Tri-City, with the suburban area, like other Polish urban centres with metropolitan aspirations, has real chances for becoming metropolitan area of European importance. According to some European concepts, Tri-City is recognized as a member of the group of European metropolises and regarded as a link in the zone of high dynamic development in the Baltic Sea Region. The main problem for the functional efficiency of Tri-City agglomeration is cooperation and competition between cities and municipalities. The lack of common activities can be the reason of efforts and effects to squander in the field of spatial planning, programming of regional development and functioning of the whole settlement system of the metropolitan area. Pursuing the integration of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot and thus creating an integrated metropolitan space of the highest ability to compete in the global economy, is a real challenge for the Tri-City.
The paradigm of analysis of the reality and its management, based on vertical hierarchic structures, cannot be used to characterize situations of resources concentration in the hands of many social actors. Nowadays, the paradigm seems to be less popular. First scientific diagnoses of the described situations seemed to prove their chaotic and ungovernable character, but they were gradually replaced with approaches which allowed to penetrate and govern composed systems. The notion of ‘governance’ (i.e. a multi-layered network process whose participants have different statuses and resources, and which results in a consensus achieved in an interactive play of all partners) has a high heuristic value. France is a perfect illustration of this phenomenon. The process can be observed especially in metropolitan areas that create their own compounded authority systems.