Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 56
Proceedings of the 8th British-Polish Geographical Seminar, London, July 6-12, 1986
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To avoid misunderstanding a short review of the most important concepts and terms to be used in the following comments seems to be necessary. They are: spatial economy and system of spatial economy, spatial policies, goals and instruments of such policies, among them spatial planning, as well as geographical space, whose elements and structures are objects in spatial policies and planning.The term "spatial economy" in its wider usage describes the whole sphere of practical human activities in which the heterogeneous character of geographical space and/or the overcoming of physical distance play consciously or unconsciously a sig-nificant role in making and implementing involved decisions. However its meaning may be considerably narrowed by identifying such activities with those of social character only. The concept and term are then limited to "social spatial economy" which obviously is only one part or at best one aspect of the whole national economy. The "system of spatial economy" forms therefore only one subsystem within the system of national economy, which is based in its actual status on the binding laws and bye-laws in addition to the culture, customs and traditions of the given country.The state authorities within the system of spatial economy develop "spatial policies", implementing specific goals. Identification of the character and role of such goals in spatial policies is of great importance and significance for the understanding of the basic problems of spatial economy and policies.Usually the primary goal of spatial policies is defined as the maximization (or optimization) ol space utilization, specifically land utilization (with natural resources included) for satisfying the needs of society/national community and its members, without destruction of stability and balance in the environment, especially in the natural environment. However in the deeper analysis the varying and changing character of social needs has to be taken into account. As a result, transformation taking place in the effective use of space and in the environmental equilibrium has to be recognized. A goal or goals understood in this way have therefore to be defined each time in detailed form, and with the passage of time this process leads to considerable variation in those goals. Hence the need for the formulation of goals which may be achieved in the given economic, social and political conditions in addition to being achieved in a com-paratively short period of time.One of the reasons behind the mistakes and disappointments in spatial policies may be found in the numerous conflicts in the dichotomy existing between variation in time of the goals and the stability of geographic space, i.e. the material (physical) environment which if even changing (and in the policies such changes may be intended) is, with exception of environmental catastrophes, changing extremely slowly. As a result, the material environment usually contains patterns from past policies, and current spatial policies strive after its transformation according to current and future needs. Here another conflict is born: one between satisfying the needs of the present population and providing reserves for future generations.
, Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania PAN ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warszawa
Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 56, pp. 17-28 | Full text
Since the return of the Conservative Government in 1979, local government in Britain has experienced a period of considerable change in its basis, role and importance. Among the significant changes which have occurred are alterations in local government finance, structural reorganizations, and developments in the ways by which services are delivered. Measures such as ratecapping, the abolition of the metropolitan county councils, and the facilitation of a closer relationship between the public and the private sectors form the substance of the chanees; at their root lies the ideology of the current Conservative Government, with its emphasis on efficiency, competition and market forces. This emphasis is often at variance with a local government system and tradition developed, for the most part, during the twilight period of consensus politics in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The extent to which the wishes of central government have been accepted by local government carries with it profound consequences for the relative roles of the two levels of government.Political geographers' traditional concerns have touched little on such material. The preference for those whose concern has been with local government political geography has been with the analysis of voting (Taylor and Johnston 1979), the distribution of public services (Kirby 1981; Moon 1982; Pinch 1985) and jurisdictional partitioning (Johnston 1979). With some exceptions (eg. Dickens, Duncan, Goodwin and Gray 1986; Boddy 1983; Borchert 1985) few geographers have explicitly considered the spatial aspects of legislative developments in the context of changing power relations. The current changes in local government provide an opportunity for this deficiency to be remedied and for a reformulated local government political geography to be developed with central-local relations as its focus.In this paper a preliminary overview of this theme will be presented. Initial attention will focus on the context and nature of local government change in Conservative Britain. Major reforms relating to finance and organization will be identified and their correspondence to Conservative, or "new right" ideology discussed. Attention will then shift to a consideration of geography embodied in the changing local government. A predominantly regional perspective will be taken but reference will also be made to local geographical impacts. Finally, an evaluation of general and specific explanations for local government change will be set out indicating the functionality of change for Conservatism.
, School of Social and Historical Studies. Portsmouth Polytechnic, Portsmouth, UK
, School of Social and Historical Studies. Portsmouth Polytechnic, Portsmouth, UK
Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 56, pp. 29-42 | Full text
Consideration of spatial policy on the part of national governments is usually predicated on the assumption that state planning is directed towards some general welfare objectives. While any planning strategy is likely to benefit some people in some places more than others elsewhere, it is not often recognised that the beneficiaries of spatial policy may be a small and perhaps unrepresentative minority. It is even less frequently the case that state planning and spatial policy has as its objective the perpetuation of some form of society which most if not all other nations find morally repugnant, but such is the case with South Africa under apartheid. In these circumstances, South Africa provides an unusual as well as an interesting illustration of state planning with a strong spatial component, with important implications for the process of uneven development in this deeply troubled land.Core-periphery differentiation is a repetitive feature of uneven development within nations. However, the manner in which core and periphery are related is subject to considerable variation, reflecting the historic process of development as well as specific contemporary economic, political, social and cultural conditions. This paper takes the case of South Africa to show how core and periphery are drawn into a distinctive relationship under the government's apartheid policy. It will be shown that black labour supply is the key to understanding the particular form of domination of periphery by core in a country where uneven development has strong racial overtones. Some specific outcomes expressed in the process of urbanization will also be examined, and there are some concluding observations on the significance of the present phase of "unrest".
, Department of Geography, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, London, United Kingdom
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Green belt literature is extensive. Geographers and planners alike have written at length, focussing on the subject in great detail. Green Belt plans have been prepared in large numbers. The designation and subsequent protection of green belts constitute a major feature in British land use planning; perhaps they are the largest spatial element to have been injected into metropolitan land use, through consistent application of determined policy, during the post war period. Green belts are both praised and derided; to some they are the jewels in the planner's crown, while to others they are no more than an intellectual fashion where objectives have long since lost their original purpose. .For a Geography Seminar this paper is pertinent, therefore, though its coverage can only be modest; it is simply directed towards assisting a Polish understanding of what is essentially a British planning device. There are three main sections:
- the context: the geography of the urban fringe,
- history: the development of the green belt in practice,
- evaluation: an indication of the merits and disadvantages of the green belt.
, Department of Geography and Centre for Regional and Urban Studies, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
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The problems of the inner city have received much attention from geographers and others in recent years (Berry 1980; Hall 1981). The essence of the problem as discussed in these studies and the statements of governments is deprivation as shown by low incomes, high unemployment, poor housing and environment and inadequate lifestyle opportunities. This focus on deprivation is also illustrated by the critics of inner city policy who rightly point out that poverty is not confined to these zones within the metropolis, and that policies should be more people than place orientated. In many inner city studies it is not clear to what extent the city centre and its problems are included. In general the difficulties of the city centre have received much less attention, perhaps because very few people live there (see Davies and Champion 1983 for a recent review). Together the city centre and inner city constitute the core of metropolitan regions. To many decline in the core is only a problem if deprivation is involved. Indeed until at least thirty years ago the core was considered overdeveloped and plans were produced which proposed a decrease in the number of people and jobs. However, the experience of decline has convinced many central city authorities that a continuation of this process threatens the viability of services as well as civic pride. It is also argued that rapid decline may set in motion forces which will make the process cumulative as confidence in the future of the area — and through this investment — evaporates. It has therefore become an urgent priority for many central city authorities to stabilise their population and economy through the renewal of the environment and the creation of new employment.The inner area of Manchester (which includes part of the neighbouring city of Salford) is an example of a metropolitan core which has experienced considerable decline in recent years. The local authorities of Manchester and Salford and the former Greater Manchester Council (abolished in 1986) were committed to stopping this decline (G.M.C. 1981). Back in 1982 their efforts appeared to be meeting with little success, a fact which prompted a number of questions. Were they attempting an impossible task? Is core area decline inevitable? Did Manchester have any unique features which might worsen its experience? What could it learn from other cities? To answer these questions the Greater Manchester Council invited a small group of geographers from the University of Salford to review the experience of core areas in Western countries and make recommendations about what should be done in Manchester. Ideally it would have been desirable to make a detailed study of the fifty or so metropolitan areas in North America and Western Europe which have a population of more than one million, but time and resources were not available for such a work. With hindsight it is possible to suggest that comprehensive and comparable statistics would not have been available either. Instead the study was based on a general review of the literature and eight case studies involving Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Lille, Lyon, Hamburg, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. In the brief space available in this paper the main points of the study will be discussed.
, Department of Geography, University of Salford, Salford, UK
Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 56, pp. 91-108 | Full text
As part of the output of the 1981 Census the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) in Britain has introduced a new and more accurate method of reporting population and other statistics for urban areas (OPCS, 1984). The basis for the definition is the identification of land that is "irreversibly urban" in character which, at a minimum settlement size of 1000 persons, produces a clear distinction between rural and urban populations. This approach to the definition of urbanization contrasts with, but forms a valuable complement to, the functional view of urbanism as adopted in research into the systemic aspects of settlement structure (Coombes et al. 1983).In addition to the fundamental task of applying the urban land definition to over 2000 urban areas in England and Wales, the OPCS, in collaboration with the Department of the Environment (DOE), has produced census data measuring change in urban areas between 1971 and 1981 and, in 1984, the DOE commissioned research from universities and other organisations into the nature and causes of recent population change among urban areas in England.This paper uses material from one of these research projects — that relating to urban areas with populations in the range 5000 to 100000 people — to describe the origins and purpose of the urban areas definition and to demonstrate its application to understanding recent urban change in England. In particular, the paper focusses on the application of urban areas data to the understanding of those urbanization processes which, in North America and Western Europe, have been variously described as "counter-urbanization" (Berry 1976; Vining and Kontuly 1978; Hall and Hay 1980), as "des-urbanization" (van den Berg et. al. 1982), or as a contrast between the established forces of "decentralization" and the newer trend towards the "déconcentration" of population into the non-metropolitan parts of the urban system (Robert and Randolph 1983).
, Department of Geography, Birkbeck College, University of London, London UK
Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 56, pp. 109-114 | Full text
The present paper is concerned with the latest findings of research into rural settle-ment and its transformation, carried out in the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) by the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization and by the Commission of Rural Areas at the Committee for Space Economy and Regional Planning (KPZK). It was the Commission that was particularly engaged in preparing the prognosis of the pos-sibilities for the development of rural areas as a multifunctional space up to 2000. The new Polish law on spatial planning of 12 July 1984 stipulates that long-term development plans should be compiled on the national, regional, commune and town scales. Therefore the Ministry of Construction, Spatial and Communal Economy together with the Town Planning Association, which are bodies responsible for spatial planning, organized in February 1986. a special conference on "Basic problems of the development of small towns and rural settlements". The basic paper on settlement in the rural areas and small towns which are an integral part of the rural settlement network was prepared by A. Stasiak and H. Rucz —Pruszyriska. The main theses of that paper are synthesized in the present paper. Before considering the future it seems worth while recalling a few facts.
- Rural settlement is largely scattered in Poland; it consists of over 40 thousand settlement units. Regional differences in the size of villages, their occupational and social structure as well as land tenure, are great. An average Polish village is inhabited by about 350 people; in the north-eastern part the number of inhabitants is much smaller, whereas in the southern part it is much bigger.
- In many regions the percentage of non-agricultural population is quite high, especially around urban agglomerations and in the south.
- In the west and north the proportion of land belonging to state farms is high.
- The average peasant farm is small (about 5.0 ha), but the regional differences in their size are wide.
- In the decade from 1971 do 1980 the balance of migration from villages to towns was highly negative; now migration has been curtailed.
- In rural areas much land is reserved for the urban population as tourist and recreation areas.
- The rural areas are to a large extent acquiring the character of a multi-functional space.
, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
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This paper presents the transport system as a composite object whose components are transport modes together with relationships between them and other branches of the national economy. The medium that ties them together to make a system is traffic. Stripped to its essence, the main components of the system are transport modes. As in any kind of system, the behaviour of one component has some effect on, or interaction with, other components. The transport system should contribute to national economic growth by providing an efficient service to all sections of industry, agriculture and services, and by ensuring the maintenance of a reasonable level of personal mobility through public passenger facilities.The Polish transport system is marked by some specific features which will be shown at the national level in the broad context of socio-economic phenomena. More specifically, the objectives of the paper are (1) to present the changes in the volume and structure of freight and passenger traffic; (2) to explore the dynamics of transport absorptiveness in the national economy; and (3) to explain the reasons behind huge freight traffic and transport absorptiveness.Amongst all transport modes only some are well known and understood to a certain degree. For example, very little is known about road transport, dispersed in tens of thousands of firms and enterprises subordinated to many departments, organizations and central offices. What is more only part of this mode is obligatorily reported in statistics. There are no data for road freight traffic in terms of commodities carried. Thus, in some cases, we have to use estimates. Fortunately, the scope of this paper does not cover detailed characteristics of various modes of transport, unless they illustrate more general phenomena and processes.
email@example.com], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-818 Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, Poland[
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