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.
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.
According to its development strategy and currently defined physical planning policy Warsaw should become the European metropolis, with a good quality of life, high culture, a durable physical order and public areas of high standard. These are the goals of the municipal authorities, but a short walk through the downtown shows that they are far from being reached. The obvious way for Warsaw to meet the ambitions of its authorities is through physical planning – transparent, with a high level of a public participation. That is – completely different from how it is now, what can be confirmed by some spectacular examples. If bad governance will be continued, Warsaw may soon become closer to the cities of the Third World, than to the European metropolis.
The article analyzes decision-making councils of Local Action Groups operating in Axis 4 LEADER Rural Development Programme in three Polish regions which were described in the literature as differing significantly in terms of their historical and cultural backgrounds. According to the concept of governance, implemented in programmes such as LEADER, the influence of representatives of various sectors of the economy on local decisions should be balanced and, in accordance with the rules of the support programme, no more than 50% of council members should represent the public sector. This provision, included in formal documents of Local Action Groups, is designed to ensure that non-public sectors do have some impact on council decisions. However, in the three studied regions, the real participation of mayors, officials and executives of the public sector was from 15 to 21% higher than in the official data, and in about one-third of the surveyed organizations it exceeded 50%, which gave the public sector representatives the dominant role in decision-making and selection of eligible projects. This practice was very similar in the studied regions, and is discussed in the context of the concept of governance, as an example of tokenism.
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.
What we today call the social space, what we can see in our houses and outside of them, was initially established by the Old Testament. The people of Israel governed and changed it, creating the patterns that exist till our time. It’s easy to find the systems of town building in the Old Testament. Also the division of space into centre and peripheries and between the sphere of sacrum and profanum are clear. Moreover, the Old Testament shows us the process of spatial transformation – from the unnamed to symbolic places.
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.
Sociological research on the social bonds so far has analysed causes and a degree in which the community does not meet requirements of the traditional community any more. Modern research on the nature and the structure of local communities have introduced a new typology which reflects the advanced state of modern social bonds. Social relationships between the residents of cities and countries are reduced the number of the partners as well as people who seem to have the role of the partner decrease and the contact circles are homogenous as regards the socio-professional affiliation of partners. Interactions partners are willing to offer their help although they claim that they seldom use it and if only they turn to somebody for help it will be the closest family.
This paper is based on data collected during a study (questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews) conducted in selected Polish gminas and focused on selected road corridors. On this basis, social perception of the accessibility of selected services is assessed as well as changes in frequency of road use, quality of life, and road safety. In the case of three road corridors (highways A1 and A4; express road S8), changes in accessibility have occurred as a result of road investments.
The paper deals with the analysis of spatial identification treated as the process of individual identification with the particular space by taking the role of the inhabitant of the particular territory as well as the sense of the connection with the territorial community which makes the social group of positive reference for the individual. The paper analyses two measures of spatial identification: individual identification and collective one. The analyse results in answering the question what is the range of coherence of spatial references of Lodz inhabitants. In order to do that the typology including indicated aspects of spatial identification was created. Obtained results present that within investigated individuals category including the process of identification with the city in individual measure and treating the neighbour community as the reference group dominates. That is why it is necessary to notice the lack of the coherence between individual and collective measure of spatial identification of Lodz inhabitants.
The paper presents the spatial and socio-economic transformation of one of Warsaw’s large-scale housing estates – Sluzew nad Dolinka, especially after 1989. In spite of potential threat of physical and social degradation, the area has not converted into a city slum and still offers attractive living conditions for its inhabitants. Continuous and regular actions of the local housing association, city authorities, entrepreneurs and dwellers, as well as propitious circumstances of the Warsaw real estate market, protect the estate from physical and social decline.
The article is devoted to the problems of the handicapped people with special reference to the functioning of the Railway Missions in a metropolitan environment. From the beginning of industrialization process the railway stations in Europe were creating a specific social environment, including such phenomena as prostitution, slaves trade, drugs dealing or just individual stories of the travelers. Specifically to deal with these problems, a social institutions called `missions` were established at the railway stations in Germany and Poland. This article shows the historical development of the German and Polish Railway Missions with special reference to its role for the local societies.
The author discusses different definitions of social justice related to equality of outcome and equality of opportunity. It is argued that, in the territorial perspective, public policy should aim at improving the equality of opportunity by means of reducing social exclusion rather than at fighting regional disparities in the standards of living. What is challenged is the interpretation of the relationship between political preferences and the core–periphery division of Poland into Northern and Western Territories on the one hand and Eastern and South-Eastern regions on the other, as presented by R. Perdał et al. (2020).
This text addresses three key issues presented in the article by Perdał et al. (2020) and in the polemic by Bolesław Domański, published in this issue of Studia Regionalne i Lokalne: territorial aspects of social justice, the relationships between territorial differentiation of socio-economic phenomena and political attitudes and behaviour in Poland, and the problem of meeting the requirements of social justice in relation to territorial systems that are in a particularly difficult situation, mainly due to their depopulation.
In the article, the authors present the distribution of human capital in Poland in general and in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship in particular with respect to demographic and socio-economic characteristics. In the analyses, they applied a composite indicator of human capital. In order to construct, validate and test the reliability of the indicator, its authors carried out an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and a principal component analysis for categorical variables. They used data from the Social Diagnosis 2009. The results show that human capital in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship was slightly higher than the average for Poland, but more dispersed according to selected demographic and socio-economic characteristics than in the whole country.
Multiculturalism is a kind of social policy that depends on cultural neutrality of the state. Huge communities of immigrants of non-European cultures arose in Western Europe. In response to this phenomenon, European states initiated a multicultural social policy. In effect, many behaviours of immigrants turned out to be at variance with human rights, but consistent with multiculturalism. Great cultural distance between European societies and immigrants caused more serious problems with integration than had been expected. Nowadays, we can observe a contestation, but not abandonment, of the multicultural policy, accompanied by anti-immigrant sentiments. A new social policy ought to facilitate the adaptation of immigrants in economic and politic institutions, and to respect human rights as a key value.
The paper begins with an analysis of policymaking principles and responsibilities of local authorities in Poland. Next, outputs of local policies at the level of the gmina are presented in a case study of the suburban area of the Gdansk agglomeration. Chosen features of local policies are pointed out as a basis for comparison of the local districts. The decisions taken by local governments allow to classify types o local policy. For instance, while some of the local districts prefer investments in social infrastructure, other are more inclined to invest in technical infrastructure. Only two out of seven local governments create and implement policies which can be identified as sustainable.
For many decades, temporary labour migrations from the Opole region have had a significant impact on the social, economic, and demographic situation. They are particularly important for the villages in the region, for most of the migrants are recruited there. What is the situation in farmers’ families? Are their members labour migration participants too? What is migration’s role in the income of farmers’ families? The paper characterizes migration from rural farmers’ families of the region. It is based on the results of an analysis carried out in July 2012 in the Opole province in 383 individual farms the size of 2–30 ha.
Transport policy requires greater territorial differentiation; at the local level, it should be closely integrated with education, health and social policies. This approach to transport policy contributed to the research and determined its area – the research was carried out among school students, and its aim (and that of this article) was to determine the accessibility of secondary schools in the Wągrowiec district via public transport. Many inhabitants of villages and small towns are forced to have a car or else face a whole host of difficulties. The most common difficulties include access to education, health care or better paid work.
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.
In many European countries local governments, in particular on the municipal level, search for new solutions to improve the governing process. The aim of this paper is to present an innovative model, based on the idea of New Public Governance management, which operates in the city of Tampere, situated in southern Finland. Introduced in 2007, the model is based on three main pillars – strong leadership, effective and responsible service provision, and citizen involvement in the decision-making process. The paper describes each of these elements and indicates its practical advantages and disadvantages. The analysis has been conducted on the basis of official city documents and interviews conducted with experts in Finnish local government as well as leading local politicians from Tampere. In conclusion, it is pointed out that although the Tampere model should certainly be labelled as innovative, the solutions adopted generate some difficulties. These include tensions between politicians and administrators as well as problems related to the coordination of city services and the attitude of politicians and administrators towards citizen participation.
The aim of the article is to present an outline of the concept of revitalisation as a public intervention aimed at strengthening local cohesion. The concept emphasises the multi-faceted, participatory and inclusive nature of revitalisation. The article contains arguments in favour of the following theses: (1) Revitalisation should be not only an ad hoc reaction to the accumulation of crisis levels, but also a long-term action for local cohesion; (2) The long-term success of revitalisation depends on the scale and quality of the involvement of residents, especially residents from disadvantaged or excluded communities; (3) The inclusion of social economy entities in the revitalisation process is an important factor in strengthening local cohesion
The main aim of this article is to apply the concept of “identity” to the analysis of phenomena and processes associated with the formation and functioning of clusters and cluster initiatives. Cluster structure is a kind of social group, and therefore should be subject to the same trends as other social groups. One of its most important characteristics (directly related to identity), observed particularly in groups whose aim is to survive for a long time, is their willingness to create mechanisms that distinguish the group and its members, and that build internal coherence and a sense of belonging of its members to the structure as a whole, and their attachment to each other.
Many authors claim that regional differences in average student achievements in Poland are partly determined by the cultural factors and cannot be fully explained by uneven spending on education or by reproduction of human capital between generations. The aim of this article is to better understand this phenomenon by studying the institutional aspects of Poland’s education system during its formation back in the 19th century, when Poland remained partitioned between the three empires: Prussian, Russian, and Austrian. It turns out that one fundamental difference between the early education system under the Austrian, Russian, and Prussian rule may concern the degree of social acceptance of the school, teacher status, and the role of education as a lever of social advancement. Another important factor is the perception of educational goals either in terms of acquisition of practical skills, or of personal formation. In this respect, there was a clear difference between Galicia (Austrian partition), where the curriculum was focused on the humanities, and other partitions (particularly Prussia), where schools were more linked to the economy.
Revitalisation, which is defined as a planned process of restoring deprived areas, entails the difficult challenge of achieving long-lasting spatial, economic and social effects. In Poland, the accompanying inflow of European Union funds not only fosters a wide range of activities for entities involved in urban renewal, but also raises a question about the potential dysfunction of investments in deprived areas. Based on the experiences of Kraków, the paper presents some undesirable effects of projects implemented under the Local Revitalisation Programmes (LRP) in the years 2007-2013. The goal of the LRP projects was to promote the rehabilitation of deprived housing areas. The initial results, however, indicate that these projects are characterised by specific pitfalls, which include touristification, uniformisation, gentrification and social polarisation.
European regional support has grown in parallel with European integration. The funds targeted at achieving greater economic and social cohesion and reducing disparities within the EU have more than doubled in relative terms since the end of the 1980. making development policies the second most important policy area in the EU. The majority of the development funds have been earmarked for Objective 1 regions, i.e. regions where GDP per capita is below the 75% of the EU average. However, the European development policies have come under increasing criticism based on two facts: the lack of upward mobility of assisted regions and the absence of regional convergence. This paper assesses, using cross-sectional and panel data analyses, the failure so far of European development policies to fulfil their objective of delivering greater economic and social cohesion by examining how European Structural Fund support is allocated among different development axes in Objective 1 regions. We find that, despite the concentration of development funds on infrastructure and, in less extent on business support, the returns to commitments of these axes are not significant. Support to agriculture has short term positive effects on growth, but these wane quickly, and only investment in education and human capital which only represents about one-eight of the total commitments has medium-term positive and significant returns.
The aim of the article is to examine if the form of ownership is a base of social identifications as important as a space of living. Author presents results of own research, conducted in Szczecin in Social Housing Associations area. The results show that forms of ownership become important part of social identity, even more than location in urban space.
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.
The paper discusses the subject of intersectoral cooperation in sustainable development projects in order to identify social value created by the cooperating partners. There were several questions posed to find out what kind of social value is created in sustainable development projects undertaken by stakeholders from different sectors, and what is the role of such intersectoral cooperation in the process of creating social value. The empirical part of the work presents case studies from selected projects. As the results demonstrate, the use of mutual potentials allows for a more effective creation and use of value by a wider circle of stakeholders. A higher quality of services is achieved and, what is more, a wider range of social value is created. Social value in the local cooperation model is universal in terms of implementation, creation and use for various crosssectoral sustainable development projects.
The article aims to identify the geographical dimension of social (in)justice in the context of the existing permanent differences in the level of socio-economic development in Poland from the geographical and historical point of view. It also discusses the consequences of these inequalities for development policy on regional and local levels. The study consists of two essential parts. The first one presents synthetic deliberations on the geographical aspect of the social justice discussed. In the second part, an attempt was made to exemplify a geographical dimension of social (in)justice through the analysis of the spatial distribution of the socio-economic development level (a synthetic indicator) and selected partial indicators. In addition, the presence of dependencies of the socio-economic development level and the degree of political support for political fractions proclaiming the slogan of “social justice” was verified. The results of the conducted research confirm the existence of considerable developmental differences in the Polish space. Their strength is historically determined and, despite the passage of time, their pattern invariably corresponds to the former partition boundaries. These disparities are not minimised and the influence of economic growth on the income rise remains limited, especially in economically weaker areas, which leads to growing social dissatisfaction. As a result, one can conclude that in Poland those differences constitute the geographical dimension of social (in)justice.
The purpose of this paper is to perform a cross-sectional ex-post evaluation of the impact of interventions carried out in the framework of EU Cohesion Policy on social cohesion of Polish cities. Social cohesion has been understood as the ability of modern society to ensure long-term prosperity for all its members, including the provision of equal access to resources, respect for human dignity and diversity, personal and collective autonomy and responsible participation. The study shows a concentration of resources in large system projects, and the greatest progress is seen in the case of education, labour market access for women and availability of medical services. A relatively slower improvement can be observed in programmes concerning social exclusion, supporting disabled people, and culture.
Branches of international corporations are a significant element of the economic structure of towns and regions, and depending on the degree of their integration with (‘embeddedness’ in) the regional and local economic milieux, they can play an important role in their development. The location of a branch of an international corporation has a multitude of effects in a variety of spheres: economic, social, spatial, and environmental. The effects in the social sphere include the formation of attitudes of the residents towards the investor, which takes place on the basis of the knowledge about the investor and his/her image, and then gives rise to some forms of behaviour towards him. This paper compares the attitudes towards foreign investors of the residents of a big city and a small rural commune. The analysis is based on a survey research carried out among the inhabitants of Poznan city and the commune of Zbaszynek. The attitudes examined in the first case were those towards a branch of the international corporation EXIDE Technologies, which has been operating in the city since 1995, and in the other case, the attitudes towards a branch of the Swedwood corporation, present in the commune since 1999.
The article presents an overview of changes and relevant problems that have occurred in Moscow in the period of post-Soviet transformation. Authors briefly discuss historical and contemporary studies on capital city of Russia in the field of social geography. On this background authors comment on contemporary hypothesis related to metropolisation processes including social and spatial polarization observed in global cities.
Quality of life is discussed in the paper in the context of human needs. In this conceptual framework, sexual needs are considered as well as their relations with the concept of pathology in social sciences and theology. Prostitution is analysed as a special form of sexual pathology and a social service that fulfils human needs and influences quality of life. The location of prostitution in the city of Bydgoszcz is analysed in details, as well as models of spatial distribution of ‘social agencies’ in the city.
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.