Investment policy is a driving force in the transformation of cities. It plays a significant role both in terms of daily living conditions and in the long-term consequences of decisions that are taken. The residents’ opinions about the investment policy should be accorded a special value. The aim of this paper is to analyse and estimate the scale of empowerment of the investment policy of all 71 cities of the Śląskie Voivodeship. Three models of residents’ participation are used in the paper: symmetric, consultative and asymmetric. The questionnaire survey and desk research form the basis for assigning cities to the proposed models. The analysis reveals that the mechanism of empowerment is becoming more and more important for Silesian local governments, although residents’ involvement in urban investment policies is still far from satisfactory.
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.
Decentralisation in Ukraine is an important factor in the development of a democratic system of government. The reform of local self-government aims to create new relations between citizens, local authorities, and the state. The aim of the article is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the local government reform in Ukraine and other countries in order to identify its main advantages and disadvantages as well as indicate ways to overcome the existing shortcomings in this area. The study determined that decentralisation in the country leads to democratic transformations of society based on civic initiative and responsibility, as well as provides a decent standard of living and quality services at the local level. The introduction of decentralisation can be observed in almost all areas, including administrative, political, financial, and social. This significantly affects the potential of the population and increases the responsibility of public authorities to the population. There is an increase in the level of public services with regard to economic, legal, political, social, and ethnic issues. Finally, proposals were made to make changes in the field of local self-government in order to overcome the existing problems in this area.
The main goal of the article was to verify gains and losses coming from participating in the global economy in the light of the core–periphery theory. It turned out to be undeniably true that transfers of industrial production to peripheral countries lead to higher living standards and indirectly favour political stability in core countries, while the hypothesis that the global financial market is a tool for exploitation of peripheral countries was proved to be false. The author established that financial speculations in core countries cause political destabilization in peripheral countries, and disproved the hypothesis that the higher the participation of periphery countries in the global economy, the higher the losses they suffer and the higher the advantages in core countries.
The article discusses the idea of co-production, understood as informed and intentional participation of citizens in the organisation and provision of public services in the context of the global ageing process, a phenomenon which necessitates actions aimed to secure the needs of older people. The basis for the empirical investigation was a study carried out under the aegis of a WHO agency, the Centre for Health Development in Kobe, Japan. It offers an analysis of the case studies of initiatives addressed to elderly people in the local communities of 10 selected developing countries (Chile, China, Iran, Libya, Russia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ukraine, Vietnam). The key criterion in the selection of the analysed projects was direct involvement of institutional and non-institutional representatives of local communities in their implementation. As a participant (researcher) of this international survey, the author analyses the observable manifestations of silver co-production characterising the individual initiatives.
This paper explores the interrelationships between religious attitudes, ethnic and linguistic identities, and geopolitical preferences in three geopolitical fault-line cities in Eastern Ukraine – Mariupol, Kharkiv, and Dnipro. The research is based on data taken from a survey and the associated descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. The findings suggest that the religious divide in Eastern Ukraine does not generate additional division but instead strengthens the existing divide, which is known to be formulated in terms of geopolitical as opposed to language or ethnicity-based categories, although language and ethnicity do have an influence on geopolitical preferences. Moreover, civic-national identity appears to be more relevant than ethnic-national identity to understanding the religious fault-line in Eastern Ukraine.
Current glocalisation processes require the identification of priority areas for Ukraine’s further integration into the international economy. The right choice of direction, tools and forms of implementation allows the government to determine, justify and implement a competitive strategy for the country. The study aimed to determine the relationship between international economic integration and Ukraine’s global competitive power. Identifying Ukraine’s sectoral comparative advantages in trade with the EU and evaluating the index of the regional orientation of Ukraine for specific groups of goods and services made it possible to define the effects of economic collaboration with the European region. The assessment of the complementarity index of Ukrainian–European trade relations revealed that Ukraine and the European Union are main trading partners. Furthermore, the analysis of the mechanism of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union proved that the agreement actively contributes to the growth of Ukraine’s global competitive power. Comparative analysis in historical retrospect revealed priority areas for improving the integration processes which help to form the main competitive advantages of the country.
Planned large-scale animal farms are often the subject of protests by local communities due to the nuisance they generate. The active participation of local residents occurs at an early stage of the investment process, namely the proceedings for issuing an environmental decision, because it is at this stage that location and characteristics of the facility are determined. The article analyses 52 cases of proceedings to set the environmental conditions for the construction of animal farms in which there were documented protests of local residents. The aim of the paper is to determine the course of environmental proceedings for animal farms under the influence of residents’ protests, as well as to determine whether environmental conditions are eventually established. The statements of protesting residents are presented by means of references to the category of knowledge in decision-making (Glicken 1999, 2000; Edelenbos 2011). The study showed that despite the binding rule that public opposition cannot be the basis for refusing to set environmental conditions, the protesting residents indirectly influence the final, usually negative, result of the environmental impact assessment. By blocking the realisation of unwanted investments, they have a real impact on the shaping of the local space.
The ecological activity of municipalities can be a very important element increasing their attractiveness. Modern digital technologies offer intelligent solutions and help fulfil many economic and social demands related to environmental issues. The study primarily looked at the degree of activity of municipalities in the implementation of optional ecological projects and revealed a low level of participation of municipalities in cross-border projects. A questionnaire survey was designed as a universal tool for studying digital maturity in a cyclical, low-cost manner, which provides extensive information by verifying various areas of municipal activity and then formulating conclusions for climate and regional policies, etc. On the one hand, the study fostered the need to implement ecological projects, especially of a cross-border nature, and on the other hand, it disseminated knowledge and indicated various possible solutions.
This paper focuses on the link between women’s civic engagement and elected political participation. The first part presents the theoretical aspects of both concepts – i.e. civic engagement and political involvement – and combines them with another category, namely the descriptive representation of women. The second part of the paper is devoted to the methodology of the present research, which consists of both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative research examines the composition of six city councils in Poland (Wrocław, Kraków, Gdańsk, Łódź, Lublin, and Poznań) as well as city mayorships after the last elections (2018). The results confirm a positive correlation between women’s elected political participation and women’s civic engagement. The qualitative research, based on 11 semi-structured interviews, aims at explaining why the civic sector is dominated by women, even though politics still remains men’s domain. Another objective is to identify particular obstacles that prevent female civic activists from further engagement in politics. Specific recommendations for mitigating the identified obstacles and increasing the number of women in politics are provided.
The article analyses the participation of nation-wide parties in the elections of local authorities: municipal councils and mayors. There is no empirical confirmation of the assumption that along with the democratic consolidation in Poland, political parties strengthen their presence in local governments. Between 2002 and 2018 the overall spread of national parties in local elections decreased, even though the national party system (at the parliamentary arena) was relatively consolidated. The level of political parties’ engagement in local authorities, despite the changes in the level of parties’ support, is relatively stable – and low: no more than one third of elected local officials in Poland are affiliated with political parties. Among parliamentary parties, only four: PO, PiS, PS and SLD, maintained their significant representation in local governments, but the share of power at the local level which they were able to win varied considerably. LPR and Samoobrona rapidly lost their significance after their defeat in the 2007 parliamentary elections. The “new parties” established later failed to secure representation at the local level. The analyses confirm a positive (and stable over time) relationship between the level of party politicisation of local governments and the size of the municipality.
The right to the city is being able to co-decide about the city by its inhabitants. It can be implemented by means of urban participation that consists of two elements – a formal framework created by municipal authorities that enables city residents to join decision-making processes as well as readiness and willingness of the inhabitants to engage in such processes. In recent years, we have witnessed a “participation boom” that manifests itself through an increasing number of public consultations. In this context, the aim of the article is to describe the category of urban participation and offer a critical analysis of participatory processes and their determinants. At the same time, it should be emphasised that the article is theoretical in nature, and the analysed factors determining participation should be treated as a set of the author’s hypotheses that require empirical verification.
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 following article presents the results of a study investigating employment of private and non-governmental organisations in Polish municipalities as providers of versatile public services and the resulting nature of the relationship among the latter. The passing of legislation that requires or allows delivering public services through non-public entities triggered the development of a contract culture in municipalities. The resultant relationship may be either of a competitive (mainly technical services market) or cooperative (social services) nature. The research findings support the hypothesis that larger municipalities have better developed processes of contracting public services.
For many years, public participation has been a very popular subject of research and of interest for practitioners. Little attention has been devoted, however, to the issues of formal and organizational tools of managing this process. The paper contains the results of research aimed at creating the concept of participation infrastructure and at measuring its application in 17 Polish cities. For these purposes, the authors develop their own method of examining the practical use of participation tools. Typologies of participation tools are created and cities are classified according to their advancement, basing on the results of the research. The most popular and most willingly used tools are indicated, together with the levels of their implementation.
One of the elements of the implementation of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is completion of the flagship projects. The article presents the results of a study carried out with the participation of the coordinators of the flagship project partners in the Baltic Sea region. The study of the flagship projects was aimed at analysing the implementation of the EUSBSR through these projects and at complementing the quantitative results. As a result of the research, specific results and recommendations for actors affecting the operation of the EUSBSR are presented in the conclusions.
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.