Capturing cross-border continuity: The case of the Czech-Polish borderland

Vít Pászto 1 , 2 , Karel Macků 1 , Jaroslav Burian 1 , Jiří Pánek 3 , and Pavel Tuček 1
  • 1 Department of Geoinformatics, Palacký University Olomouc
  • 2 Department of Informatics and Applied Mathematics, Moravian Business College Olomouc
  • 3 Department of Development and Environmental Studies, Palacký University Olomouc

Abstract

The differences in welfare amongst European countries are especially evident in border regions, and this affects cross-border cooperation and relationships. Due to the historical development of Central and Eastern European countries over the last century, the affected countries are unique “laboratories” for geographical research. This study assesses disparities in socio-economic indicators representing socio-economic phenomena in the Czech-Polish border region, through the analysis of cross-border (spatial) continuity, using quantitative methods (multivariate statistics and socio-economic profiling), GIS analysis and cartographic visualisation. It is demonstrated how such a combination of methods is useful for the comparison and evaluation of the complex socio-economic situations in neighbouring countries. This research project identifies the most suitable common indicators for a proper evaluation of cross-border (spatial) continuity, and it reveals the spatial patterns as reflected by a cluster analysis. The greatest cross-border (spatial) continuity is apparent in the easternmost part of the borderlands, while significant differences on both sides of the border are evident in the very central part of the areas under study. The paper also describes methodological aspects of the research in order to provide a quantitative approach to borderland studies.

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