The Act on the Metropolitan Association in the Silesian Voivodeship laid the legal and organizational foundations for the creation of Metropolis GZM. The new organization means new challenges but also new opportunities. The cooperation of the communes that make up the Metropolis allows for the implementation of tasks which, due to organizational and financial reasons, were not available for individual communes. A joint metropolitan ticket, a new transport network, replacement of the rolling stock with a substantial and passenger-friendly one, a metropolitan railway, a system of routes and bike rentals are just some of the projects implemented by GZM. They result from the Strategic Action Programme of Metropolis GZM Until 2022 (SAP) developed in 2018. This is the first document dedicated to the entire metropolitan area, defining development activities for the coming years.
What does the Metropolis wish to achieve?
In the internal dimension, GZM is focused on spatial, social and economic cohesion and ensuring high quality of life for its residents.
In the external dimension, it focuses on building the image of GZM as a metropolitan centre which is recognized internationally and considered attractive for living, investing and visiting. To this end, 5 development priorities have been identified for implementation in 2018–2022, which take into account trends arising from national and regional strategic documents and refer to public tasks specified in the Act on the Metropolitan Association in the Silesian Voivodeship, i.e.:
- shaping spatial order, sustainable “green metropolis”, including: development of green areas; rational management of water resources; integrated waste management, including circular economy; optimization of electricity consumption; development of a planning document, the so-called metropolitan study;
- development of public collective transport and sustainable urban mobility and bike policy, including: integration of public transport organizers and rationalization of connections along with the launch of bus lines to the Katowice Airport in Pyrzowice; introduction of an integrated tariff and ticket system; purchase of zero-emission buses; launch of a bike rental operating between cities; design of a road network of metropolitan importance and traffic analysis material to the development of road networks and the planning of public transport;
- social and economic development, including: supporting the implementation of tasks by member communes through subsidies from the Solidarity Fund; creating the Data Store, i.e. an open database on various areas of GZM’s functioning; implementation of projects related to testing and dissemination of unmanned aerial vehicles; activities related to the senior citizen policy;
- promotion of the metropolitan association and its area, including building the metropolitan brand and identity among residents; promoting the potentials of member communes as well as the whole area of the Metropolis, cooperation with similar institutions from abroad and participation in international events;
- institutional development, including creating the Metropolitan Socio-Economic Observatory and a platform for good practices, as well as developing an internal management system, as well as development of a joint development strategy for Metropolis GZM, etc.;
The actions assigned to these priorities are therefore intended to integrate the individual potentials of 41 member communes, initiate development activities and inspire innovative solutions to gradually strengthen metropolitan functions and improve the quality of life. However, dynamic and effective implementation of these activities requires the involvement of not only local governments and GZM authorities, but also many other entities. The adoption of this “small strategy” in November 2018 marks the beginning of the change process.
More than one year after entry of the SAP into force, there arose the need to update it. The update of the document refers only to the part containing the list of actions approved for implementation. The basic part of the document, i.e. diagnosis and the adopted strategic assumptions – priorities and objectives – remain unchanged. 6 new actions were introduced to the document under the above-mentioned Priorities 1, 2 and 3, and two actions were declared to have been implemented. Annex 1 to the SAP was adopted during the session of the Metropolis GZM Assembly in December 2019. The next stage of work will be laying down the Development Strategy for Metropolis GZM for the years 2021–2027, with a perspective until 2035.