Geographia Polonica (2009) vol. 82, iss. 2

Full text

Berlin 20 years later: defining or redefining its functional profile? With some implication for Warsaw

Ewa Korcelli-Olejniczak

Geographia Polonica (2009) vol. 82, iss. 2, pp. 45-55


The paper attempts to defi ne Berlin’s functional profi le, contrasting it with the expectations andevaluations of the last twenty years. By analyzing employment and investment shares according to sectionsof the economy (the SIC index) several activities are identifi ed which fulfi l the following criteria: they arerepresentative of Berlin, they show progressive development trends, and their role is refl ected in the structureof investment outlays. In the analysis, the location co-effi cient is used, which allows for the identifi cationof the characteristic features of Berlin’s functional profi le against the national average structure.The analysis proves that Berlin has been developing in a relatively ambiguous manner, though its functionalspecialization is rather stable, in that it has experienced only slight structural changes since thebeginning of the 1990s. It is also observed that the position of Berlin in the German urban system is quitestable. In this context, the question is posed as to whether Warsaw’s position in the Polish urban system,as expressed in its functional profi le, should, when one considers all the parallels and differences, resembleor not the one held by Berlin in Germany.

Keywords: Berlin, functional profi le, location co-effi cient, employment structure, representative and progressive functions, Warsaw

Ewa Korcelli-Olejniczak [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-818 Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, Poland