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The concept of territorial cohesion as understood and practiced by Polish regions

Profesor Tomasz Komornicki, Profesor Jacek Zaucha

In the paper, the results of research on integration of various aspects of development in Polish voivodships are shown with a particular reference to territorial capital. An answer is sought to the question, “to what extent and how the Polish regions managed to successfully follow/implement the paradigm of territorial cohesion. For this purpose the findings of a questionnaire survey study, conducted with the offices responsible for a broadly understood development of voivodships were made use of. The research reveals that representatives of regional authorities are relatively well acquainted with issues relating to territorial cohesion, but their understanding of this concept is generally narrower than that found in theoretical studies. Territorial cohesion is rightly associated with conducting spatial policy, as well as with utilization of endogenous development factors. At the level of definition the majority of voivodships underline the role of endogenous factors for growth, but as regards the shape of their intraregional policy more traditional approach is widely prevalent. Regions see their internal spatial policy as nothing but delimitation of areas. This takes place based on negative criteria (referring to “problem areas” that were formerly identified). A lack of integrative approach is also typical. Territory fails to be treated as a subject of integrative policy, and, as well, as an opportunity that can be used to overcome the sectoral divisions. It is rather treated as a tool for achieving other goals. Simultaneously, however, an evolution in approach (forced by the EU regulations) is clearly visible, which forms the basis for more territorial-based policy on the regional level.

The paper draws on the findings of the project of the Polish agency, National Science Centre, entitled “Territorial cohesion category in cohesion policy. Implications for economic growth (no. 2012/05/B/HS4/04212). 

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  • Tagi:

    spójność terytorialna, rozwój regionalny

  • JEL:R11, R12, R13
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