Since the very beginning of their establishment, municipalities, counties and regions (voivodeships) have been struggling with financial problems. Unfortunately, these problems affect the performance of the tasks assigned to these administrative units, including the standard of provided services and investment activities. Although extensive, the scale of the unsatisfied needs in LGUs varies between individual units, including municipalities. Thus, the positive financial results (the balance at the closure of the fiscal year) achieved by local government units in Poland in the recent years, as well as their future, offer an intriguing topic of research. The purpose of this paper is to identify the causes that: 1) underpin the re-evaluation of the LGU goals (from the implementation of the local government mission to achieving a budget surplus), and 2) allow the positive result of the LGU budget to finance goals other than investment-related ones. In order to achieve this, the study covers and illustrates, using the empirical data from the years 2007-2016, the types of possible LGU budget results, LGU activities that could contribute to the closure to LGU budgets with a positive result, directions of using budget surpluses and the so-called uncommitted funds, as well as local governments’ debt in terms of the intergenerational solidarity concept of its repayment and its perceived optimal structure.
Postindustrial agglomerations struggling with image deficits and environmental problems are looking for new development paths to take. One of these paths can bring about the development of business tourism, including the industry of the organisation of meetings and events. The unique and attractive character of the place can favour taking such a direction. The business tourism sector can therefore become an instrument contributing to the sustainable metropolisation of the city by building up its position in the global network of flows. The development of the meetings and events sector allows, therefore, for a change of image, for a re-evaluation of endogenous resources, including those relating to the industrial past, and for tapping into the unlimited resources of the global network. Increased attention in this network may lead to an influx of more events, and of investors as well. Replacing heavy industry with an enlarged service sector and modern industry based on flexible and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises fosters sustainable development. The meetings and events industry can become a tool for sustainable development and the promotion of its ideas, related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The trajectory outlined above seems very promising. However, to some extent, it is just a hypothesis. The author undertakes to test it on the example of Katowice, a former industrial city which has decided to follow the route outlined above to become a city that hosts many events, including the COP24 summit in 2018. In the article, the author presents empirical research studies whose authors tried to determine whether the path the city has chosen has a real impact on its image and development. The author also deals with the question of the sustainability of such a development path and the conditions for its self-support in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges. Comparing pre-pandemic and pandemic experiences led to the re-evaluation of the role of festivities and their associated traditions. Through semi-structured interviews, people’s perceptions of festivities during the two-year-long period of repetitive social restrictions were investigated in Latvia (Latgale region). Data analysis revealed that the quality of festivities related to otherworldliness decreased. Celebration as a powerful practice for developing a sense of togetherness and experiencing collective joy was commonly acknowledged. Festivities were primarily perceived as a tool of socialization and collective identification, as well as an opportunity for entertainment and creative expression.