The most important item of city activity is to define development directions. Because of strategic character of this issue, a very important thing is inhabitants’ contribution in decision making. Cooperation between them and city authorities should lead to positive changes in the city and inhabitants’ life quality. They learn social engagement when taking part in determining of city development directions. Showing their creativity and building social relationships in city area. The aim of the paper was determining problems of participation in the describing of city development directions process. In the research there were used several methods: literature studies, logical construction, deduction and observations.
Nowadays, the ubiquity of changes determines a new approach to programming development. In this situation, it is necessary to update the strategy of socio-economic development in many cities. The aim of the paper is to present the process of updating the city’s development strategy on selected examples (Katowice, Cracow, Poznań, Warsaw and Wrocław), through the prism of the scale and tools of public participation. Wrocław is a centre that particularly approached the implementation of the megatrend of public participation in the work on updating the development strategy. The paper delineates differences between public consultations and real public participation. The following research methods were used in the study: literature research, analysis of source texts, benchmarking and comparative analysis. The time horizon covers the period of public participation in the documents’ construction and is different for particular cities selected for analysis, however, it falls in the years 2013-2017.