This paper examines the impact of the implementation of participatory budget (PB) projects on the development and creation of public spaces in the city. The first part of the paper describes the main assumptions and models of participatory budgeting as well as the legal basis and rules of PB implementation and financing in Poland. In the second part, those are confronted with the implementation of PB (civic and green) in Lublin in 2015-2019. In the third one, detailed analysis of the PB rounds 2015-2017 show that 86% of investment projects submitted and 87% of projects selected for implementation were directly associated with activities in public space. Furthermore, the spatial distribution and thematic scope of those investments in 27 districts of Lublin in relation to 10 categories selected by the authors as well as the motivation and activity of residents of individual districts in applying for projects were presented. The fourth part shows the changes in Lublin’s public spaces caused by the implementation of PB projects and Lublin’s experience in relation to other cities in Poland. The summary includes recommendations on how to effectively implement BP to create a high quality public space in cities. Three aspects are distinguished: 1) organizational and procedural; 2) mobilisation of the stakeholders and 3) implementation of projects.
The aim of the study is to examine the impact of the amendment to the Municipal Self-Government Act (hereinafter: MSGA; Journal of Laws 2018, item 994) on the implementation of participatory budgeting (PB) in 2019 and 2020 in Polish voivodship cities. Using the desk research method, 36 PB regulations and over 3.4 thousand projects were selected for implementation in 10 categories: 1) sports (investment and other), 2) leisure and recreation (investment and other), 3) construction or modernisation of sidewalks, 4) construction or modernisation of streets, 5) pedestrian walkways, 6) parking lots, 7) lighting, 8) city bicycles (bicycle infrastructure), 9) modernisation of buildings, and 10) other (e.g. educational, cultural, training). Detailed studies were carried on the influence of legislative changes on: 1) financial mechanisms; 2) principles and organisation of the budgeting process; 3) generic structure of projects; 4) participatory budgeting model. In order to verify the results obtained, changes in the PB regulations not resulting from the MSGA provisions were additionally analysed. It was shown that the amendment to the Act had a significant impact on the implementation of PB in all the analysed cities. The changes mainly concerned the financial and formal-organisational aspects of participatory budgeting process. The most crucial ones include: increase in the size of the overall subsidies (in 15 cities), modification of the distribution of the financial means (9), introduction of letters of support at the stage of project submission (7) and appeal procedure (9). Among the “non-statutory” activities, the abolition of age limits in the remaining 7 cities should be mentioned. These activities brought positive effects on the increase in turnout (15), the number of projects selected for implementation (12) and their average value (13). On the other hand, the changes in MSGA did not affect the generic structure of the projects (in both years, in 10 cities the category “leisure and recreation” prevailed, and 1149 projects from this category were selected for implementation). The final unification of the PB implementation model in Polish voivodship cities has been completed. Finally, three modes of PB implementation according to the new rules were indicated: financial, procedural and combined.
The article analyses the expenses of local communities in zachodniopomorskie voivodship during the 2000–2005 period, with special regard to capital expenditures and to social care expenditures. Local communities conduct counterbalanced expenditures policy adapted accordingly to incomes. Whereas capital expenditures vary in time with growing tendency to diminishing, the social care expenses continually grow (in analyzed tenure). In spite of this the numbers of people taking advantage of social help diminishing very little (and even growing from time to time). What is more, as can be presumed, the social funds are constantly directed to the same group of beneficiaries without gaining the results in limiting the scale of poverty in community.
Rock mining is popular and characterized by the exploitation of local deposits, which are used as a bargaining chip in local economic and socio-political politics. The aim of the paper is to analyze the impact of rock mining on the local economy of Polish communes. A contextual analysis was performed of inflows to the communes’ budgets resulting from the exploitation of rock minerals, the contribution of rock mining in the creation of local jobs was assessed, and the benefits from reclamation and development of post-mining areas were estimated. To do all that, the Author used the method of indicator analysis of local government units and stochastic methods of data analysis, as well as inference based on collected data. Studies have shown that rock mining is a factor supporting the local economy. Benefits from the exploitation of rock minerals should be taken into consideration in the development of plans concerning mineral rock deposits.
The purpose of this article is to analyse opinions and attitudes of inhabitants of a Silesian town of Tychy toward the civil society and local democracy. Basing on sociological research done in the spring 2003 and reinterpretation of sociological research of the town, the article shows an activity related to and awareness of these issues among the local community in times of democracy and free market economy. The example of Tychy is specific because during the socialist period sociologists emphasised the fact that it was a socialist town. After political transition, scientists and researchers have pointed that urban community has a disintegrated character and that social bonds must be created in order to cope with regional development. The present article is especially focused on changes which have taken place over the past few years in Tychy.
Self-government-owned properties, and especially local ones, are primarily owned by urban and urban-rural communities. Many of them constitute municipal real estate resources and serve the collective needs of both members of the local community and visiting outsiders. These properties need constant budget expenditures (both current and asset-related). Some of them generate income that is a small percentage of total municipal budget revenues. However, the income from their sale can be much higher if the local authority decide to sell it and someone wants to buy it. The interests of both sides do not meet often enough. Not all municipal properties are for sale, and those that are do not always meet buyers’ needs. Very often the value of a property is different in the owner’s and the potential buyer’s opinion. The purpose of the study is to answer the following questions: 1) Do municipal properties have market value and does their sale price reflect their value?, 2) What are the determinants of municipal property price and for what reasons do local authorities decide to sell them?, 3) Are all municipal properties equally attractive to buyers?, 4) What revenues has the sale of municipal real estate generated for municipal budgets in the recent years?
In this paper, we apply the fuzzy hierarchic process to evaluate the goals and strategic activities of the rural commune of Babiak. The procedure consists in building a hierarchic decision schema with a main goal, subordinate goals, and strategic activities, and using experts` (councillors`) opinions on the state and the developmental possibilities of their commune. Our study indicates that the development of a commune depends mainly on communal roads and sewage system construction, the development of agro-tourism and tourism, and securing EU structural funds and non-budgetary funds for the commune`s development.
Structural funds – instruments of cohesion policy – are aimed to support local and regional development and to speed up regional convergence. For the last few years they have been the main source that enable realization of different activities and investments on local level in Poland. In the light of systematic extension of financial resources provided within structural funds effective absorption of those funds becomes a matter of great importance. Experience of previous implementation period gives some clues on the perspective of use of structural funds provided for Polish regions in 2007–2013 period. The results of previous research showed that effective absorption of pre-accession and structural funds depends on many both material and untouchable factors but the most important for effective absorption is adequate institutional system with procedures of programming, financial management, monitoring, evaluation etc. This paper presents the results of research conducted in 2008. The authors focused on three main areas: experience of 2004–06 period of implementation – identification of successes and barriers of structural funds implementation system, practical use of these experiences to improve institutional system for 2007–13 period and finally priorities of 16 Regional Operational Programmes realized in Polish voivodeships.
The article deals with determinants of efficient absorption of European Union`s structural funds by local authorities entities. It focuses on factors connected with civil society that distinguish different regions. As it was broadly recognized and explored, the "basis of civil society is the social capital of a region. Social capital includes networks and relationships between people that transmit their shared attitudes and values and therefore influences on structures of common initiatives undertaken by individuals and different groups
in order to fulfill local societies` needs. The author studies to what extent social capital of different regions conditioned by cultural factors influences institutional efficiency of local authorities in Poland in relation to absorption of pre-accession fund SAPARD.
Creditworthiness, similar to the ability of generating profit and efficient disposal of financial resources, is one of the basic elements of local governments’ financial potential, since it enables gaining additional funds for investment purposes. However, the possibility of obtaining credit is limited not only by law regulations, but also by economic restraints, which determine creditworthiness. Each time, before deciding about incurring debts or about financial involvement, banks as well as local governments themselves should analyze thoroughly the current and future budgets in respect of credit facilities.
The aim of the research was to evaluate disproportions in Polish local governments’ income and their connection with the level of economic development of voivodeships. The basis of this evaluation was an analysis including the income of governments at a voivodeship, district and commune levels in 16 voivodeships in the years 2002–2006. In the initial stage of the research, a hypothesis was made that in the voivodeships that are at a higher level of economic development the income of local governments is also higher. The changes in law introduced on l January 2004 caused an increase of local governments’ income. The income increased at the fastest pace in the most developed regions, thus contributing to the deepening of development disproportions between voivodeships in Poland. These differences were only partially decreased by subventions from the state budget.
The aim of the paper is to analyze the level of economic development and its dynamics in the cities and towns in the eastern region between 1995 and 2015. The objects of the study were 54 cities and towns of the region. The source of the data for the analysis was the Local Data Bank of the Central Statistical Office. Taxonomic analysis, no-pattern method was used for the study. Ten variables were analyzed during the studied period. They were divided into those referring to budgets of municipalities/communes, national economy entities, and the labor market. As a result of the analysis, it was discovered that 50 cities and towns showed signs of development in the period. It was observed that the diversification of the level of economic development of cities and towns of the eastern region in the spatial layout did not decrease. It was also stated that the accession of Poland to the European Union had an impact on the growth of dynamics indexes of changes for the towns and cities.
In the paper we present two neoclassical growth models of Solow-Swan type: with regional budget deficit and without it. The main aim of the paper is to analyze the convergence of regions in Poland towards their stable steady-states and to check the speed of this convergence. We use the method of calibration of parameters in models and numerical methods for calculating capital and output per worker in stable steady-states. The computations were made for the new administration division of Poland. On the base of empirical results we make conclusions about future distribution of wealth among regions and about potential possibilities of growth in regions. We also try to answer the question if in the future there will be convergence or divergence of welfare among regions of Poland.
The aim of this article is to identify the role of fees and user charges in the budgets of large cities (cities with county status) and policies of these entities in this regard. To achieve this goal, the article reviews the research on the importance of fees and user charges in local government finance, and analyses the role of fees and user charges in large cities finances in Poland from 2006 to 2012. The study confirms the global trend observable in different countries, i.e. the increasing importance of revenues from fees and user charges to local government budgets. Secondly, the relative size of revenues from fees and user charges in large cities in Poland are evening out. Thirdly, there are two key areas in terms of service charges: public transport and housing management.
The paper is an attempt to answer few questions, which are of crucial importance for the assessment of local government financing in Poland. The main focus of the paper is on inter-governmental financial transfers. What are goals and principles of inter-governmental grants in the theory of fiscal federalism? How these principles are applied in European countries? How the practice of local finance in Poland is related to these principles and to international experience? The first section deals with theoretical issues of grants` transfers and equalization schemes. The second part includes a brief description of grant systems in selected European countries. The third section concentrates on the evaluation of the Polish practice, and includes recommendation fo future changes. However, the paper skips a detail description of the Polish grant system (which is well-known and described in Polish academic literature).
Tourism is often treated as a solution for all development problems of every Polish local government. However, even the most popular tourism resorts do not always take the economic advantage of it. The economic impact of tourism is often lower that it could have been expected. The case study given in the article is Mikolajki – the most popular tourism resort in Mazury region, but very common as far as local government’s revenues are concerned. Why? This article gives at least a partial response for the question.
Debates on the impact the size of sub-national jurisdiction has on the costs of public service delivery have a very long tradition, but in spite of multiple empirical studies, results are still far from conclusive. Methodologically rigid studies of the relationship, based on data from Poland, have been so far very rare and the paper tries to contribute to filling the gap in our knowledge. The authors apply a quasi-experimental scheme of synthetic control method for Polish county and municipal fragmentation to analyze the impact of territorial reform on administrative spending as well as on the operating surplus of the budget. The analysis clearly confirms the existence of the economy of scale in administrative services. The result concerning operating surplus is less clear. There are signs of scale economies on a county level, but the results for municipalities are more ambiguous – there are unexpected signs of positive impacts of fragmentation (diseconomy of scale) occurring after a transitional period related to the high transaction costs of the reform. The difference between the results for counties and municipalities may be interpreted as a result of: (1) the larger financial autonomy of Polish municipalities; (2) the different scope of services delivered by both tiers; (3) the fact that municipalities are more embedded in local communities, allowing them to utilize potential benefits of small scale, as suggested by public choice theory.
The paper describes the creation of the Greater Paris metropolitan area (Métropole du Grand Paris, MGP), with special emphasis on the changes and challenges related to the implementation of the housing policy at the metropolitan level. MGP is an inter-municipal cooperation structure with its own budget and special status. It embraces Paris, 123 municipalities located in the neighbouring departments, and fie external municipalities. MGP will take the responsibilities in the field of: management of resources to support social housing, renovation of housing, elimination of low-quality buildings. The implementation of the housing policy at the metropolitan level is associated with a number of challenges mainly in terms of consolidation of activities undertaken by the institutions of social housing, reservation of land for social housing investments, increase in the amount of new housing, including attempts for their more even distribution at the metropolitan scale. In addition, a set of new challenges appeared due to the changing socio-demographic structure of households, which in turn require innovative architectural solutions.
As a form of spatial and social organization, the city has been in deep crisis in the recent years. Nowadays in Poland, we can observe the renaissance of urbanity, as evidenced mostly in the increasing activity of social movements and the growing importance of civic participation. This paper discusses the role public consultation on spatial planning can play in urban policy. The analysis is based on a case study of active and innovative approaches to public consultations carried out during the process. The authors describe the potential of such sociological intervention in solving the crisis of urban communities.
A low level of social activity in all dimensions is a characteristic feature of Poland. However, some enclaves of social activity do exist: there are fields of social life in which Poles are more active and devote more spare time to them; we can also distinguish active social groups. The article is an attempt to analyze social activity of Lodz citizens in the following dimensions: the participation in community activities and the participation in non-governmental organizations. The authors try to indicate the level of social activity of Lodz residents and the correlates of the analyzed dimensions of civic activity. Sex, age, profession and income are analyzed as independent variables.
The Act of 11 January 2018 amending certain acts in order to increase participation of citizens in the process of selecting, functioning and controlling certain public bodies (Journal of Laws 2018, item 130) obliged all local government units to establish a citizens’ resolution initiative and to regulate the basic procedures related to the preparation and submission of applications by a resolution of their law-making body. The article analyses the implementation activities undertaken in cities with county rights. It indicates that before the entry into force of the Act, 55 cities out of 66 had already implemented such an arrangement, and, in their case, the Act helped unify the procedures. The article also points out that some cities did not implement these regulations before the beginning of the 8th term of office of local governments, and in several cases there were problems with the implementation, which prevented citizens from exercising their resolution initiative. The article presents the legal status as of 31 December 2019.
In the last decades, especially in Europe, a process of the rebirth of national and regional identities of small ethnic groups has been taking place, leading in many cases to a change of language situation and to attempts to stop and even to revert processes of linguistic assimilation. The article presents individual cases of ethnic/regional movements having “language issue” in their programmes, and makes an attempt of a typology of regions and countries according to their language situation and policy. The language question also appears at the European Union level. The EU institutions try to combine the ideological principle of multilingualism (equality of all official languages of the EU members) with pragmatism implying minimizing the number of working languages. At the “civil” level the EU supports the model of multilingualism of the inhabitants as a means to facilitate functioning of the common labour, commodity, service and capital market while maintaining cultural identities of its member states. In individual countries the language policy is competence of national authorities; there are no common binding rules on the territory of the whole EU. As a result, there are differences among countries in their attitudes towards languages of ethnic minorities.
The article discusses the involvement of the US federal government in the policy of urban development in the years 1965-2012. The implementation paradox, understood as a limited ability to achieve national policy objectives as a result of the empowerment of potential adversaries, and the changing views of the successive presidents on federalism were considered crucial in explaining the discussed issue. The following categories have been used: federalism, orientation and instruments of development, and financial outlays for development. Orientation and instruments of development have been presented on the basis of selected federal programmes addressed to cities, and outlays – based on federal budgets. Three generations of public policy implementation theories constitute the theoretical framework of the study. In conclusion, the author points to the withdrawal of the federal government and the growing importance of state authorities in urban development policy.