Metropolitan-Wide Governance and an Innovation District: Smart Growth Reforms to Increase Economic Competitiveness in Warsaw, Poland

28 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2016 Last revised: 6 Nov 2016

Date Written: 2016


The Capital City of Warsaw, Poland faces several challenges in becoming a global city that thrives on innovation and high-tech, knowledge-based service industries. Almost totally destroyed during World War II, the City has reconstructed itself from scratch, but it lacks a good spatial design, and its underdeveloped infrastructure and transportation system remain problematic. Further, urban sprawl has enveloped Warsaw’s metropolitan area, and the City has no authority outside of its jurisdictional boundary lines to address this issue unless it obtains cooperation from surrounding municipalities. This article contends that Warsaw cannot be economically competitive in the global economy unless it creates conditions conducive to innovation and sustainable growth. Because the world economy is one that revolves around net-worked regional communities, the article proposes the establishment of a Warsaw metropolitan-wide regional government. Investments that improve regional connectivity, accessibility, and economic competitiveness not only improve Warsaw’s climate for innovation, but they also enhance its ability to receive European Union funding, which prioritizes integrated economic development that fosters sustainable and inclusive growth. The article also suggests that Warsaw develop a new city center, ideally in the Praga area, to become a showcase for exemplary urban design and sustainable techniques. Barcelona, Spain serves as an excellent model for such a center because its innovation district balances the urban elements necessary to create an environment in which the creative, entrepreneurial sector can work and live in close proximity, namely public amenities, public space, parks, housing, and infrastructure.

Keywords: Warsaw, Poland, innovation, innovation district, global economy, economic competitiveness, metropolitan, metropolitan governance, regional, cities, municipalities, urban, urban development, urban sprawl, sustainability.

Suggested Citation

Griffith, Janice C., Metropolitan-Wide Governance and an Innovation District: Smart Growth Reforms to Increase Economic Competitiveness in Warsaw, Poland (2016). Studia Iuridica, vol. 63, p. 16, Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 16-4, Available at SSRN:

Janice C. Griffith (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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