The article aims to explain whether in 2004–2015 Poland experienced economic convergence between regions and counties (Polish: powiat), and whether this process occurred within the regions (Polish: województwo). Following Poland’s EU accession, the Polish policy became dominated by the polarization and diffusion concept of regional development, which may cause differences in the short term, while in the long run it may contribute not only to the increased efficiency of public funds allocation, but also to the elimination of disparities in growth levels. In the analysed period Poland experienced a process of economic divergence between the regions, only the years 2006–2008 saw a short-term reduction in regional disparities. On the other hand, a slow process of reducing economic inequalities between counties took place after 2004. It was, however, varied – a clear reduction in disparities occurred between the land counties (Polish: powiat ziemski) in an almost monotonic manner, whereas city counties (Polish: miasto na prawach powiatu) did not undergo any convergence. Within the regions, the process of economic convergence varied: in five regions, β-convergence was identified, and σ-convergence occurred in all the regions. The process of reducing disparities was significantly dependent on the development pathway of the region.
Wind constitutes one of the major environmental factors affecting the design and performance of built environment. Each country has its unique climatic wind conditions, and the way in which these are considered and implemented in the structural design, is important. An implementation or adoption of any new engineering design stipulations introduces a formidable challenge to the developers of the standards and the design profession. This has been experienced in some of the countries (e.g. the UK, Australia and the USA), where processes of modernising the outdated codifi cation took place in the past. Although both Poland and South Africa are currently at the early implementation stage of the new wind loading design stipulations, there is a major difference between the circumstances of the two countries. Poland, as an EU member state, has a compulsory obligation to adopt the new uniform standarisation requirements, within a stipulated time-frame. The South African code developers, after a thorough investigation process which will be highlighted in the paper, decided voluntarily to adopt the Eurocode as the primary model document.