The article describes the idea of a compact city, due to the needs and capabilities of contemporary Polish cities, with an emphasis on the Silesia region. Special attention has been paid to the possibility of increasing the cities’ density and several examples have been shown to present the possibilities of densifying the cities with new housing investments. Also, the article presents the studies that indicate the capacity for the internal development of selected Silesian cities: Katowice and Gliwice. The article ends with the recommendations for cities to become more compact.
The development of both the town and the administrative commune of Zielona Góra is characterised by a progressive process of uncontrolled linear urban development, so called urban sprawl. This phenomenon has existed in the town for a long time, but because of the fast development in the 21st century it is now even stronger and has an unfavourable impact on the dwellers’ comfort, communication and accessibility. The directions of changes adopted for spatial development in the current strategic documents of the new town (since 1 January 2015), which came into being as a result of the merger between the town and the rural commune of Zielona Góra, do not guarantee that the unfavourable processes will be stopped. The process of uncontrolled urban development results in the growth of dense urban structures along the roads and communication routes. This prevents an optimum use of areas located further away or behind the existing infrastructure and causes dead zones to appear, where there are no communications or infrastructure. With each new investment (a plot of land with access to a public road, as specified by the regulations) the distance between recreational areas (green spaces) and the town centre increases. The deteriorating dwelling conditions are a direct result of the unfavourable phenomenon of urban sprawl.
The article aims to present the scope of influence of Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) on the sustainable development of urban functional areas (FUAs) in Poland. Against the background of the general principles of the implementation of the both instruments, practical aspects of the implementation of ITI in FUAs have been presented. Detailed analyses in the financial and spatial aspect were carried out using the Sustainable Development Indicators (SDI). These provided the basis for presenting the practical aspect of supporting the sustainable development of urban functional areas in the EU Cohesion Policy 2014–2020.