The Eastern and the Western Cuiavia - One Region, Two Development Lines
Cuiavia is one of the oldest historical regions in Poland characterized by diverse physical and geographical conditions, as well as different administrative and historical past. The aim of this paper is to present the impact of historical and administrative divisions, as well as diverse socio-economic and political transformations that in a significant way influenced the diversity of social and economical features of Eastern and Western Cuiavia. Against such a background different development directions will be discussed.
The article presents an analysis and a critical assessment of rural areas in Poland in the years 1999-2011 from a demographic perspective. The analysis is based on indicators characterising population density, population structure by gender and age, migrations of population, and vital statistics. In order to classify and compare rural areas, the k-means method is employed. The sample of rural areas used in the study contains all 2,173 rural and urban-rural gminas (excluding urban parts) in Poland.
The paper is an attempt of an answer how belonging to different political, economical and cultural structures has influenced diverse population processes and structures and their spatial diversity. As an example to the research of these phenomena there was chosen Germany that until 1990 were two separated socio-political and economical formations (the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany FRG). This state, with a population number about 82 millions presently, as it turns out - besides passage of time - is characterized all the time by some diversity of procreation behaviors, population processes and structures in the Eastern (Ost) and the Western part (West) of Germany. It is claimed, the structures are going to some similarities, but the 15 years period (1990-2005) was too short to level all stated demographical differences and trends (1).
Rural Areas in Poland in The Context of Changes in Population Age Structure in 1996, 2001 and 2006
The article presents changes in the rural age structures in Poland as observed in the years 1996, 2001 and 2006. The changes in population numbers are analysed with respect to age groups, the aging index and the old-age rate. Regarding its spatial scope, the article covers rural areas in Poland and the basic territorial units it uses are rural communes and the rural parts of mixed rural-urban communes that altogether amount to 2,171 units (as of 2006). The obtained results are discussed in a broader context of urban as well as countrywide age structures.
This paper seeks to analyse directions in foreign trade in the post-communist countries of Europe over the years 2000-2012 in the context of changes observed in other EU states. It was assumed that changes in the directions of foreign trade in post-communist states would be similar to those noted in Western Europe. On the basis of data derived from the OECD, EUROSTAT and OECD-WTO we show that the trading rules used by the old EU-15 adopted by those countries have brought them measurable benefits. As a result, the post-communist economies have become similar to those of the EU-15. Considering the structure of their trade and links with the EU-15, it is apparent that they have become the main trading and investment partners for the European Union. Hence, their integration with the EU structures made their development faster, but also made them more sensitive to industrial and demand shocks coming from the eurozone. It is predicted that the present model is not going to change, especially in the context of the participation in production networks.
This article refers to the analysis and the evaluation of permanent migration as observed in rural areas of Poland, especially in peri-urban areas of the Polish cities between the years 1995 and 2011. The article covered all 2,173 rural and rural-urban (excluding urban parts) gminas in the country. In the article there were shown what are the migration volumes and dynamics in rural areas and what is the situation of large cities’ peri-urban areas in terms of permanent migration.
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.
1989 was a turning point in the socio-economic development in the former Eastern bloc, initiating a systemic transformation that affected the society at large. It also contributed to the crystallisation of certain cultural landscapes, hitherto largely illegible due to the inhibition of spatial processes encountered during socialism. In Poland, after a quarter-century of a free market economy, the focus on social problems began to expand to the spatial realm as well. It became apparent that the progressive social polarisation that followed was most prominent in environments striated by a particular landscape type – the former State Agricultural Farm (PGR). Considering PGRs as ‘the epitome of rurality’ subject to ideas informing about the direction of contemporary ‘rural development’ prompts a different way of looking at the problem. In this paper, we investigate the concept of rurality in the discursive tenor of implemented policy and contrast it with contextualised empirical examples. Our findings suggest that an efficient policy should be confronted with the expectations of residents at the local level, and introducing top-down actions usually ends in failure as in the case of post-PGR estates.
It is widely accepted that the cultural sector and the creative sector have an impact on the socio-economic revival of cities. They create urban images, form a specific creative milieu, generate new jobs, and organize urban space. The above-mentioned observations have been mainly referred to the largest cities. So far, small cities have not been the subject of similar considerations. As many studies have shown in recent years, the potential of culture for socio-economic development in small cities has been noticed more and more often. It refers mainly to countries in Western Europe or in North America where generally, in the 1980s, the cultural sector was perceived as a remedy for the problems of post-industrial cities. This paper discusses the role of culture in the development of small cities in Poland, i.e. in a country in which only after 1989 is it possible to consider local development managed by local communities. The paper aims at showing how local governments of small cities in Poland perceive the role of culture in their development. The study is based on the analysis of strategic documents dedicated to the development of individual cities. When analysed, strategic documents clearly indicate that local authorities in every city use and are planning to further use different types of cultural activities for the enhancement or development of selected elements included in the broadly-understood socio-economic development; however, only few small cities notice the wide array of opportunities for making the cultural sector a base for socio-economic development.
Poverty and social exclusion remain some of the biggest concerns in the face of obtaining social sustainability. In this respect, the continuing immense spatial differences between individual localities of seemingly similar characteristics have puzzled social scientists for decades. In quest for a better understanding, this article highlights the role of spatial heterogeneity as a factor conducive to the formation of functionally derelict areas, which in turn play a crucial role in the formation of spatial mismatch. Using two case studies from Poland, one from a big city and one from a small village, we explore the relationality between the phenomena of spatial heterogeneity, functional dereliction and spatial mismatch, whose mutual reinforcement seems to lead to a specific kind of deprivation in terms of scale and intensity. Special attention is paid to the role of spatial heterogeneity, which under certain conditions is capable of changing from being a developmental stimulant to becoming a destimulant. We argue that taking greater account of the intricate historical contexts responsible for the resistance of some pressing socio-economic problems is key to breaking the deadlock in the implementation of ineffective sustainability policies.