The 21st century belongs to the metropolises

Prof. dr hab. Tomasz Kaczmarek is scientifically involved in strategic management and spatial planning of cities and metropolitan areas. He heads the Department of Settlement Systems and Territorial Management at the Faculty of Social and Economic Geography and Spatial Management.

Since 2009, he has been the Director of the AMU Metropolitan Research Center. He is a member of the Council of Scientific Excellence, the Committee for the Spatial Development of the Country of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Committee for Geographical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

He sits on the Steering Committee of the Commission of Geography of Administration of the International Geographical Union. He is a laureate of many scientific awards, incl. The President of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Science and Higher Education, the Minister of Infrastructure and Development and the AMU Foundation's awards "Excellence in science - usefulness in practice".

What are metropolises and is it true that they rule the world?

Metropolises, metropolitan areas are the main drivers of growth in terms of production and services, the labor market, technology, social and cultural life and all innovations of the modern world. Currently, nearly 2 billion, i.e. approx. 25% of the world's population, live in urban agglomerations with over 1 million inhabitants. The 300 largest cities in the world, defined as metropolises, are populated by 20% of the world's population and generate 50% of the world's GDP.

However, their role in management processes is not so significant and the share of mayors of large cities in managing processes in the country and in the world is rather insignificant. Moreover, in many countries, including Poland, there are deficits in the field of integrated management of metropolitan areas (the city and its functional area), which means that they do not always develop harmoniously and provide high-quality services to their inhabitants.

You research the governance of metropolitan areas? Are there any good practices?

What it deals with, together with an interdisciplinary team, are metropolitan management models based on the concepts of multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actors governance. Currently in the vanguard of metropolitan management are such countries as: Germany, France and Italy, where the metropolitan reform is not only discussed, but also successively implemented.

Metropolitan bodies to manage economic development, public transport and spatial planning are established there. In recent years, the issues of managing metropolitan areas have gained particular importance, which is reflected in the new instruments of the European Union's regional policy. These are Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI), since 2015 also in Poland dedicated to the functional areas of large cities.

Does your research on integrated management in metropolitan areas find practical expression?

The AMU Metropolitan Research Center is a research unit that supports local governments in the process of integrated management. For years, our research field has been the metropolitan area of ​​Poznań.

We have implemented many projects here, such as the Poznań Metropolis 2020 Developmnet Strategy, the Strategy for Integrated Territorial Investments, and the Concept of Directions for Spatial Development of the Poznań Metropolis.

Thanks to them, initiatives that are important to the inhabitants are implemented, with the Poznań Metropolitan Railway at the forefront. The results of our research are published in the Poznań Agglomeration Library series, in which 33 volumes have already been published.