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Abstract

Functional urban areas (FUA) have became an important component of polycentric settlement structure of all European countries. FUAs have been defined as labour market basins, composed on large city and its surrounding areas (commuting zones). The very spatial and economic concept formed the foundation of old industrial regions. Old industrialized regions with all the spatial challenges and economic problems could be also perceived as a specific type of functional urban area. In Poland, National Spatial Development Concept 2030 (NSDC 2030 2013) describes restructuring and revitalization of degraded areas and cities in terms of spatial policy measures addressed to the supporting of cohesion in problematic areas. That is why integrated revitalization programs of functional urban areas may become key instrument of regional spatial policy and urban strategies. In response to the problems of degraded land and related land-use conflicts, it can significantly help in establishing valuable solutions, as well as ensuring connections between environmental, social and economic needs in the development of functional urban areas.
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Abstract

The local aspect of aging is often ignored. However, municipalities, in particular cities will be affected by the consequences of population aging, in particular a decrease in tax revenues and an increase of expenditures on public goods demanded by the elderly. In this paper we use a static general equilibrium model to analyse the impact of aging on city’s finances. We show that an increase in the number of pensioners will raise the cost of public goods. However, an increase in the number of working elderly can alleviate the situation.
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Abstract

The paper deals with possibilities of innovation projects financing in the Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) in the Czech Republic. It discusses, in the emphasis on SMEs, possible approaches to innovative company financing in dependence on company life cycle. Well established and functional models of innovative companies financing as FFF, Business angels, Private equity and Venture capital funding and mezzanine financing are discussed. Inasmuch SMEs are considered the key driving force of the Czech economy and the stabilizing feature of the regional development, the government places emphasis on the development of financial instruments which would ensure an ongoing financial support of innovation projects. But managements of SMEs insufficiently use all opportunities to obtain investment resources for the growth, future competitiveness and prosperity of their companies. According to researches performed in EU it was proven that financing constraints hinder innovation among SMEs. Maintaining regional balance through sustainable performance of SMEs is the common aim of municipalities as well. It is necessary for SMEs to form long-term relationships with their municipalities in the region. Programmes which arrange financial support for institutions are provided through private investors, grants, the EU funds and national budget. The paper evaluates pros and cons of various types of financial subsidies with respect to payback periods, risk exposure and availability. The paper includes the outputs of empirical research in SMEs carried out 2014 focused on steering innovation projects in SMEs. The aim of the research was to find out if SMEs can manage, evaluate and develop innovation projects. Moreover the authors examined the effectiveness of relationships established between SMEs and municipalities and problems which the SMEs are confronted by upon the ensurance of project innovation investments. The sources procurement is a very sophisticated topic and it is beneficial for the SMEs to establish a close cooperation not only with municipalities but also with universities.
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Abstract

In the 2014–2020 programming period, two new tools were introduced by the EU cohesion policy, namely Smart Specialisation (SS) and Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI). Their implementation aims at contributing on the one hand to activating and strengthening endogenic potentials, including those based on knowledge and innovation, and on the other hand to territorialisation of intervention for the purpose of obtaining competitive advantages or regions. The tools are based on two concepts of the development policy: smart specialisation and place-based and territorial approach to development. The article presents the rationale and prospective impact of the implementation of the tools on development programming of selected regions of Poland. Detailed analyses cover the provisions of the ITI Strategy of the Functional Urban Areas (FUAs) of Poznań (Wielkopolskie Voivodeship), Subregion Centralny (Śląskie Voivodeship), and Lublin (Lubelskie Voivodeship), as well as regional and national operational programmes in terms of potential contribution of the implementation of ITI to the strengthening of regional SS in some of the Polish region. The analyses performed for the three groups of Thematic Objectives (TO) of ESIF 2014–2020 (corresponding with 3 pillars of the Europe 2020 Strategy), i.e. ‘smart’ – TO 1–3; ‘sustainable’ – TO 4–7; and ‘inclusive’ – TO 8–10, show that the ‘sustainable’ group (in majority represented by companies from sections F, H) refers to infrastructure projects, often of a transport network; the ‘inclusive’ group is ascribed to companies from sections Q and P to generally ‘soft’ projects related to the development of social services, and ’smart‘ is related to sections M, F, J. Only in the case of 8% of projects (out of 78 analysed) it was stipulated that preferences would be given to the existing or newly established companies the profile of activity of which corresponds to regional SS. Such projects deal with the support for companies in the scope of business incubators and expansion of vocational education infrastructure in terms of adjustment to the needs of key sectors selected in RIS3 strategies of particular regions. In all of the analysed FUAs, ITI measures support regional SS in the framework of TO 3 and TO 10. The projects will be primarily implemented by companies from PCA sections M, F and P. The proposed methodology gives prospects to the analysis of future impact of interventions on the growth of the smart specialisation potential of the analysed FUAs PC.
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Abstract

Many analysis of growth poles do not refer directly to development and dynamics of propulsive activities, but rather to their effects. In this paper the author concluded that essential role may be played by fast-growing and knowledge-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) while their intra-regional diversity of activity may be a reasonable proxy measure of a role played by specific town as a growth centre. Therefore the article has two main goals: methodical – determining the usefulness of the activity of fast-growing and (potentially) innovative small and medium enterprises as a designatum for the growth pole and cognitive – to capture the spatial differences in the distribution of this kind of SMEs in Podkarpackie region. The study showed strong diversification of the number of fast-growing and (potentially) innovative SMEs on the local level. All techniques of determining the level of economic development and it’s dynamics taken into consideration in the analysis testify to strong and rising position of Rzeszów as a regional growth pole. It indicates growing role of metropolisation processes in Poland even in case of peripheral, weakly urbanised region with a relatively small regional centre compared to the biggest Polish cities.
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Abstract

The paper presents a synthesis of approaches to development and functioning of Functional Urban Areas. The authors present typology of such areas and determine how they facilitate the flow of various types of potentials, paying particular attention to creativity and innovations. The emphasis is put particularly on non-spatial factors of development of such areas. The process of forming the functional area basing on common strategy of development founded on various types of potentials is presented on two examples.
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