces is crucial for quality of life as well as for biodiversity. As part of its next stage of transformation, Warsaw wants every home to have a view of green by 2050.

You can also listen to this podcast on Amazon MusicApple Podcast and Spotify.

A full text transcript of this podcast is available­­­­­­ too.


Episode 5


12m 25s