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The nets of flows of capital, persons, labour and markets play the key role in metropolitization, leading to transformation of the basis of social life, time and space. One of Polish 'laboratories' of this process is 'Trójmiasto' (Tricity) -Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot, the area where separate historical traditions are re-read in new context, a place where all problems typical of wannabe-metropolitan cities accumulate. Tha article's aim is to answer the question whether the mertopolitization integration is internally balanced with both subjective expectations of the citizens and the objective urbanistic processes. The analysis leads to a conclusion that in the social, cultural and material space two tendencies clash: one is to live up to metropolitan standards and the other, to look for 'primordial' meanings and 'little homelands'.
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