The aim of the paper is to present the metropolis of Wroclaw with special emphasis laid upon its socio-economic development. Starting with a concise presentation of the history of the city after the political and economic transition, we subsequently carry out a descriptive analysis of the economic development of Wroclaw and its specifics. It provides us with a grounding to highlight what a development narrative of the metropolis has been up to now and how it should be shaped in the future. Further on, we present the main challenges for the development path of Wroclaw. With obtained outcomes we clearly show that the Wroclaw metropolitan area distinguishes itself against the background of Krakow, Poznan and Szczecin in terms of its development. However, the current development narrative seems to be coming to an end which implies a comprehensive policy feedback.
The author analyzes the relationship between the size of GDP generated in the region and its metropolitan capital city, and the level of budget revenues of local government units – including the metropolis. On the example of Małopolska and Cracow, it observes tendencies of the growing level of income of local governments in relation to GDP, but fi rst of all it points out that in the metropolitan city the ratio is much lower than in the whole region. This defi ciency is called the „metropolitan income gap” and looks for the reasons for its occurrence. He points to the dynamic suburbanization, which causes that more and more groups of people contributing to the production of GDP in a metropolitan city pay property taxes, personal income and a large part of VAT in the suburban area. What is more, the areas of this zone use various forms of development support – for example, development of rural areas. The author considers the phenomenon of the «metropolitan income gap» to be a negative phenomenon, limiting the ability to compete on a global scale and points to several possible ways leading to its reduction. The author considers the phenomenon of the «metropolitan income gap» to be a negative phenomenon, limiting the ability to compete on a global scale and points to several possible ways leading to its.