MAUS sets to create metropolis

The Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia (MAUS) announced unanimously on Tuesday the willing to create a metropolis and consolidate the area. Members of the association made oneself acquainted with the status of works on the so called metropolitan act, which has been prepared by the Polish government.

Also a consulting team was appointed to analyze legal issues of the act and to prepare solutions enabling the establishment of metropolis. The team is mostly formed by scientific staff of the University of Silesia in Katowice supported by employees of the MAUS.

According to PhD Robert Pyka from the University of Silesia, the term „metropolitan act” (adopted in October 2015) refers to the regulation that aims at equipping the metropolitan areas or big agglomerations with institutional structures administering competences and authority in the scope of crucial problems for a municipal area integrated functioning. The act will allow to create metropolitan areas of at least 0,5 million inhabitants.

Three propositions of the Upper Silesian metropolis were suggested during the Tuesday meeting. The first area would consist of 14 cities, which form the MAUS at present. The second solution says to join 23 cities, the third one involves 53 communities. The consulting team recommends the second group as the preffered one to set up the metropolis – apart from the 14 cities of the MAUS (Bytom, Chorzów, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Gliwice, Jaworzno, Katowice, Mysłowice, Piekary Śląskie, Ruda Śląska, Siemianowice Śląskie, Sosnowiec, Świętochłowice, Tychy and Zabrze), this variant includes Knurów, Piekary Śląskie, Tarnowskie Góry, Świerklaniec, Mikołów, Łaziska Górne, Bieruń, Będzin, Czeladź and Radzionków. Katowice is considered as a leader of the metropolis.

„We have to remember that at least 70 percent of City Councils of the cities and communities, which are to create the metropolis, have to make a positive opinion in this matter. An open debate with citizens is also essential. We have a lot of work. It is very important that we decided today on the coordination of activities to be conducted by the MAUS. We have time until the end of July next year, if we want to make the metropolitan association operational in January 2017” – commented Marcin Krupa, Katowice mayor.

The metropolitan district will be mostly responsible for tasks in the scope of creating common development strategy, spatial planning, public transport, road management, creating and management of units. It also will benefit from several sources of income, for instance 5-percent share of PIT tax paid by the inhabitants, financial contributions of the members and support from the state budget, among others.