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Abstract

This paper presents the institutional and spatial determinants for the development of social and technical infrastructure in municipalities (gminas) in Poland. According to the empirical results, there are significant diff erences between various types of gminas in terms of the level of development of technical and social infrastructure. Similar levels of technical or social infrastructure are associated with a significantly higher level of economic development in urban and urban-rural gminas than in rural gminas. Spatially, the position of gminas in relation to larger settlement centres and communication routes affects the development of technical infrastructure to a greater extent than social infrastructure. The relationship between infrastructure development and selected economic and social characteristics of municipalities is a feedback loop in which the relative wealth of a local administrative unit stimulates the development of the infrastructure while at the same time benefi ting from this fact. This means that the present use of European Union Structural Funds for the development of infrastructure does not contribute to closing the gap in development. Sustainable development is largely the result of institutional factors related to infrastructure. It is therefore advisable to move away from a purely redistributive approach in this regard to targeted territorial support of the development potential of municipalities.

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