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Mechanisms of public participation in urban policy of the largest Polish cities – a comparative study

Time period: 2016-2019
Financing: National Science Centre
EUROREG research team: Grzegorz Gorzelak (scientific advisor), Katarzyna Romańczyk (project leader)

The project compares and analyses selected mechanisms of public participation and determines their impact on the evolution of urban policy in the largest Polish cities for the period 2004-2018. The six cities are studied: Warsaw, Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, and Gdańsk. For each city, three different mechanisms are analysed: local initiatives, civic budgets, and revitalization programmes.

The project will first outline the profile of the chosen cities and indicate relations between participatory mechanisms and the possibility of their application depending on local determinants. Second, relevant legislation will be analysed to determine whether adequate institutional and normative conditions are fulfilled in order to increase citizen participation. The third stage of the research is a comparative study of the local initiatives, civic budgets, and revitalization programmes which have been implemented in the selected cities. Thereby, it will be determined whether the theory of deliberative democracy, which suggests that citizen participation facilitates urban governance, is applicable to the Polish cities.

The research analyses the selected instruments, examines their determinants, and captures the possible differences among them. Thus, the project aims to explore how urban policy in the largest Polish cities is transforming and whether participatory mechanisms have the potential to create a new model of public policy in Poland.