This paper presents a synthesis of research in the field of social activity in development of urban public spaces. Interest in social participation in which many groups sees a remedy to the problems of the city - including spatial chaos - has many causes. One of them is the lack of trust in the social side to the profession of architecture. The article indicates the possible cause of this state for which it was flawed legislation and the planning system, which in practice is not conducive to the formation of order, harmony and beauty, but facilitate the implementation of the narrow groups of interests, bringing the rank of designer as creator of the role of the investor's decision executor.
The article describes the relationship between the local community and the primary school considered as “place” within the meaning derived from the book by yi-Fu Tuan “Space and place: The perspective of experience”. The article compares the cases of two schools in the city of bielsko-biała (the city has a population of 175 thousands inhabitants). One school is overcrowded, yet its future existence has been secured. The second school, however, was first transferred to another location and it eventually went into liquidation in 2012. The article demonstrates then underlying reasons and consequences of losing the school as place. Moreover, it indicates potential problems emerging in such cases altogether with a set of possible solutions.
The paper presents the concept of vital cities in the context of mechanisms of sustainable development, networking and creativity. The vital city was presented as: - a city belonging to the inhabitants – a city managed and developed with advanced processes of participation, - a city of reasonable management – a city that uses and at the same time protects its key potentials, - a city of creation – a city of creating and implementing new ideas, - a city of opportunities – a city that creates the conditions for the use of energy and creativity residents, - a city in the surround – a city with a strong position in the environment.