This paper presents a set of concepts aiming at the reconstruction of mechanisms of economic space development. These concepts are ordered in the way that consecutive concepts add new pieces of knowledge increasing the degree of cognition of the mechanisms of the economic space. This set includes among others: a shift from one steady-state to the next steady-states, self-organization and the development far from equilibrium, multiple equilibrium, punctuated equilibrium, innovation in the phase transition, a pulsative course of the development process, an emergence of complex spatial systems, a development code of the system of regions.
The article aims at presenting the philosophy and model of the development vehicle to be understood as a new concept and tool to investigate and program local and regional development processes. The practical issues covered by the article include the identification and discovery of development vehicles, the elements of which can be observed in Polish metropolitan areas and agglomerations.
The paper presents the indicator method as an important tool of research in social sciences with the focus on socio-economic geography. It introduces the notion of indicator in the methodological meaning and concentrates on its basic type, i.e. the inferential indicator. The concept of an indicator is explained using a realistic approach, which assumes that unobservable conceptual properties can be represented by observable real properties. In this approach, an indicator is characterised as an observable variable assumed to point to, or estimate, some other unobservable variable. The indicator method is then a way of the realistic conceptualization and a cognitive operation as well. The paper contains the systematization of cognitive indicators in socio-economic geography. It also shows the examples of the construction and interpretation of applied indicators.
The article aims to explain whether in 2004–2015 Poland experienced economic convergence between regions and counties (Polish: powiat), and whether this process occurred within the regions (Polish: województwo). Following Poland’s EU accession, the Polish policy became dominated by the polarization and diffusion concept of regional development, which may cause differences in the short term, while in the long run it may contribute not only to the increased efficiency of public funds allocation, but also to the elimination of disparities in growth levels. In the analysed period Poland experienced a process of economic divergence between the regions, only the years 2006–2008 saw a short-term reduction in regional disparities. On the other hand, a slow process of reducing economic inequalities between counties took place after 2004. It was, however, varied – a clear reduction in disparities occurred between the land counties (Polish: powiat ziemski) in an almost monotonic manner, whereas city counties (Polish: miasto na prawach powiatu) did not undergo any convergence. Within the regions, the process of economic convergence varied: in five regions, β-convergence was identified, and σ-convergence occurred in all the regions. The process of reducing disparities was significantly dependent on the development pathway of the region.
The category of small towns is progressively polarized under the impact of metropolitan development. There is a growing diversification of such places with regard to functions performed and the overall position in settlement systems at regional and national levels. Aside from the division line which separates these towns that are located within, from those situated beyond the commuting range of large urban centres, this is increasingly related to local, territorial capital held. In general, however, the flattening of urban hierarchy and the decreasing importance of hierarchical linkages affect in particular the role of local service centres, especially in sparsely settled peripheral areas. Concerning the future, three alternative development paths are discussed in the article against the relevant conceptual background. These refer to the cyclical nature of urbanization processes, assume an extrapolation of trends observed or, alternatively, consider a containment of metropolization phenomena. With respect to policy related questions, changes in small town networks in peri-urban zones are identified as a specific, sensitive issue.
The starting point of the study on the problems, dilemmas and hopes for effective implementation of revitalization projects in Polish cities was the conviction that revitalization is one of the processes affecting the development and changes in the spatial and functional fabric of cities. Revitalization is defined as a deliberate and purposeful process, the effect of which is to restore life in the dysfunctional and degraded parts of cities. Taking up such a topic required an answer to the question about the nature of revitalization and its aspects. The focus of the study was on the problems of revitalization that stem from the legal and socio-economic situation and the dilemmas faced by local government authorities of Polish cities. The introduction to these considerations is the brief outline of the revitalization of Polish cities in the period after World War II, while the conclusion deals with the fears and hopes related to revitalization activities that are presently initiated. The discussion takes into account the existing, critically assessed, legal regulations on revitalization.
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