Silesian Metropolis

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This article is about the political and economic association of local municipalities. For the geographic urban area, see Katowice urban area and Upper Silesian metropolitan area. For the industrial region, see Upper Silesian Industrial Region.
Silesian Metropolis
Metropolia Górnośląska
Katowice Financial Center
Katowice Financial Center
Country Poland
Voivodship Silesia
Council Zarząd GZM
 • Head of Council Piotr Uszok
 • City 1,218 km2 (470 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • City 2,039,454
 • Density 1,700/km2 (4,300/sq mi)
 • Urban 2,746,000
 • Metro 5,294,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) +48 32
Vehicle registration SD, SG, SH, SI, SJ, SK, SL, SM, SO, ST, SW, SY, SZ, SBE, SGL, SPI, SRS
Economy service industries, business
Highway E40 / A4:
E75 / A1:
Railway Berlin-MAUS
Airport Katowice International Airport

The Silesian Metropolis (Polish: Metropolia Silesia),[1][2] formally Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia (Polish: Górnośląski Związek Metropolitalny) is an association of municipalities composed of 14 adjacent cities in the Polish Province of Silesia. The seat of the city council is Katowice, the largest district of the Silesian Metropolis. It is often confused as a term referring the local conurbation in a geographical context, the Katowice Urban Area and Upper Silesian metropolitan area.

The Silesian Metropolis lies within one of the largest urban areas in European Union. Its population is 2,039,454 (2008),[3] within an urban zone, with a population of 2,746,460 according to Eurostat[4] and also part of the wider Silesian metropolitan area, with a population of 5,294,000 according to the European Spatial Planning Observation Network.[5]

It was created by local authorities with little or no actual public discourse. The intent to form the union was formally stated by the mayors of the participating cities, who signed a declaration to this effect on 9 January 2006 in Świętochłowice.[6] The Union's registration was signed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration of the Republic of Poland (Polish: MSWiA) on 8 June 2007 with the city of Katowice.[7][8]

The aim of the union is the creation of a strong metropolitan center with pooled resources, an internationally competitive profile and unified management of common infrastructure.


The main goals of the union include the following:

  • Arriving at a common development strategy for the cities of the union, in accordance with the current law governing planning and land use
  • Implementing projects joined by a common development strategy of the cities
  • Obtaining financing from domestic and foreign funding sources
  • Managing the roadways transferred to the union by its constituent cities
  • Obtaining aid from the European Union
  • Stimulating the job market throughout the constituent cities
  • Supporting innovative economic programs, increasing the competitive standing of the cities
  • Influencing legislative and decision-making processes in matters important to the union and affecting the union's activities

The effects of the union's activity include: improvement in managing the consortium, strengthening its economic muscle and increasing the competitive standing of the cities of the MAUS, coordination of public relations and promoting the member cities, and underscoring the importance of the region.



The Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia spans urban communities in the historical regions of Upper Silesia (the south-eastern part of Silesia) as well as Lesser Poland's Zagłębie Dąbrowskie, Silesian Voivodeship in southern Poland, within the northern portion of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin between the Vistula and Oder rivers, basically resembling just a part of the medieval Duchy of Bytom and annexing the later industrial area, formerly occupied by the Silesian-American Corporation to the east of it. Nine million people live within 100 km of Silesian Stadium at the MAUS center. Six European capitals are located within 600 kilometres from MAUS: Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Warsaw.


Outside of the area, the formation of the union appears to have less support than within it.[citation needed] Originally 17 cities were to enter into the union; due to technicalities in Polish law which could have prevented its legalization, only 14 of the 17 cities (that is, those with the legal status of an urban county) proceeded with forming the union.[citation needed]

Map of district of Silesian Metropolis

The constituent cities in decreasing order by population are as follows (data of 2008):[3]

District Population Area (km²) Density (km²)
Katowice 312,201 164.67 1,896
Sosnowiec 222,586 91.06 2,444
Gliwice 197,393 133.88 1,474
Zabrze 189,062 80.40 2,352
Bytom 184,765 69.44 2,661
Ruda Śląska 144,584 77.73 1,860
Tychy 129,776 81.64 1,590
Dąbrowa Górnicza 128,795 188.73 682
Chorzów 113,678 33.24 3,420
Jaworzno 95,520 152.67 626
Mysłowice 74,912 65.75 1,139
Siemianowice Śląskie 71,621 25.5 2,809
Piekary Śląskie 59,061 39.98 1,477
Świętochłowice 54,525 13.31 4,097
Total 1,978,479 1,218 1,624.4

The borders between the constituent cities have been for decades artificial, and sometimes absurd; for example, one side of a street would belong to one city and the other to another. Nationally, the union strives to address several problems including:

  • Poor recognition (often omitted from Polish maps)[9]
  • Under-investment (MAUS receives the lowest per-capita allocation of EU development funds in Poland)[10]

Bordering cities[edit]

Cities bordering directly on the Silesian Metropolis (2008) are shown below.[3] Some of these cities (Będzin, Czeladź and Knurów) declared their willingness to join the Silesian Metropolis, but due to legal issues canceled their candidacy.

City Population Area Density
Tarnowskie Góry 60,975 83.72 km² 728/km²
Będzin 58,639 37.37 km² 1,569/km²
Chrzanów 39,452 38.32 km² 1,030/km²
Knurów 39,449 33.95 km² 1,162/km²
Mikołów 38,698 79.20 km² 489/km²
Czeladź 34,072 16.38 km² 2,080/km²
Łaziska Górne 21,942 20.07 km² 1,093/km²
Trzebinia 20,128 31.94 km² 630/km²
Bieruń 19,464 40.67 km² 479/km²
Pyskowice 19,104 30.89 km² 618/km²
Radzionków 17,163 13.20 km² 1,300/km²
Lędziny 16,262 31.48 km² 517/km²
Wojkowice 9,368 12.79 km² 732/km²
Imielin 8,010 28.00 km² 286/km²
Sławków 6,866 36.67 km² 187/km²
Total 409,592 534.65 km² 766.1/km²
Total with MAUS 2,388,071 1752,65 km² 1195,25/km²


MAUS is the centre of the largest urban area in Poland and one of largest in the European Union; the Katowice urban area has a population of 2.7 million. The area flourished in the 19th and early 20th centuries, thanks to industry and natural resources. The conurbation consists of about 40 neighbouring cities, and the Silesian metropolitan area includes over 50 cities with a total population of 5 million. Katowice is also in the middle of a 7-million-population megalopolis,[citation needed] stretching from the Kraków region through Katowice to the Ostrava region.


MAUS is an area of heavy concentration of industry, including coal, steel, energy, automotive, machinery and chemical. Over the last two decades, the service industry has become increasingly important.


Silesia City Center - a large shopping mall in Katowice, on the grounds of the old Gottwald coal mine

MAUS is still a prominent center of Poland's coal and metal industries, and home to about a dozen coal mines operated by Katowice Coal Holding ((Polish) Katowicki Holding Węglowy) and Coal Company ((Polish) Kompania Węglowa); several steel processing plants (Huta Baildon, Huta Ferum, Huta Batory, Huta Pokój, Huta Florian, Huta Jedność, Huta Zabrze and Huta Zgoda); a foundry of nonferrous metals (Huta Metali Nieżelaznych Szopienice); about a dozen power and generating plants (Chorzów, Halemba, Jaworzno, Łagisza, Będzin, Chorzów, EC Nowa, Katowice, Miechowice, Szombierki, Szopienice, Tychy and Zabrze); two automotive plants (FSM and General Motors Manufacturing Poland); two plants producing military vehicles (Wojskowe Zakłady Mechaniczne SA maker of the KTO Rosomak, and Zakłady Mechaniczne "Bumar-Łabędy" SA, maker of the PT-91 main battle tank), several chemical companies (including fertilizers and paints) and other industrial establishments.

Business and commerce[edit]

Katowice is a large and dynamic business and trade-fair centre. Tens of international exhibitions take place every year on the Katowice International Fairgrounds and at the Spodek arena. Katowice is also the site of the second-largest business centre in Poland (second to the Warsaw business centre). Skyscrapers are located along Chorzowska and Korfantego streets in the city centre. The newest office buildings in Katowice are the Chorzowska 50 and Altus Skyscraper. Several other large office buildings are currently under construction (as of 2011). Katowice and MAUS house the Katowice Special Economic Zone (Katowicka Specjalna Strefa Ekonomiczna).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Metropolia Silesia - official page
  2. ^ Miasta Metropolii Silesia promują się w Mediolanie - page of local government
  3. ^ a b c (Polish) Powierzchnia i ludność w przekroju terytorialnym w 2008 - Central Statistical Office in Poland
  4. ^ "CityProfiles: Katowice". The Urban Audit. Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ "Study on Urban Functions (Project 1.4.3)" - European Spatial Planning Observation Network, 2007
  6. ^ Uchwały Rady Miejskiej w Świętochłowicach w 2006 roku (en: Resolutions of the City Council in Świętochłowice in 2006), Świętochłowice 2006
  7. ^ (Polish) - "Rejestracja Górnośląskiego Związku Metropolitalnego", 27 June 2007
  8. ^ [ "Wykaz Związków Międzygminnych"] - Ministry of Interior and Administration, 2012
  9. ^ (Polish) Pozytywny wizerunek regionu Źród³em sukcesu śl¹skich firm
  10. ^ (Polish)

External links[edit]