Last updated: October 23, 2019

RCE Warsaw Metropolitan

Photo Credit: G. Okołów
Rce details
Date of RCE acknowledgement:
December, 2017
Description of RCE and Geographic Region:

RCE Warsaw Metropolitan (RCE WM) is acting as an educational consortium consisting of the University of Warsaw and four other universities from Warsaw, Warsaw Municipal Authorities, Kampinos National Park, UNEP/GRID Centre and 10 cultural, research and environmental instutitions. RCE WM is located in Warsaw, as capital of both the Republic of Poland and the Mazowieckie (Masovian) voivodeship province-region. Mazowsze is an important historical region in Poland with major culturally-distinctive features, a separate history, and a distinct and interesting natural environment. It is situated in extensive areas of plains and plateaus surrounding Poland’s most important confluence of rivers – where the Narew flows into the Vistula. Many organisations and movements are emphasising the need for the natural, wild Vistula Valley landscape to go on being cared for. What is characteristic for the Warsaw Metropolitan area is that the agglomeration is surrounded on all sides by a more or less contiguous green belt of forest which is what remains of Mazovia’s once-extensive primaeval forests of the Puszcza type.The most spectacular and biodiverse part of it is protected as Kapinoski National Park. This is an exceptional national park as it encompasses forest directily to the urban zone bordering directly on to the city of Warsaw.

The Warsaw Metropolitan Region is not distinguished currently in terms of its administration. For the practical purposes of RCE activity we treat it as an area of oval shape centred on Warsaw and of radii varying between 30 and 40km. This approximates to the 10 units of administration at county (powiat) level. The urbanised area here comprises the City of Warsaw itself, as well as adjacent localities in various directions, which is currently home to some 1.75 million people. However, the 1500 km2 agglomeration is thought to be resided in by 3.3 million people. More than half a million businesses operate here, and the area is frequented by over 2.3 million vehicles, of which 1.5 million are in Warsaw itself. The region has 19% of all Poland’s students and secondary-school pupils studying within it. The country’s largest airport and railway terminus are here.

Identified sustainable-development challenges for the city and its agglomeration:

  • Adaptation to climate change, including through low-emission construction and sustainable transport in the agglomeration
  • Rational spatial planning as the best instrument by which to manage the protection of the environment. Green space, nature conservation and protection of urban biodiversity
  • Proper SD education for all age groups of citizens

RCE Warsaw Metropolitan Team – partner representatives (Photo credit: RCE Warsaw Metropolitan)

Goals and Objectives:


RCE WM creates a bridge between the academic theoretical world and practitioners in addressing sustainability challenges in the Warsaw Metropolitan area. The vision of RCE WM is to work interdisciplinary and cross-institutional. The long term objective is to effectively stimulate cooperation between different actors when it comes to making principles of 'ideal – sustainable city and surroundings' a reality in practice. The involvement of the Mayor of Warsaw in the established partnership is crucial for the successful operation of all partners acting as RCE WM.

RCE WM seeks to develop projects and integrate key competences that include problem-solving skills, understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to environmental, economic, societal and cultural challenges of the region and to develop the ability to collaborate with experts, practitioners and local stakeholders.

Another important aspect is tying together different generations from school children through university students to seniors. The mutual senior citizens’ and youngsters’ active education for sustainability is an important part of the RCE.

Goals and objectives:

  • Consolidation of educational efforts of universities and different cultural and environmental institutions and organisations, together with the municipality for increasing public awareness of sustainable development, and building a knowledge society and promoting cooperation for sustainable urban and sub-urban zones in the Warsaw Metropolitan Area.
Organisation Hosting RCE Secretariat:

University of Warsaw, University Centre for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development

Key Partners:

Name of organisation: University Centre for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development and other units of the University of Warsaw
Role: Initiating RCE, leading institution with 27 years of activity in the field of education for sustainability
Contact name: Anna Kalinowska & Anna Batorczak
Contact email:,

The RCE works as a consortium of partners:

  • State and public universities: the Maria Grzegorzewska University of Pedagogy, Warsaw University of Life Science, Cardinal Wyszynski University of Warsaw and  Kozminski High Business School, 'Generations' University of The Third Age
  • Local municipal authorities from City of Warsaw
  • Kampinoski National Park
  • UNEP/GRID Warsaw Centre
  • 10 different cultural and environmental or professional organisations
  • Kinder-garden 'Zielony Zakatek' and several secondary schools

Roles of all partners: Active participation of representatives in Steering Committee, planning and cooperatively acting in all RCE activities due to individual institutional mission

Current Activities:
  • Developing an RCE website
  • Coordination of environmental campaigns on urban adaptation to climate change
  • Public event: Opening RCE Warsaw Metropolitan
  • Active participation in Sustainable Transport Day
Upcoming Activities:
  • Common organisation of European Week for Sustainable Development (in one week at the end of May, relevant initiatives are brought under a single shield and promoted collectively)
  • An ESD Resource Bank (all partners are responsible for contributing to a generally-accessible bank of multimedia evaluated resources for ESD)
  • Bringing together in one team all key partners for education for SD in the Region
  • Organising a working channel for permanent information flow between partners and participation in organised events
Communication Channels
RCE Website:
Facebook page:
Twitter handle:
YouTube page:
Contact Details
Main RCE Contact:
Krzysztof Walczak (Secretary)
Secondary RCE Contact:
Anna Kalinowska
RCE Youth Coordinator(s):
General RCE email:
RCE mailing address for correspondence: