The urban form creates the city structure, whose spatial values not only shape the functionality of the city, but also its identity, whose the most important determinant is the urban tissue. The subject of the study is the analysis of selected historical areas of Cracow in the scope of composition and readability of their urban structure. The analysis focuses on the identification of the most important aspects of spatial renewal processes of these spaces. These processes aimed at strengthening their potential as local centres, that can become a factor stimulating the development of the individual urban units. The increase in the attractiveness and quality of public spaces will positively affect the degree of their perception by the inhabitants and the social relations taking place in them. This in turn, influences the degree of the social involvement in development processes and the creation of more or less spontaneous, bottom-up activities.
The article is an introduction to the monographic content of a volume containing articles dedicated to contemporary models of building residential districts in Europe, where the issue of an attractive, beautiful architectural form must integrate the dimension of energy efficiency. Individualism must be subject to flexible regulations so that the current understanding of the concept of spatial order brings with it commonly desirable qualities as an effective strategy against the processes of the city›s sprawl. Attached is the output of the HOPU-S URBACT II project (2007-2013), which became an inspiration for the topic.