After regulations changes, in Polish small and medium-sized cities a new approach to revitalization has been implemented. Currently the revitalization became one of the key instruments of public governance as a crucial response to the processes of social, economic, spatial and environmental degradation. These crisis processes result the special impact on urban space in cities. One of their effects is the phenomenon of shrinking cities, which has a very varied background in Poland, among others: migrations and the loss of economic functions by cities. The article analyses and evaluates individual mechanisms of social and economic changes introduced by revitalization processes managed by the local authorities as one of their tasks, thanks to the cooperation with local communities and other stakeholders. The conclusion is that revitalization processes can be a tool to effectively manage a local development, thanks to using the innovative mechanisms presented in the paper. It should be also included in public policies and strategies as a crucial direction of socio-economic changes in self-governments.?