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.