Rethinking Suburban Governance in the CEE Region: A Comparison of Two Municipalities in Poland and Lithuania

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Rethinking Suburban Governance in the CEE Region: A Comparison of Two Municipalities in Poland and Lithuania


  • Jurga Bučaitė-Vilkė Department of Sociology, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
  • Joanna Krukowska Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland


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Abstract:  In this article, we seek to analyse and compare the modalities of suburban governance in Polish and Lithuanian municipalities looking at the territorial development trends typical for the Central Eastern Europe region. The theoretical elaborations on suburban governance are evolving towards the analysis of constellations of diverse actors, institutions and processes that define the politics and design of suburban spaces. We assume that there are similarities and differences in suburban governance in the analysed localities compared to Western countries in terms of networks, actors and territorialisation of local politics. Despite both suburban municipalities showing similarities in suburban development patterns (growing middle-class population, economic capital accumulation, suburban sprawl and interconnectedness with the metropolitan zone), the analysis reveals the main differences in terms of composition and importance of horizontal and vertical networks, the role of local stakeholders and collective action. The article concludes that both localities represent a specific approach to suburban governance marked by low stakeholders’ participation, dependence on the top down vertical state and regional networks and the creation of urban-suburban policies within metropolitan areas.

Keywords:  local government; social mobilization; suburban governance; suburban municipalities

Published:   3 December 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v8i4.3365


© Jurga Bučaitė-Vilkė, Joanna Krukowska. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.