When observing the development and operation of modern cities, one can quickly come to the conclusion that in the recent years the chief factor of the spatial-structural transformation of cities in Poland (though not only there) and the spatial behaviour of their residents has been motorisation, and more precisely, the car. This is so because the car, while facilitating and intensifying mobility, makes it possible to draw places of residence apart from those of goal implementation. The ever-growing number of cars moving around a city leads to disturbances in street traffic, makes the service of residents worse, causes many road accidents, and brings about unfavourable qualitative changes in the environment. That is why in many recent conceptions of urban development there appear measures intended to restrict the use of cars, which is one of the ways leading to the construction of ‘a city for people’. This paper presents the effect of motorisation on modern cities as documented by statistical data concerning Poznań, one of the largest and oldest Polish cities.
This article presents the general characteristics of the Poznań school of socio-economic geography (and spatial management). Scientific school is usually understood as a community of scholars, representatives of a given scientific discipline, associated with a specific university (or universities) functioning in a given city, united by particular approaches to scientific problems and by accepted ideas, views, methods used etc., which has substantial achievements in a given scientific discipline. There is practically no scientific school without a master (or masters) who is an eminent scholar gathering a group of students and associates. The acknowledged output of this scholar – master, especially an innovative approach to solving research problems and also the influence of his/her scientific authority on students and associates, is usually an origin of a new scientific school. Professor Zbyszko Chojnicki, the founder of the Poznań school, was such a master. The article presents the creation of the School and its development, characterises the role of the Master, indicates the research approach and direction of the conducted studies he determined and discusses the scientific output of the Master and the three selected generations of students and, to a lesser extent, the auditing students. Emphasis is put on the achievements in the theory of geography and spatial management, methodology, paying particular attention to quantitative analysis methods and the innovative and original empirical research conducted as well as the significance of this output for Polish socio-economic geography and spatial management. What is also presented is the popularisation activity and the reflections on the future of the School. The article presents the author’s point of view.
Trajectories of the demographic development of Poland after 1989
One of the major problems of contemporary Poland is its increasingly difficult and complicated demographic situation. This makes the identification of demographic trends of the recent years an important research task. The article presents an assessment of Poland's demographic situation after 1989, i.e. after the change of the country's socio-political system, using the graphic method of trajectories. It is one of the possible, though less popular, methods of studying time series, offering a new perspective on various processes, here demographic ones. The article has two aims: cognitive and methodological.
Income and Expenditure of the Polish Population in 2006 (An analysis of Regional Diversification)
Changes in the political system after 1989 have led to the opening up of new areas of study in many fields of research, including socio - economic geography. One such example, undoubtedly, is the regional diversification of income and expenditure of the population, which was the subject of the ongoing studies, whose selected results are presented in this study. An analysis of the level of income and expenditure of the population was important, as it provided information on: the level of socio-economic development, the standard of living, the level of civilization and culture development, consumption structures, consumption patterns, changes in the structure of demand, etc. Therefore, it was significant for understanding the process of changes which have taken place in Poland. The analysis also provided new generic approaches (problems). This article presents, above all, the research results of the regional diversification of income and expenditure levels as well as the consumption structures of the Polish population in 2006 (in an elementary, complex and synthetic section). A further aim of the research, was to determine statistically significant factors which influence the income and consumption patterns - both factors which had a positive impact (the level of urbanization, the efficiency and productivity of the economy, agricultural produce) and a negative one (unemployment, age structure of the population, population growth and industrial production). This resulted from the conviction that, each description is valuable only if it is supplemented with an explanation of the reasons for such a state of affairs.
One of the characteristic features of the modern world is the dynamics of demographic changes. Depending on their nature and intensity, they can be a driving force behind socio-economic development or doom it to stagnation or regression. There is no doubt, however, that a declining demographic potential, especially unfavourable changes in the age structure of the population (an ageing society), may contribute to economic difficulties in the given area, often leading to social problems. The aim of the research the results of which are presented in this article was to analyse regional differences in the age structure of Poland’s population in two time intervals, viz. the years 1999 and 2010, using multivariate techniques, and more specifically, principal components analysis and cluster analysis. They both make it possible to accommodate many features of the population age structure simultaneously, thus better illustrating the two situations (the years 1999 and 2010) and changes that took place in between, than univariate approaches
In the latest conceptions of urban development planning, special attention is paid to the resident. This is reflected especially in the increasingly popular idea of creating ‘a city for people’. This somewhat banal slogan has got an increasingly sensible and justified theoretical support, as well as examples of practical solutions. The idea of planning urban development to meet human needs (a city for people) underlies many conceptions of urban development, especially those the basic goal of which is to limit suburbanisation unfavourable from a general social point of view and to rationalise the mobility of city residents. It has long been known that their mobility reflects the spatial structure of a city, and that their ever more intensive movement is not favourable from the ecological, social and economic points of view. In this situation it is necessary to shape the spatial-functional structure of the city in a way that will, first, restrict this mobility and, secondly, that will change the ways and means by which residents move. However, in order to make changes in the existing spatial structures in a rational way, it is necessary to know the mobility of city dwellers, its causes, directions, distances covered, and duration. What we shall present in this paper are structural and functional conclusions resulting from an analysis of the mobility of residents relevant for planning. Although our reflections will be primarily theoretical in nature, in many cases they will be backed up by empirical studies, mostly concerning Poznań.
The change in Poland’s systemic conditions and its membership of the European Union make it necessary to take a new look at the organisation, structure and operation of the Polish planning system. In place of two, not always well coordinated, types of planning: socio-economic, now called strategic, and physical, integrated planning is proposed which seeks to combine those two categories into a single stream and treat the objects of planning as a functional whole. This type of approach is recommended by international organisations of urban planners (the New Athens Charter) and academic planners. Integrated planning of urban development is also written in the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities, an EU urban policy document. However, each planning procedure requires the adoption of certain initial assumptions on which to base the conception of an integrated plan of the socio-economic and spatial development of a city that would accommodate its natural, social and economic spheres. The special character of a city as a living environment (a large population number, high population density, many social structures, etc.) demands giving the assumptions an anthropocentric orientation, i.e. with human beings as the addressees of the planned measures. This means that human needs should figure most prominently in the formulation of the assumptions of urban development. And since man’s diurnal activity is one of the best indicators of articulated needs, an analysis of this activity can provide a basis for the formulation of development assumptions. In this paper we present a general model of integrated planning of the development of a city formulated primarily in terms of the diurnal activity of its residents, but also employing other factors.
The complexity of the reality studied by geographical research requires applying such methods which allow describing the state of affairs and ongoing changes in the best possible way. This study aims to present a model of research on selected aspects of the dynamics and structure of socio-economic development. The idea was to determine whether we deal with the process of reducing or widening the differences in terms of individual features. The article primarily pursues a methodological goal, and to a lesser extent an empirical one. The methodological objective of the paper was to propose and verify a multi-aspect approach to the study of development processes. The analyses carried out reveal that in terms of the features taken into account in the set of 24 of the largest Polish cities the dominating processes are those increasing differences between cities, which are unfavourable in the context of the adopted development policies aiming at reducing the existing disparities. In relation to the methodological objective, the results of the conducted research confirm the rationale of the application of the measures of dynamics and the feature variance to determine the character (dynamics and structure) of the socio-economic development process of cities. Comparatively less effective, especially for interpretation, is the application of principal component analysis and a multivariate classification, which is mainly the result of differences in the variance of particular features.