Local Territorial Cohesion: Perception of Spatial Inequalities in Access to Public Services in Polish Case-Study Municipalities

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

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Local Territorial Cohesion: Perception of Spatial Inequalities in Access to Public Services in Polish Case-Study Municipalities


  • Wirginia Aksztejn Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland


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Abstract:  The aim of this article is to investigate a research area situated off the mainstream of social inequality considerations: territorial inequalities at the local (municipality) level. The marginalisation of this aspect can be seen both in EU cohesion policies and in academic discourse. The European policies focus their attention (and funding) on the regional level, and researchers who study more local contexts tend to be interested in spatial inequalities in the urban environment with an emphasis on metropolises. This article downscales territorial inequalities to the level of municipalities that are varied in terms of size, location and function. The perspective I take on in the study concentrates on accessibility of selected public services such as public transportation and childcare within the locality, and the perception of spatial inequalities in the eyes of local actors from the public, civic and business sectors. The research indicates that a subjective view on local inequalities does not necessarily match the actual level of service provision. In the article I reflect on the reasons for this disparity and potential consequences for local policies and bridging the gaps.

Keywords:  accessibility to public services; childcare; public transport; spatial inequalities; territorial cohesion

Published:   3 December 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v8i4.3367


© Wirginia Aksztejn. 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.