Regeneration – an integrated process of activities undertaken in the spatial, social and economic dimensions – should lead to the improvement of the living conditions of inhabitants of degraded urban areas. The European Union in 2007- 2013 allocated financial resources for this purpose in the form of JESSICA initiative which is based on financial engineering mechanism. Experiences gained so far allow conclusions to be drawn that JESSICA is a highly fi nancially-effi cient instrument but, however, not always delivers the desired outcomes in the spatial and social sphere. The scope of projects often is limited to infrastructural investments and does not reflect the complexity of regeneration process. In the article the authors analyse experiences of the five Polish regions with the use of JESSICA, point out main problems and formulate recommendations for sustainable urban policy.