Socio-economic potential of cities belonging to the Polish National Cittaslow Network
Keywords:Polish National Cittaslow Network, socio-economic potential of cities, differentiation of cities
Research background: Modern cities often struggle with the problem of selecting an optimal model of development, which is adjusted to their needs and resources. A kind of response to this was the founding of the Cittaslow network, bringing together cities developing according to the slow city model. The Polish National Cittaslow Network was established in April 2007. The founders of the network were four cities from the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Province (Biskupiec, Bisztynek, Lidzbark Warmiński and Reszel). The aim of the Polish National Cittaslow Network is to promote and spread the idea of good life by implementing in the cities appropriate solutions in the field of environmental policy, infrastructure, quality of urban life, hospitality and social cohesion. Currently, 28 cities belong to the Polish National Cittaslow Network. These cities are joined by a common idea and common goals adopted to improve the quality of the residents' life. However, each city has a different history, tradition, natural values, and also has a different socio-economic potential.
Purpose of the article: The aim of the study was to assess the differentiation of the socio-economic potential of cities belonging to the Polish National Cittaslow Network.
Methods: The research covered all member cities of the network. The synthetic index was used to assess the socio-economic potential of cities. The grouping of cities was carried out using the hierarchical Ward method.
Findings & Value added: Differences in the socio-economic potential of the cities which belong to the Polish National Cittaslow Network are moderate. This is confirmed by the values of the synthetic index of this potential in each of the cities as well as coefficient value of its variation. Differences between the member cities were also verified by the results of grouping. As many as 7 groups were distinguished, including 2 composed of single entities. The conclusions arising from this research are as follows. Firstly, the slow city development model should be individually adapted to the capabilities of each city or group of cities similar to each other in terms of the socio-economic potential level. Secondly, the recommendations proposed in this study can make a useful contribution to discussions on the possible implementation of the slow city model in Poland, and its adaptation by individual cities. Furthermore, the research outcome can serve as a set of recommendations for Cittaslow member cities in other countries.
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