Smart governance and metropolitan dimension, Case for Krakow, Poland
The paper presents a reflection on the process of strategic metropolitan governance in the context of the author’s own experience. The author, since 2004 (sometimes with his own company), has prepared or participated in the preparation (as expert, researcher and manager) of many strategies and development programs e.g.: Malopolska Voivodship, Krakow Functional Urban Zone, City of Krakow, City of Rzeszow, and others. That experience allows the formulation of the objectives of the paper, which consist in the disclosing of real mechanisms undermining the strategic reflection of metropolitan governance. The idea of smart governance is then seen in the context of institutional conditionings and determinants. Regional, sub-regional and local scales differ in terms of administrative circumstances and institutional constraints. However those limitations reflect the deeper institutional dimension of governance. Participative, inclusive approaches compete with bureaucratic environment. The authorities, acting in a neo-weberian governance style, pretend to open themselves to new urban movements and civic groups. At the same time, they are still tightly bonded to legal procedures (which is a good custom) and a hierarchical system of making decisions (which – nowadays cannot be evaluated as a best practice). The author’s observations, especially concerning the preparation of the Krakow Development Strategy and Krakow Revitalization Program are confronted with theoretical approaches to the strategic planning of raising the significance of the contractual approach and the territorial dimension. The conclusions of the paper form a set of recommendations concerning the implementation of the idea of smart governance at the metropolitan scale, comprising sub-regional and regional measures.