Selected Legal Regulations and Cultural Aspects of Urban Development. Nowadays, the issue of urban development belongs to key elements of development in general. Urban development is a multifaceted phenomenon (covering economic, social, administrative, promotional, ecological and a number of other aspects). They are too numerous to discuss them in one short article. For this reason this paper is dedicated only to the phenomena regulated by law: physical planning, suburbanization (initially called urban sprawl), monument conservation and – additionally – culture (as a factor influencing the legal regulations). The key hypothesis is that developers are not the only ones to blame for the way the country looks. This hypothesis has generally been corroborated.
According to the Grant Map of the Ministry of Development (MoD) as of March-April 2017, there were 1716 urban regeneration (revitalization) projects implemented in Poland between 2007-2013. Data from 11 voivodeships (out of 16 regions NUTS 2 in Poland) and 977 projects was sufficient to provide a representative sample (56,9% of projects presented in the Grant Map). The main methods used in the article included observation and review of MoD statistical data and literature on the subject. As observed by the author, between 2007-2013 the definition of urban regeneration (revitalization) was only mentioned in one of the footnotes to the housing guidelines, which was a poor legal basis for the regional managing authorities. Similarly, there was no solid basis in the strategic documents (national) for that period: they did not provide any definition of revitalization. It was in the interest of the beneficiaries, as well as – partly – in the interest of those managing authorities to satisfy the local needs, especially those needs which were not considered the result of the shift to the post-industrial era, but rather as a result of numerous institutional and political events. Due to these features, the period 2007-2013 was dominated by infrastructure projects aimed at the quality of life but also efficient in terms of spending European money. It seems that there was an agreement between regional managing authorities and the benefi ciaries (potential voters) as to the way of spending the revitalization funding. This was understood differently at national level, but because institutions at this level were not involved directly in the urban regeneration (revitalization), their influence on regional units was minor. Even more so because the managing authorities were also interested in speeding up the process of spending European resources.