Environmentally friendly and people-centred economic activities at a local level are enjoying increasing popularity as a sustainable alternative in an ever more urbanised and globalised world. Various initiatives – from local energy production to community supported agriculture – show how local, small-scale projects usually have a much smaller environmental footprint while providing high quality goods and services that are often more conducive to well-being than their industrialised and centralised substitutes.

While already fairly well-known in western Europe and the United States, the explicit reorientation towards local economies is still in its infancy in central and eastern Europe, but it has started to pick up speed in the region over the last few years.

Whether it is a village becoming energy self-sufficient by using local waste for heat and electricity production, a group of urban food enthusiasts working directly with farmers or a cooperative grocery store, several initiatives have sprung up in central and eastern Europe over the last five to ten years.

At least as interesting as the wide range of activities and sectors, however, are the stories of the people and communities who have been driving these local economy projects. It is their stories, their motivations and their struggles and imagination that we tried to capture in full size on this website. [*]

Our aim is to both inspire others to follow their examples and to offer useful tips for local activists, social entrepreneurs, municipalities or organisations.

Through the website you can get in touch with our local economy experts in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia. We may be able to help with finding funding opportunities and navigating national regulations, or we can put you in touch with other initiatives.

* “We” that is CEE Bankwatch Network, a network of environmental organisations. Read a little more about us on this page.