Cooperation of slow cities as an opportunity for the development: an example of Polish National Cittaslow Network
Research background: Many demographic, social, spatial, economic and infrastructural problems have accumulated in small cities in Poland. It seems that the situation of the smallest cities located farther away from large cities and metropolises is particularly difficult. A chance for their development may arise from cooperation within a network of cities which associates cities similar in size, paradigm and vision of development, such as the ‘Cittaslow — International network of cities where living is good’.
Purpose of the article: The aim of the article is to identify main cooperation areas for slow cities in Poland. An analysis was made of the cooperation between 28 cities that are members of the Polish National Cittaslow Network.
Methods: The research applied a critical review of the literature and a diagnostic survey method. The survey was carried out with a standardised questionnaire. It was addressed to mayors of all member cities of the Polish National Cittaslow Network. The study was made in 2018.
Findings & Value added: The cooperation of cities belonging to the Cittaslow network in Poland is becoming more and more complex and concerns mainly the development of tourism and urban promotion. The shared logo and promotion of the urban network, organization of cultural events, exchange of experience, implementation of a supralocal revitalization program for several ‘slow cities’ from Warmia and Mazury, are examples of active cooperation. This proves that the competition between cities can be transformed into effective coopetition of cities. The idea of ‘slow’, which is fundamental to the development of the Cittaslow networked cities, creates an opportunity to design an individual development model for small cities that could apply to cities in Poland and elsewhere in the world.
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