Who owns the city? Do the inhabitants of modern cities have a reflection on their place of everyday life? Do they treat the city as commons? Do they feel co-responsible for the directions of development of their cities? Answers to the above questions have far-reaching consequences for urban development policy. They are the basis for assessing the ongoing democratization processes in the local government sphere. They also reveal important aspects of the condition of civil society. Although, on the basis of various indicators the trend is positive, it seems that the awareness of the role of the citizen versus the ordinary resident is poorly rooted in the attitudes of the Polish people. And the lesson of citizenship is still an undisrupted task for a large part of the inhabitants of our country. The greatest hopes lie in the generation of young and educated Poles who, through the development of participative management mechanisms, are becoming more aware of the possibilities of citizens’ influence on urban policy. The article is an attempt to answer the above questions based on literature review, current press articles and empirical studies conducted among a group of students.
Cities are changing before our eyes. Civilization trends should be accompanied by the appropriate management styles of local development. The crisis of civil policy and the power of representation undermines the essence of the current model of democracy and the effectiveness of local policy. Therefore, it evolves towards governance. The influence of civic activity is mostly visible at the local level. Its importance is multidimensional and it shapes the social, economic and environmental conditions of urban life. The article guides the reader through various meanders of research and public debate on engaging inhabitants in local policy. Its aim is to indicate the scope of resident’s influence on the current policy of Polish cities, in particular with regard to the investment policy. The paper is based on the extensive literature studies and the primary research carried out in all of the cities in Silesia voidvoship.
Participatory budgeting has become an important element of empowerment of the residents in the process of spatial planning in Polish cities. The citizens gained the right and a concrete tool to implement their ideas on how to change the city spaces. Many of the projects of participatory budgeting are the results of serious negligence in basic infrastructure in the cities. On the other hand, some of them are an expression of great ingenuity and innovative approach of the citizens to the modernization and arrangements in urban spaces. The civic projects improve quality of life and increase the utility value of public spaces. The main aim of the paper is to review and classify tasks changing public spaces under the formula of participatory budgeting. The research in a form of diagnosis enables to present the directions of participatory budgeting. It helps to monitor and evaluate the social impacts in the process of city space transformations. The subject of analysis are participatory budgets in Łódź and Katowice based on editions in 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.