Łódź (Poland)

Situated in the heart of Poland and Europe, the City of Łódź is one of Poland’s major cities and located on the intersection of major communication routes. It is the fourth largest Polish city in terms of both population and area. With a systematically expanding transport system (construction of new roads and modernisation of railway infrastructure), this former Polish industrial centre is constantly growing.

In addition to its prime location and robust transportation network, Łódź offers access to a competitive labor market alongside being one of Poland's prominent academic hubs, boasting top-tier universities and colleges with a thriving student community.

A particular challenge that Łódź faces is the introduction of green areas in the historic city centre to counteract climate change and eliminate urban heat islands, increase water retention, and thus improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.

Sustainability focus: Counteracting Climate Change

In cooperation with various groups of stakeholders, the City of Łódź takes numerous measures to counteract the negative effects of climate change. These measures can be categorised into the following core areas: air protection, water retention, development of green areas and preservation of biodiversity, and environmental education.

For several years, the City of Łódź has focused its attention on modernising and improving the energy efficiency of buildings, and has been running a program of subsidies aimed to replace old solid-fuel stoves with new, efficient, and environmentally friendly installations. Recently, due to the current crisis, the city has been reducing the energy consumption of the municipal lighting system and gradually replacing lighting fixtures in public spaces with energy-efficient (LED) ones, as well as installing photovoltaic systems on public buildings.

Another major challenge is water management. The city lies in a watershed area and is at risk of desertification. Therefore, when conducting investment projects, the city puts great emphasis on replacing existing concrete surfaces with water-permeable surfaces.

Łódź’ green areas are continuously being developed. First of all, attention is payed to the need to “unseal” downtown buildings with greenery and eliminate urban heat islands by introducing vegetation where there has been none or little of it so far.

Environmental education must certainly be mentioned as it is a very important element of the Łódź’ pro-climate measures. The city conducts an innovative pilot programme for environmental education in Łódź schools. It involves determination of a relevant curriculum and training for a group of teachers so that they can deliver classes on this issue.

As part of the environmental education of residents, the city also runs a municipal Ecoportal.

The need to knows

  • The region of Łódź has more than 20 rivers. The municipality plans to bring to the surface a part of these in order to create infrastructure for active recreation; these include the Ner, Łódka and Jasień Rivers. Currently, the city is working to uncover the Lamus River canal in one of its parks. Notably, rainwater and snowmelt from nearby properties and roofs will also be used to feed its flow. For this purpose, the city received a grant (EUR 3.5 million) from the European Commission, a project entitled: “An innovative and comprehensive concept of urban biodiversity development for local governments in Europe - restoration of the urban water ecosystem of the City of Łódź”.
  • Since 2011, the City of Łódź has been focusing its attention on modernising and improving the energy efficiency of buildings. As part of the “City of Tenement Buildings” program, funded by the city, 226 buildings have been renewed.
  • Since 2012, thermal upgrades to 150 educational buildings and 28 medical and social welfare buildings have been made.
  • The year 2022 was marked by new investments in renewable energy, thanks to which the city is in the process of installing photovoltaic systems on dozens of public buildings. 20 new systems are planned to be installed in 2024.
  • City of Łódź has been subsidising the replacement of citizens' stoves with more efficient and environmentally friendly ones, having successfully replaced 11,000 stoves.
  • Since 2022, the city has reduced the energy consumption of public lighting on upgraded main roads by 30%.
  • The City has conducted an extensive campaign to promote energy, heat, and water conservation among residents.
  • From 2021 to 2023, 16 new parks were created, covering approximately 149 ha, and the city is gradually greening its urban areas.


  • National Geographic Traveler Awards: The Best of the World 2022:​ Sustainable Development Category.
  • The City of Łódź is a member of numerous organizations and associations, initiatives: Convernant of Mayors, Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission, Adaptation to Climate Change Mission, Urban Transition Mission, Eurocities, CrAFtCities, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy , Cities Race to Zero.
  • The city participates in innovative international projects, e.g. NEEST (“NetZero Emission and Environmentally Sustainable Territories”).
  • The Mayor of Łódź, Hanna Zdanowska, as a member of the European Committee of the Regions, is involved in the work of:  ENVE Commission, SEDEC Commission, CoR Working Group on Green Deal Going Local.
  • The Mayor is an ambassador for the European Green Deal.

What the city has to say

“We all observe climate change, which increasingly affects our lives. We cannot turn our eyes away from problems that, if left unsolved, will drastically reduce the standard of living and safety of our children and grandchildren. Therefore, together we must create a new, green world for them. Local leaders have an extremely important role to play in this task. It is largely up to good hosts: mayors and councillors whether we will be able to implement plans for a better future for ourselves and the next generations.

An extremely important element of the planned changes is the exchange of thoughts, experiences and good practices of all those who influence the world around us. Thinking about building such synergy, we joined ICLEI, the largest family of local governments from around the world.”

Hanna Zdanowska, Mayor of the City of Łódź

ICLEI and Łódź

The City of Łódź became an ICLEI Member in December 2022. The city currently participates in two ICLEI projects together with other Members: Urban Transitions Mission Centre and Fair Local Green Deals.

Interesting links/websites