Object structure

Władze regionalne w zarządzaniu metropolitalnym. Polskie doświadczenia w odniesieniu do Kanady i regionu metropolitalnego Toronto = Regional authorities in metropolitan governance. Polish experience in the context of Canada and Toronto city-region


Przegląd Geograficzny T. 92 z. 4 (2020)


Gajewski, Rafał : Autor ORCID ; Sagan, Iwona : Autor


Gajewski, Rafał : Uniwersytet Gdański Wydział Oceanografii i Geografii ; Sagan, Iwona : Uniwersytet Gdański Wydział Oceanografii i Geografii



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24 cm

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Subject and Keywords:

regional development ; metropolization ; public governance ; growth ; Canada ; case study


The article attempts to present dilemmas related to shaping metropolitan policy in Canada, and then relate them to problems occurring in Poland. It is a part of the debate on seeking the right governance configurations and discourses in response to the communities’ needs. Particular attention is paid to the characteristics of the scales of governance and socio-spatial relations in the Toronto metropolitan area. The article has been divided into four main parts. Part one outlines the theoretical framework and the context of the conducted analyses. Part two describes the structures and processes of regional and metropolitan governance in Southern Ontario, with the earlier reference to the institutional conditions and directions of reforms characteristic of the whole of Canada. Part three of the study concerns the governance arrangements that may constitute important reference points for the scientific and political discourse taking place in Poland. Part four is an attempt to capture the similarities and universal premises that have a decisive influence on the processes of forming metropolitan structures and policies, both in Canada and in Poland. The assumption was made that, despite different historical and socio-cultural conditions, comparing Canadian and Polish experiences is justified, necessary and possible. Firstly, due to the reason that socio-spatial relations in various territorial systems are subject to the same development processes and the accompanying processes of transformation and adaptation. Secondly, residents (members of local, metropolitan, regional, national and supranational communities) have similar needs and expect a high quality of life. Decision-makers and actors of political scenes in different geographical spaces have (or may have) the same technologies, ways of information processing, access to knowledge and knowledge of socio-economic processes. They also face challenges related to the inclusion of citizens in decision-making processes. The analysis of metropolitan processes in both countries emphasizes the differences resulting from various historical and economic contexts of development and also makes it possible to identify universal mechanisms and regularities independent of these contexts. The practice of metropolitan policy proves that the process of re-territorialization of power structures and governance is shaped as a resultant of the impact of forces and interests at all levels of territorial authorities: central, regional and local. Based on the analysis of the processes of the formation of metropolitan structures in Canada and Poland, it can be stated that the rank and position of regional authorities play a key role in it. In Canada, strong regional authorities initiate actions for the shaping of metropolitan structures and formulate the scope of their competence and organization. The importance of central authorities for the dynamics of metropolitan processes is secondary in this case. The weakness of regional authorities in Poland leads to the inability to give metropolitan processes the dynamics of development and the legislative rank adequate for the role played by urban regions in the socio-economic development of the country. As evidenced by the example of Toronto, the evolution of the governance system in practice initiates the process of self-learning the system which goes from one to another phase of development, improving the quality of its operation. In Poland, however, the process of creation of governance structures adequate for realistically existing functional metropolitan areas has been stopped, notably, due to the unfavourable political decisions at the central level.


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Central Library of Geography and Environmental Protection. Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

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Operational Program Digital Poland, 2014-2020, Measure 2.3: Digital accessibility and usefulness of public sector information; funds from the European Regional Development Fund and national co-financing from the state budget.





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