Geographia Polonica (1981) vol. 44

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City-hinterland regions of large cities and medium-sized towns in the GDR

Rudolf Kronert

Geographia Polonica (1981) vol. 44, pp. 139-150


As in other countries the settlement structure in the German Democratic Re-public is becoming ever more urbanized. This is obvious from the growth of part of the cities and rural settlement centres, and from the increasing extent to which settlements become integrated. One of the challenges of urbanization is the need to make progress in overcoming the present differences in working and living conditions existing at the level of regions and beyond. In this connection conflicting trends toward concentration and dispersion can be observed. More detailed research is needed to identify those forms of settlement structures which can be employed most favourably to implement the fundamental socio-political objectives of a socialist system.

It is desirable that the settlement structure be efficient from an economic and social point of view, and the following is primarily a look at social aspects of regional settlement systems and city-hinterland regions. The aim is to show the way in which different types of cities have links with their hinterlands through the movement of people, and to demonstrate the social functions of city-hinterland regions. Special importance must in this connection be attached to the area within easy daily reach of the centre. A discussion is needed on what types of centres and regional features result in a comparatively contained daily communication area. In the latter the overall level of the working and living conditions depends decis-ively on the qualitative and quantitative patterns of functions the centre provides. The question may then be asked whether these patterns can satisfy advanced de-mands, whether they may be extended in view of present or future population development within the region or whether the region will have to give up its com-paratively self-contained existence and become integrated into the regions around other cities.


Rudolf Kronert, Institute of Geography. Academy of Sciences of the GDR. Leipzig. GDR