Developing Polycentricity to Shape Resilient Metropolitan Structures: The Case of the Gdansk–Gdynia–Sopot Metropolitan Area

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Developing Polycentricity to Shape Resilient Metropolitan Structures: The Case of the Gdansk–Gdynia–Sopot Metropolitan Area


  • Piotr Lorens Faculty of Architecture, Gdansk University of Technology, Poland
  • Anna Golędzinowska Faculty of Architecture, Gdansk University of Technology, Poland


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Abstract:  Making the metropolitan area resilient, in many cases, calls for amending its spatial structures. This may take various forms, including both reshaping the metropolitan core and redeveloping the entire regional network of cities and centres, making them part of a coherent structure. The latter strategy is associated with reinforcing secondary urban centres as well as shaping new connections between them. In this case, the term “resilience” is associated not only with environmental aspects but also with socio-economic and spatial ones. Shaping resilient metropolitan areas is therefore associated with complex planning and development undertakings, in many cases spread over decades. This approach was proven to be correct during the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which spurred this process of rethinking metropolitan structures and led to generating new approaches to metropolitan development and planning. The article focuses on the Gdansk–Gdynia–Sopot Metropolitan Area, which is potentially the largest polycentric metropolitan area on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea. In this case, polycentricity has a twofold origin—it includes centres with a shaped spatial structure that come closer together as they develop and diffuse suburban structure, the shaping of which remains one of the main challenges of the regional spatial policy. The authors look at both concepts and tools associated with reshaping this metropolitan centre. In particular, they analyse the effects of using both obligatory and optional planning tools which are available according to Polish law. They also try to answer the question of under what conditions a polycentric structure has a chance to become a resistant structure.

Keywords:  Gdansk Metropolitan Area; metropolitan planning; Poland; polycentrism; resilience; Tri-City; urban planning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v7i3.5502


© Piotr Lorens, Anna Golędzinowska. 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.