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Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences

An international journal of the Austrian Geological Society

Open access

Przemysław Ciesiółka

Abstract

Regeneration of degraded areas takes an important position in the Polish development policy. It is included in the legal framework resulting from the Regeneration Act and the Physical Planning and Spatial Development Act. It constitutes a significant element in the programming of socio-economic and spatial development. This is largely thanks to the EU funds which are the basis for financing the projects and programmes for regeneration. In the country’s development policy a complex approach to regeneration is promoted, manifested by the concentration of activities in the most neglected areas, integrated activities carried out with a broad social participation which will be continuously monitored and evaluated on this basis. The Polish model of regeneration, formulated in such a way, gives hope for the elimination of critical situations in cities and communes.

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Wojciech Dyba, Bradley Loewen, Jaan Looga and Pavel Zdražil

Abstract

Cohesion Policy has provided new impulses for development in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) that continue to be challenged by regional disparities. This paper investigates the effects of the European Union Cohesion Policy on regional development. After presenting historical development patterns of the investigated area and opportunities afforded by this policy, its effects on a variety of indicators are analysed for the period 2007–2014. The analysis allowed confirming positive effects of EU Cohesion Policy on the development of CEE regions. However, these effects differ across the investigated area. Moving forward, it will be crucial to develop institutions and policies characteristic to each region that are stable and efficient without external funds.

Open access

Paweł Churski

Abstract

Regional contracts developed in Poland as a consequence of the process of the state decentralisation and the building of local governments in the 1990s. By learning from other countries’ experiences (especially the French regional policy), an instrument was devised in order to support the decentralisation of the state development intervention and to foster the regions’ empowerment to programme and administer the regional policy. Unfortunately, since the very first edition, regional contracts in Poland have become a hostage to impromptu political acts determining changes to the economic policy, the limited state budget and very frequent legal amendments. The goal of this article is to conduct a synthetic analysis of the origins, changes and challenges related to the use of regional contracts in the Polish development policy. The author’s subjective, critical opinions were confronted with the opinions of the representatives of regional authorities in selected voivodeships. To this end, interviews were conducted with directors of departments in selected marshal offices. The resulting evaluation, conclusions and recommendations allowed the verification of the author’s subjective views.

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Mirosława Czerny

Abstract

Following stormy debate regarding the role of globalisation and global space in development, geographical analyses are now tending to return to matters of place, and its role in people’s lives. Given that Latin America’s cities were founded by Europeans, one might expect them to be characterised by processes and phenomena similar to European experiences and general processes of globalisation today. In fact, however, specific socio-cultural features arising from both the colonial and pre-colonial past of this region, political factors (especially that reflecting the presence of powerful elites descended from the Spanish) and economic features (interest in the region’s resources being displayed by foreign investors) have all conspired to ensure that Latin America is characterised by a development trajectory distinct from those in other regions, as well as by contemporary structures in urbanised areas being shaped by diverse political and economic forces, mechanisms ever-present in the region’s culture and politics deriving from social stratification, strong regionalisms, and diversified economic potential and global relationships.

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Jadwiga Biegańska, Stefania Środa-Murawska, Zenija Kruzmetra and Frank Swiaczny

Abstract

The paper focuses on demographic and social changes caused by peri-urban development in rural areas in Latvia, Poland, and Germany after the system transformation began. The article analyses peri-urban development as a mostly rural phenomenon, and as a process of rural displacement. Rural development interacts with urban influences, changing the role and functions of rural areas. This is reflected by a departure from agricultural functions, more intensive construction activities and changes in land use. This also includes intensive socio-demographic and socio-cultural changes. Simultaneously there are significant population inflows, both urban and rural (from more peripheral rural areas), an increase in population density, changes of population structure etc. The paper shows that peri-urban development as a general rural trend began later in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe (after the transformation) than in Western Europe, but the processes and phenomena presently observed in Eastern and Western Europe are similar.

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Joanna Dominiak

Abstract

Services, the staple of the modern economy, are subject to constant changes. These changes are contingent on economic processes that are the result of, inter alia, technological progress, intensifying globalisation processes and growing competitiveness. Increasingly important are specialised services, where staff with high qualifications are employed. Such services include dynamically developing knowledge-based ones. Their growth has been fostered by the increasing demand for modern services in the era of the development of a knowledge-based economy.

This article focuses on the terminology related to modern services and seeks to answer questions about their role in the development of modern economies. The aim of the article is: (1) to identify modern services in the light of relevant literature; (2) to attempt to construct a model of the impact of those services on economic development; (3) to analyse the level of development of modern services in the EU member states, and (4) to empirically verify the model of the impact of the services on economic development in the EU member states. The empirical analysis was carried out with the application of statistical data from the Eurostat database.

Open access

Robert Hoffmann and Natalia Hoffmann

Abstract

The article aims to present the stages of the LEADER programme and its influence on greater activity and integration of inhabitants by, e.g. extending the knowledge of tradition and national heritage and the actions intended for the integration of local communities. It is noticeable particularly in the implementation of the activities within Axis 4 of the 2007–2013 Rural Development Programme. Positive changes in rural areas are a result of building strong social and human capitals, which are important factors of local development. The skills and the ability for cooperation of a local community allows it to implement many projects. The investments made by beneficiaries of the LEADER programme improve the level of living and the quality of life in the countryside. The effect is an improvement in physical infrastructure and tourist attractiveness as a result of care for the rural landscape and cultural heritage. The implementation of the LEADER programme is presented on the example of Wielkopolskie Voivodeship where the participation in actions for local communities is deeply ingrained. In order to show spatial differences in the activity of local entities under Local Action Groups in Wielkopolskie Voivodeship, classes were selected on the basis of funds received by local entities in the LAG areas. There are 36 Local Action Groups operating in Wielkopolska (of which 31 have seats in this region).

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Tomasz Michalski

Abstract

The main aim of the study is to present the history and the state of research in Polish medical geography. Its origins are the same as in world geography, i.e. it is associated with non-geographers. However, it was developing very slowly till the mid-1980s. Since then a slow increase in the number of publications has been noted (with a noticeable predominance of studies in disease geography over health geography). But still, it must be emphasised that medical geography in Poland is poorly developed.

Open access

Małgorzata Pacuk, Tadeusz Palmowski and Maciej Tarkowski

Abstract

Baltic integration studies, though dispersed and involving researchers of various disciplines, generally fit well in the field of economic geography research. This article attempts to review the study results of research conducted in Poland in the last four decades. It identifies eleven leading issues, including: the Baltic wide cooperation (conditions and factors, progress and collaboration perspectives), the development of the maritime economy, international legislation, environmental protection, spatial planning and cross-border cooperation. The research focus evolved reflecting the major milestones in geopolitical transformations. In Baltic Europe we can identify three evolutionary phases: identification of cooperation paths and conditions in the competitive environment of two political and military blocks, a recast of options in the period of political transformation and European integration, studies of EU enlargement consequences.