Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1

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Development of Polish Towns and Cities and Factors Affecting This Process at the Turn of the Century

Jerzy J. Parysek

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 99-115


The systemic transformation taking place in Poland after 1989 and the economic changes it has involved have been most readily visible in towns and cities and their development patterns. The quantitative growth whose basic characteristic was an increase in the urban popu-lation has in recent years been replaced by a qualitative process marked by the development of the material sphere of towns while their populations keep steady or are on the decline. Although the systemic transformation is thought to be the basic factor of qualitative development, other growth factors are also distinguished, both traditional ones, albeit operating in new conditions, and completely novel ones. In the present article these are generalized and classified as endog-enous (the systemic transformation, demographic and social changes, local factors and limita-tions) and exogenous (changes of the postindustrial or postmodern period, globalization and metropolitanization, European integration).

Keywords: development of Polish towns and cities, quantitative and qualitative growth, urban growth factors

Jerzy J. Parysek, Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Space Economy, Adam Mickiewicz University, Fredry 10, 61-701 Poznań, Poland