The Urban Policy Observatory, functioning to this day mainly thanks to funds from Institute of Urban and Regional Development, has gained support from the Ministry of Investment and Regional Development. Thanks to this decision, the Observatory program shall not only continue its ongoing activities, but also further develop existing and future products.
The Ministry of Investment and Economic Development has decided to fund the research program of the Urban Policy Observatory under the OP Technical Assistance. Its purpose is to provide reliable knowledge and new data on the development processes of polish cities and their functional areas. Such resources are much needed to better govern and optimize development policies on national, regional and local level.
The first cycle on the Observatory pilot research allowed for diagnosing the state of development of Polish cities in individual thematic areas of the NUP document, working out the proposed ways of operationalization of the particular objectives of the NUP and desired level of their implementation for the cities’ individual groups and categories, till the year 2023. This task also implies a continious advisory support of the relevant Ministry, in particular the departments responsible for monitoring the urban policies.
The program developed, basing on existing achievements of the Observatory consists of the three linked components/activities.
Action I. is the essential research component of the Programme, whilst actions II and III aim for ensuring the sustainability of results worked out in the research component as well as their promotion and publicizing. This way, the effects of the research programme can to greatest extent be translated to the ultimate goal of the program – which is to optimize the NUP, as well as urban policies run by individual local and regional governments.
This year (2019) marks the upcoming conclusion of the first series of reports on the Polish cities (housing, transport and urban mobility, urban regeneration, demographics, spatial management, public participation, investments and economic development, environment), to be finalized with the synthesis report. It will sum up the preceding thematic reports and focus on integration of actions conducted in various thematic areas. The synthetic report shall also take on the question of the polish NUP in the context of the New Urban Agenda and urban policies of other countries. Conclusions in this field shall be worked out on the participatory way with experts.
Data integration and sharing
Actions devoted to integrating and sharing the data on cities will allow for building up a database for analysing various aspects of development of urbanized areas.
Such databases will constitute a decent stock of information, essential for comparative analysis on the city level and – in case of selected type of data – also on the intra-urban level. They will be supplied by new informations, created as an effect of conducting cyclical monitoring research, but they will also integrate scattered information on the urban development, already available in other databases and public registries. Such data will serve the analytical purposes of the Observatory, but they will also be available for public access.
Selected data will also be made available through geo-portal – already operating in the test version. The mentioned tool serves as a “reality extender”, allowing for presenting the detailed monitoring results with regard to all studied cities, as well as cartographic and analytical content that, due to limitations of various kind, couldn’t have been included in printed version of the report. The electronic versions of such publications will contain direct hyperlinks to selected geo-portal contents.
Dissemination of knowledge
Recommendations, results of monitoring research, as well as of other urban projects, thanks to disseminating and educational actions will better serve the central and local administration. To achieve this, urban regeneration and urban policy congresses as well as expert workshops are going to be organized.
All the Observatory products will be – as it currently is – promoted and shared via an information-educational site: obserwatorium.miasta.pl. It shall be furtherly developed. Aside from already functioning digital database (library of documents, reports or educational materials) a creation of an educational platform is planned, containing e-learning materials, video-courses and a catalogue of good practices.