European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research -

COST Action C11

Working Group 2 - Spatial planning and greenspace

National data on planning systems












 Click button to return to COST C11 - WG1B home page
Click here to return to the Progress Report 2002

Spatial planning in Poland

Barbara Szulczewska


Basic information

The legislation


Present legislation on the spatial planning was adopted in 1994 as The Act on Physical Development. The most important changes, which have appeared since then are:

· private ownership has received protection,

· planning process has gone under public control,

· public participation has become a part of planning procedures.

It has also vested responsibility for local planning in the local councils. Nowadays in Poland there are:

· „governmental" planning - as an instrument of national spatial development policy and

· „selfgovernmental" one  - letting independently by regional and local councils.

So we can say, that in general the spatial planning system in Poland is similar to the existing planning systems in the EU countries.

However it should be stressed that present planning system is not stable. We are facing a revision of legislation on spatial planning. Rapid transformation of political as well as economical

system has risen new problems and negative phenomena also in the field of physical development. The 1994 Act is not able to solve these new problems. The new legislation has been

worked out and presented in the Parliament but the project has been abandoned due to lack of agreement on presented solutions. We expect new initiative in the next Parliament after election

in September 2001.



Administrative location of  SPATIAL PLANNING:

- Ministry of Regional Development and Construction &endash; national and regional level

- State Office for Housing and Urban Planning (the head of the Office reports to Minister of Regional Development and Construction) &endash; regional and local level

There is a strong possibility that it will be changed after election of the new Parliament in September 2001.


Organisation of  SPATIAL PLANNING




Fig 2 Planning System and Greenstructure in Poland 


Basic information concerning greenstructure legislation in POLAND

(directly relevant to urban greenstructure development)


Act on Environmental Protection 2001

It requires from planning documents (particularly on the local level) to solve problems of town and countryside development, taking into consideration greenstructure management.


It allows establishing proportion between built-up and open spaces necessary for nature balance preservation (local plans and decision on land use and building pattern)


Act on Nature Protection 1991 (last amendment 2000)

· It orders protection of greenery in towns and villages, particularly trees and shrubs;

· It defines the term:

· green open spaces as spaces within built-up areas which are designed for  following purposes: recreation, health, education, aesthetics; in particular they consist of parks,

squares, boulevards and promenades, playgrounds,  botanical gardens, zoo, ethnographical gardens, horticulture and agriculture exhibitions, cemeteries, animal burial site,

barrows (tumulus), fortifications, domestic garden, estate green


Decree on Classification of Building and Grounds 1996


It recognises green areas as recreational ones (the term green area is not used in the Act) and establishes following types of these areas: resorts, playgrounds, beaches, parks,

squares, ruins, old rampart, nature monuments, sport fields, amusement grounds (parks), botanical garden, zoo, parks.    




Act on Physical Development (1994) 

It concentrates first of all on procedures not on standards but requires taking into consideration specific conditions for land development because of needs - natural

and cultural environment protection. Local development plan, as only one legally binding document can establish conditions for development, including prohibition of

building also for greenstructure protection and development. 




To go back to Working Group 2 use buttons on right


Back to




Return to top of page




Return to top of page

All rights reserved - © COSTC11, 2001