The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 1/2005
Metropolisation is one of the most dynamic processes of contemporary world, changing the existing settlement patterns and creating new relations between large cities. In the recent years, metropolisation has also come to include Central and Eastern European countries. The paper looks at the role of these countries in the European metropolitan network, and describes the process of the emergence of Polish metropolises, in addition to their social and spatial transformation.
The article presents a model of functional-spatial structure in the strategy of supra-local development, which is an attempt to translate the assumptions of the new planning paradigm, referred to in the world literature as strategic spatial planning, into Polish ground. In this regard, the new legal regulations set forth in the Act of July 15, 2020 on amending the Act on the principles of development policy and certain other acts were used, which, due to their high generality, allowed the authors’ approach to their interpretation and implementation. The paper presents the various dimensions of integration of strategic and spatial planning undertaken in the Polish legal system over the years up to the present day. In addition, the role of supra-local development strategies in integrated development planning in Poland is defined, and different types of functional areas are described, which are the starting point for differentiating the scope of the functional-spatial structure model. Then the description of the most important elements of the model was deepened, and other elements of the spatial dimension in the new supra-local development strategies were presented. The added value of integrating the spheres of strategic and spatial planning was pointed out, which is important for improving their effectiveness and efficiency, as well as for increasing public acceptance of the measures taken.
The article provides a comparison of the dynamic increase in the number of enterprises relative to the working-age population in the private sector in the years 2001–2004 (the immediate pre-accession period) and 2004–2007 (the immediate post-accession period). The study was conducted with regard to the main sectors of economic activity (agriculture, industry, lower-order services and higher-order services), as well as the functional diversity of municipalities, or gminas (urban and suburban categories, transportation corridors, tourism, etc., for a total of 16 categories). The study indicates a decline, inertia, spatial polarisation and tessellated spatial structure of the development dynamic of private enterprises.
The notion of a network is one of the key terms used to describe the contemporary world. The role of cooperation networks is also stressed in the context of innovation and its spatial aspects. In this particular case, most attention is given to metropolises as major networks of flows not only of people, capital or goods, but also of information and knowledge. The paper discusses selected spatial aspects of collaborative networks in Polish science. The discussion of examples is preceded by a theoretical introduction intended to outline various aspects of innovation networks at national and regional levels, with particular emphasis on the role of metropolises in collaborative networks.
The work has two goals: 1) to identify the dominant charges in complaints to administrative courts regarding land use plans for municipalities (gminy), to assess their legitimacy and effectiveness, and to classify the complainants; 2) to show that the court rulings are related to the diversity of municipalities, i.e., their character (morphology, social and economic functions, etc.) and characteristics of socio-economic development. All the judgments of voivodship (regional) administrative courts issued in 2010–2019 concerning complaints about municipal plans were analysed (531). The problem turns out to be the undefined scope of such plans, which, however, does not affect the extent to which these instruments are challenged by property owners. A high concentration of complaints in the regional capitals and their suburban areas is also demonstrated.
The issue of transport-related exclusion in Poland is increasingly being raised in the public debate. This problem intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the reduction in the number of routes and the frequency of buses and trains. However, in Poland, the scientific literature on this subject is still insufficient. This article attempts to broaden our knowledge on this topic. The main objective of the paper is to show, from the perspective of the residents, various aspects of transport-related exclusion. Three dimensions of this phenomenon are considered: limited access to public transport, spatial and temporal limitations, and the inability to participate in important social institutions. The article is based on three case studies in the Masovian Voivodeship, namely from Ostrów Mazowiecka, Żuromin, and Tczów. The research was carried out in 2021 through the use of two methods: an analysis of secondary resources and individual in-depth interviews. Based on the opinions and observations of the residents of the above-mentioned towns, this article presents the social consequences of limited access to bus and train connections.
This article is an attempt to compile the existing knowledge from many fields about the aesthetics of Polish urban space: the conditions of its creation, its perception, and the problems it currently faces, of which a pressure for absolute aestheticisation appears to be the most dangerous. Through a multidisciplinary literature review as well as an analysis of public discourse and interviews with experts, the author attempts to answer the question about why there is such a large discrepancy in the assessment of the aesthetics of urban spaces in Poland, as well as how this is influenced by cultural, legal, administrative, and historical conditions.
The paper explores the application of the gravity model, namely the delineation of the urban predominant influence areas via the generation of the multiplicatively weighted Voronoi diagram, to the socio-economic regionalisation and administrative territorial division of Ukraine, including the existing state of affairs and several proposals on their improvement. The research uses quantitative statistical data on interregional migration and rail passenger traffic within the country, processed via the Statistica analytics software, and a subsequent spatial analysis conducted by GIS. The findings suggest that the gravity model can serve as a tool for optimisation the administrative territorial division, as well as for the delineation of the planning regions and urban hinterlands. At the same time, it has certain limitations and should not be treated as a panacea for regional planning and development.
The article analyzes the problem of delays in the preparation of local spatial development plans in Polish communes. Data from the annual survey sent to local governments and carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Statistics Poland were used. On this basis, the categories of communes in which there is highly possible to identify occurring of planning works prolongation (referred to in the article as delays in drawing up plans), as well as its reasons, were identified. No territorial differentiation in this scope was found. The basic differentiation is related to the population of communes, i.e. the larger the commune in this respect, the greater the delays are. The interviews obtained from 16 communes (at 68 over 50,000 inhabitants, where the highest number of delays in preparing plans was identified) show that the main reasons for delays include problems related to public consultations and arrangements of draft plans, changing legal regulations, and staff shortages in commune offices. The article shows how these issues are related to the broader problems of the Polish spatial planning system. Further research directions were also proposed.
This article aims to present the rarely examined process of rural gentrification in Poland via the example of the vineyard sector, which is a new and dynamically growing segment in the local agriculture. This paper uses quantitative data collected from public statistics, a spatial analysis conducted by GIS, and an authorial survey conducted among vineyard owners. The research findings have revealed that ‘vineyard gentrification’ does not match the classic rent gap theory; furthermore, being a non-socially severe preliminary rural gentrification performed mostly by high-class representatives, it differs significantly from the traditional pattern in Polish farming.
The paper provides a comparative analysis of so-called land management and spatial development studies of the biggest Polish cities regarding the scope of functional and morphological delimitation and zoning. Due to the lack of detailed regulations, individual cities developed their own zoning methodologies. The authors of such studies take into account three factors: functional, morphological and administrative aspects. The zoning in the analysed cities is determined by individual factors which vary from city to city.
The article presents the classification of municipalities in Poland, divided into urbanised and non-urbanised based on their spatial dimensions. The spatial distribution of urbanised municipalities and their basic characteristics are discussed. The classification was performed using the k-means clustering algorithm on the spatial data from Corine Land Cover databases. The comparison of the administrative and land-use driven classification of municipalities in Poland indicates that the widest differences occur between the functional areas of cities and along dynamically developing transport routes, when identification of urbanised areas in terms of land use is taken into consideration.
Public space of the post-modern epoch is a conglomerate or blend of discontinuous functions, a collection of loosely connected fragments, increasingly more frequently unrelated to a city. People compose for themselves their own town from individual trajectories that are outlined by means of motor roads. Neo-liberal logic of city development recognizes the rule of spontaneity wherever the interest of big capital groups dominates, pushing onto the sidelines the more important task of contemporary urban planning – the protection and development of public spaces. Due to the crisis it is undergoing at present (commercial pressure), the efforts are taken to regain its social and spatial significance. The purpose of these transformations is bonding public spaces with broader surroundings (with open terrains, waterside zones, promenades, playgrounds, etc). Such recomposition is part of a regeneration process that unites the city and reconstructs the identity of the place where relationships of inhabitants with their urban environment were not completely abandoned.
The main objective of the study was to identify regularities related to selected aspects of stability of cross-border cooperation on the example of Polish borderlands. The basis for the analysis was a comprehensive study of cross--border cooperation projects Interreg, ETC, ENPI, ENPI implemented in 2007–2013 and 2014–2020. The study covered a total of about 1500 projects in terms of stability of the subject of cooperation and stability of spatial structures of cooperation. The analysis allowed to find partial stability in relation to selected thematic categories of implemented projects and spatial stability in terms of distribution of cooperation beneficiaries by locality.
The aim of this article is to outline growth tendencies and growth factors in the subregions (NUTS 3) of Central and Eastern Europe in the period 1998–2006. A wide range of complementary research methods has been used in order to triangulate results, starting with classical beta and sigma convergence analysis, to kernel density estimation, transition matrices, spatial autocorrelation and multi-dimensional comparisons. Some rarely discussed aspects of the influence of capital regions on growth processes have been taken into account. An additional analysis of the data in relation to country averages produced results independent of the country context. As a result, we have been able to answer the following questions: do the analysed countries experience regional convergence or rather divergence/polarisation processes? What factors determine the dynamics of regional growth? What are the main dimensions of spatial disparities in Central and Eastern Europe?
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).
In this essay the author explores the relation between fragmentation, segregation, and reconstitution of urban order. Although metaphors of cohesiveness are usually applied to the past, and fragmentations to the present, nevertheless the city of fragmentations coexists recently with another image of the city – a nostalgic city of lived body. It will be hard to speak in simple notions of true and false experience here; the difference is in the very idea of Aristotelian “the good life”. Dealing with Edward Soja’s concept of somatography she will argue that in an age of informational technologies, mobility, and consumer culture, such old metaphors like city as a fragmented dead body and city as a lived body are more important than ever. Acts of differentiation, separation, and segregations are based both on urban somatophobia and urban somatophilia. The question to be asked here is what is reconstitution of urban order in the first sense, or revitalisation of city space in the second.
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.
Along with time-related changes in the migration of Poles to Germany, the invisibility that has been ascribed to them has also evolved: from intentional hiding to deliberate merging into local social and spatial structures. The city of Berlin, perceived as an open, modern and multicultural metropolis, is an exceptional laboratory of transformations and diversity of social behaviours shown by Polish migrants. It attracts new citizens who not only want to make a living here, but also – and more frequently – to achieve self-fulfilment. While the invisibility of the economic migrants is mainly a result of their alienation in a new country, the representatives of lifestyle migration deliberately merge into the culturally diverse society of Berlin and they try to identify with other social groups. The aim of this article is to identify the existence and forms of every-day functioning of Polish migrants in Berlin in the context of invisibility.
The goal of this article is to investigate the spatial allocation of human capital investment at the local level in Poland. In particular, this analysis refers to the funds within the Human Capital Operational Programme (POKL 2007–2013). The study is divided into the following parts: extrapolation of the algorithm for allocating the POKL funds between regions to the local level; comparison of the allocation based on the data from the period before the programme with the hypothetical allocation of the same funds based on the measurement done after the end of the programme (the „before-after” method); and a comparison of the intentional allocation of POKL funds with the observed actual absorption of funds at the local level in 2007–2015. The analysis carried out in this article proves that the final effect of POKL allocation at the local level is not a simple extension of the government’s plan of division expressed by an algorithm. The absorption of funds per capita differed between municipalities within individual voivodships, but more funds did not necessarily go to the areas that were particularly structurally burdened (according to the governmental algorithm). The „before-after” analysis leads to the conclusion that, in the period under study, development disparities increased, and development gap between eastern and western Poland deepened. The situation is particularly difficult in the territories of the so-called internal peripherals.
The paper analyses the changes in the scale of the rural economic activity and identifies their selected determinants. The socio-demographic characteristics of the labour resources and the economic differences between rural regions in Poland were analysed as reasons for the dissimilar levels of rural employment. Analyses have demonstrated that, in 2010–2016, rural economic activity measured by the employment rate increased from 50% to 53%, primarily as a result of the impact of cyclical determinants, reflected in the increase in the number of the employed being higher than the number of inactive persons, with a reduced scale of unemployment overall. The studies indicated similar values of the employment rate for urban and rural areas, while the differences in its level within the selected social categories were much more visible for rural populations. This reflected a persistence of territorial disparities in labour markets as well as a trend towards their convergence. The level of territorial differences in the rural employment in Poland was moderate and should be linked with regional economic characteristics. In this context, the allocation of rural labour supply could be attributed to the impact of cities and their functional areas and to the progress in economic diversification of villages located in a particular region. The discussion section of the paper outlines the institutional opportunities and barriers increasing rural economic activity. The presented conclusions were based on the Central Statistical Office data (mainly the Labour Force Survey and the Local Data Bank) and statistical and comparative analysis methods.
Spatial planning is one of key tasks of regional (voivodship) local government in Poland. A spatial development plan for a voivodship includes many aspects which need to be decided upon. However, the implementation of this plan is largely independent of the will of the local government. The theory of planning (including spatial planning) emphasises that implementation of the plan is an inherent aspect of planning. Therefore, the article analyses to what extent regional spatial planning can actually be considered planning.
The article offers a multidimensional analysis of the dynamics of population ageing in Poland. To this end, the spatial dynamic shift-share method is used. The data used in the analysis include the number of people aged 65 or over per 1,000 population, based on the criteria of sex and place of residence (urban or rural areas) in 72 Polish subregions in the period from 2003 to 2016. The study analyses the pace of changes in the scale of the phenomenon and identifies structural and local factors underpinning the net effect in specific subregions. In effect, subregions with the greatest pace of change and its underpinning factors are identified.
The main purpose of this paper is to analyze depopulation processes of rural areas in Lower Silesia in the years 1995–2015. The authors intend to determine the scale, durability and spatial distribution of depopulation in rural areas, as well as to analyze the factors of population changes which contribute to population loss. It helps them to identify depopulating rural areas and to draw up their typology according to the specificity of contemporary demographic changes. With reference to the scale of depopulation, four types of rural areas are distinguished (developing, stagnating, depopulating, intensively depopulating), and according to the durability of depopulation five types are identified (constantly developing, episodically depopulating, temporarily depopulating, prevalently depopulating, constantly depopulating). The analysis shows that depopulation is a problem in the rural areas of the Sudety Mts., Sudety Foreland, and in peripheral areas, in main urban centres. What is more, the processes of depopulation in Lower Silesia should not be associated exclusively with villages located in the Sudetes. In depopulating rural areas of Lower Silesia, the population decline is compounded by negative demographic trends (low birth rate, increase in post-working age population).
The paper focuses on problems related to modelling the development of maritime economic space. This entirely new issue has emerged from the recent changes in the intensity of use of marine areas. First, the economic significance of maritime space is discussed, followed by a simple model based on maritime spatial rent which aims at explaining the patterns of its development. This model encapsulates the interplay between both market and public choice factors that affect the development of maritime space. The paper also includes a discussion of attempts to obtain a monetary value of maritime spatial rent for key offshore maritime sectors in Poland. The paper concludes with suggestions on further developments in this field.
The aim of the article is to identify in spatial and thematic terms the so-called special areas in strategic and planning documents at the national and regional levels, and a quantitative and qualitative description of spatial delimitations (comprising the communes categorised in particular special areas). The analysis included documents at the national, supra-regional and regional levels, i.e. 10 country-wide strategies (including 7 industry-specific strategies), 5 supra-regional strategies and 16 regional strategies and voivodeship spatial development plans. All the special areas were vectorised or assigned to the relevant municipalities, and then such issues as the number of special areas within them were examined. The analysis demonstrated significant over-regulation of strategic planning (in one of the communes 87 different categories of special areas at the national or regional level were identified). This article expands the issues examined in the project carried out in 2015-2016 at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organisation PAS for the Ministry of Development, entitled “Identification of the state intervention strategic areas, including problem areas” (Śleszyński et al. 2017a, 2017b).
One of the most important features of Eastern Poland is its peripheral character. This region is often associated with various negative socio-economic phenomena. Population processes, including the problem of depopulation, affect a large part of rural areas of the macroregion. The main aim of this paper is to analyze the impact of the demographic changes occurring in rural areas of Eastern Poland in 2002–2015 on selected areas of socio-economic life, as well as to attempt to determine the scale of the changes and their spatial consequences in the field of education, entrepreneurship, construction, housing, and public finances.
The concept of resilience has gained much attention in recent academic and political discussion. However, its application to specific sectors, such as retail, is rather scarce. The aim of this paper is to present the concept of resilience and to analyse its applicability to the retail sector within the context of the town centre. The paper proposes a possible analytical framework for adaptively resilient retail centres that links the performance of retail centres to underlying development paths, the pre-shock position in the adaptive cycle, and other factors that drive their evolutionary reorganisation. The proposed framework has a practical application for spatial and urban planning and can be beneficial to various stakeholders and practitioners, including retailers, policy makers, and town centre managers.
The paper aims to discuss the major trends in changes of regional differences of economic wellbeing and the resulting spatial mobility of population as well as some regional consequences of these processes. The research is based on an empirical methodology, and visual analysis of mapped data is the main research method. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, fast decrease of employment in industry and agriculture has damaged, first of all, peripheral regions and, later, resulted in mass emigration, which is still evident in most Lithuanian municipalities. The decrease of the number of jobs in these sectors and its increase in those located in different places meant that most residents of non-metropolitan regions had to find new jobs outside the localities in which they resided. This resulted in growing mobility of the population, expressed by growing foreign emigration, inner migrations, and commuting, which continue to shape the social structure of the country to the present day, as spatial structures change more slowly than modes of production. Differences in wellbeing, which appeared at the end of the 20th century, played a role in accelerating emigration processes, which are still damaging local labour supply and economic development in many regions.
The article attempts to indicate the hypothetical spatial extent of the process of rural gentrification. To this end, using the extended case method, the author elaborates on the rural gentrification index that has been developed by describing demographic, social, economic, and spatial changes. This approach made it possible to identify areas where the phenomenon in question is the most active. It turns out that the potential range of gentrification in Poland mainly includes counties located near large cities – especially those located in central, northern, western and, south-western parts of Poland – which could be described with the English-language term as city’s countryside.
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.
The study discusses the processes of reactivation of passenger rail traffic in Poland in the years 2000–2020. After the reductions of the railroad network carried out before 2000, a renaissance of passenger transport could be observed. In the period under study, 63 sections of the railway lines were reconstructed. The total length of the reactivated routes was 1992 km, of which the electrified sections covered 549 km of the network. The largest areas of the concentration of reactivation activities were identified in south-eastern and northern Poland. The average speed on most routes was 65 km/h. The transport offer for 55% of the lines was based on more than six connections per day. Inconsistencies were also identified: out of 63 routes, passenger traffic was suspended again in 20 sections. Three types of reactivated routes can be identified, most of which are blindly terminated routes. The identified processes of reconstruction of traffic systems after 2000 represent yet another phase of railroad operations in Poland, after the previous phase of intensive regression and underfunding.
The aim of the article is to measure the sustainable development of rural areas of the Wielkopolska region and define the role of the Rural Development Programme for 2007-2013 in reinforcing developmental changes. The conducted research measured sustainable development for the year 2015 (in three dimensions: economic, social and environmental), and shows the spatial variations of the analysed phenomenon. As the next step, the awarded funds were measured and their impact on sustainable development was assessed. The measurements were carried out with the use of a synthetic measure, while the relationship between the level of development and the level of the awarded funds was assessed using analysis of variance. The research comprised rural and rural urban municipalities in the region. The findings demonstrate significant variations in the level of sustainable rural development in the Wielkopolska region.
The aim of the study is to indicate the importance of rural areas in the system of inter-communal migrations in Poland. Internal migration in rural areas was analysed for the years 1995–2019, with particular focus on the state of migration registered in 2019. The study used basic indicators determining the intensity of migration, which made it possible to conclude that rural areas play an important role in the system of internal migration in Poland, contributing to the spatial redistribution of population. However, this influence varies due to the fact that, on the one hand, there is a strong influence of suburbanisation on migration processes in rural areas in suburban zones of large and medium-sized cities in Poland. On the other hand, migration outflows caused by an unfavourable socio-economic situation are visible in the case of external and inner peripheries.
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 article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 4/2004
The paper discusses regional disparities in Poland in their many dimensions and aspects economic, social and political. Individual phenomena basically have a similar spatial representation, which can be seen as a corroboration of the well-known thesis on the existence of a strong interdependency of many phenomena in the development process. The historical underpinnings of these disparities prove once again that they are the products of "long duration` processes. Both characteristics of these differences, showing their complexity and historical factors suggest caution as to what can realistically be expected of regional policy because it can change the objective reality only gradually and only to a limited extent. The paper ends with some recommendations for regional policy.
Apart from traditional fashion trade fairs understood as specialist events addressed to a limited number of business clients, a growing popularity of B2C fashion fairs has been observed in recent years in Poland, in particular in large cities. Such events provide opportunities for purchasing unique clothing, offering possibilities for cultural distinction but also for spending leisure time, engaging in social interactions, and participating in urban arenas. They are in line with broader phenomena such as the festivalisation of urban space, the development of the experience economy, and the ecologisation of consumption. The aim of this article is to show the scope of this phenomenon in the Polish context. Proposing a typology according to this sort of fashion events as well as places where they occur, the authors attempt to show the intraurban and interurban specificity of fashion fairs, pointing to main centres and important factors of their location.
Competitiveness is a key factor determining the development of a region and hence the standard of living of its inhabitants, and human capital is one of the most important factors enabling improvement of regional competitiveness. The aim of the presented research is to analyse the spatial differentiation of the level of human capital in the regions of the European Union (EU) in relation to their level of competitiveness. The results show significant disproportions in this respect, especially between the so-called old and new EU. The higher levels of human capital in the old EU regions were also generally accompanied by a higher level of competitiveness. In the long run, this will lead to an increase in regional disparities in development.
The purpose of the paper is to point out the characteristic features of spatial development in cities of the Metropolitan Union of Silesia (GZM), located in the central subregion of the Upper Silesian region. The specificity of its development is the result of both historical conditions arising from the exploitation of natural resources, which were taking place for many centuries, as well as the contemporary economic and social impacts that are affecting the functioning of highly integrated territorial units that co-create the GZM. The presented research results refer to a selected area of interest in urban morphology. In this case, it is the comparison of a combination of building types located in the GZM cities with buildings in other cities of the Upper Silesian region and all other Polish cities.
The JESSICA initiative was set up to provide a more sustainable and efficient response to the needs of urban areas, as compared to non-repayable grants. Anchored in the literature on place-based policy and territorial cohesion, this paper addresses the question how the JESSICA funds were allocated among Polish cities – whether, intuitively, only to key urban centres, or to smaller cities as well. The results illustrate that the repayable assistance of JESSICA was dispersed throughout the regions, although the degree of dispersion remains mixed across them. Almost half of the JESSICA funds was transferred to small and medium-sized cities. It was also found that the bulk of the assistance went to the projects that were implemented in cities situated within metropolitan areas of the regional capital cities.