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

Cities in the transforming post-communist countries : ten years of economic, social and spatial experience

Editorial

Ewa Nowosielska

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 5-8

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

Articles

Transformation of Life, Work and Community in Post-socialist Europe: A Westerner Studies Nowa Huta, Poland

Alison Stenning

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 9-22 | Full text

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On the basis on ongoing research which explores the transformation of work and com-munity in Nowa Huta, Poland, this paper reflects on the nature and value of east-west research and on the connections that can, and should, be made between the varied urban geographies of Europe. Drawing attention to some themes which connect the urban geographies of eastern and western Europe, it argues that we have a responsibility to distant geographies but that responsi-bility rests not simply on studying those distant parts as exotic and intriguing sites for research but on connecting our lives and our geographies to those of distant others.

Keywords: work, community, east-west research, post-socialism Europe, Nowa Huta (Poland)

Urban Development in Post-transition Hungary: Emerging Social Conflicts as Constraints for a Locality

Erika Nagy

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 23-38 | Full text

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The socio-spatial transition of the urban system has been widely discussed by social scientists in Hungary since the early 1990s. Although urban studies became increasingly practi-cal and highly influenced by the prevailing paradigm of neoliberalism, socio-spatial differentia-tion and the emerging conflicts of the transition period stimulated a shift in social geography to locality studies and new methodology. In this paper, social restructuring and local conflicts stimulated by the transformation of economic and political institutions and by the shift to a new accumulation regime (i.e. from socialism to late capitalism) are put into focus. Although global agents and national regulations had a decisive role in urban restructuring, the presented analysis of local people's attitude to the socio-spatial transition of their city provides a deeper insight into the mechanisms underpinning the social relations that supported/hindered urban development in the transition period and after.

Keywords: urban restructuring, civic participation, local state, transition, Hungary

Erika Nagy, Centre for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Békéscsaba, Szabô D. u. 42. 5600, Hungary

Czech Housing Estates: Recent Changes and New Challenges

Karel Maier

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 39-52 | Full text

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A negative image of Czech housing estates was created in the past. After a period of disinterest on the part of Czech politicians and municipalities in these estates, they and their future in the emerging urban housing markets are becoming an inherent part of housing policies. Ongoing privatization and the ageing of both the populations and physical structures in housing estates are new challenges for municipalities, as well as for residents of housing estates, and may become an issue for the European Union also. The article describes recent changes in, and new problems of, housing estates, as well as identifying new roles for the actors and stakeholders in the upgrading and revitalization of housing estates. It also presents some ideas on how to face the challenges in question.

Keywords: housing estates, urban revitalization, housing policy, Czech Republic

Karel Maier, Czech Technical University in Prague Thakurova 7 CZ 16634 Praha 6

Notes on the Service Economy of the Ukrainian Capital During the 1990s Transformation

Igor Kavetskyy, Yaroslav Ostaphiychuk

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 53-66 | Full text

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This paper presents the state of and main trends to the development of the services sec-tor in Kiev, the Ukraine capital, during the political, economic and social transformation of the 1990s. The increasing significance of services in Kiev economy is stated on the basis of an analysis of some economic indicators (such as fixed assets, employment, gross output and gross value added). Infrastructural potential and accessibility to the basic social services are described then. Finally, a glimpse into development of Kiev service economy up to 2011 is given.

Keywords: service economy, economic and social transformation, market and non-market serv-ices, service infrastructure, development strategy

Igor Kavetskyy, Laboratory of Social Geography and Tourism Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Szczecin Wijska 13; 71-415 Szczecin, Poland
Yaroslav Ostaphiychuk, Laboratory of Studies on Problems of Social Development Council for the Study of Productive Resources of the NAS of Ukraine Taras Shevchenko Bid 60,01-032, Kiev-32, Ukraine

Urbanization Trends and Processes of Population Change in the Ljubljana Urban Region in the 1990s

Dejan Rebernik

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 67-78 | Full text

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The paper presents the main characteristics to population development and urbaniza-tion processes in Ljubljana and its urban region before and after 1990. Up to the end of the 1970s, fast population growth and urbanization with a concentration of population in Ljubljana and its 'satellite' towns, was a consequence of strong immigration from rural parts of Slovenia and the rest of Yugoslavia. In the 1980s and 1990s, déconcentration of population within the Ljubljana region, along with intense suburbanization and depopulation of inner-city and older residential neighbourhoods, were the main urbanization processes. After 1991, Ljubljana as the capital of independent Slovenia, and the Ljubljana urban region recorded dynamic economic development attracting new migration to the region. However, in the second half of the 1990s, the greatest population growth was recorded in dispersed rural settlements on the periphery of the region. In this way suburbanization passed into exurbanization and counterurbanization. In some parts of the inner-city reurbanization and gentrification occurred.

Keywords: population development, urbanization processes, urbanization phases, Ljubljana, Ljubljana urban region, Slovenia

Dejan Rebernik, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Geography, Askerèeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Shrinking East German Cities?

Lienhard Lotscher

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 79-98 | Full text

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German cities are currently struggling with a not entirely new phenomenon: the economic and demographic decline of cities. This process has become increasingly puzzling and challenging for both urban planners and politicians, and in some regions—especially in eastern Germany—the situation has been worsening dramatically. This paper will first illustrate some of the effects of economic decline and population loss on German cities, second, outline a variety of policy responses and third, discuss efforts to adapt to these new challenges.

Keywords: shrinking cities, urban decline, urban restructuring

Lienhard Lotscher, Lehrstuhl Kultur-und Siedlungsgeographie Ruhr-Universität Bochum D-44780 Bochum, Germany

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 | Full text

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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

Restructuring of the Metropolitan Region of Berlin-Brandenburg: Economic Trends and Political Answers

Hans Joachim Kujath

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 117-136 | Full text

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The article critically explores the way in which the transformation processes in Eastern Germany have combined with the European integration to affect the demographic, migratory and economic trends in, and the developing international linkages of, the metropolitan region of Berlin-Brandenburg. On the basis of the initial situation in 1990, the article pays attention to the specific pattern to the social and economic transformation since that time of different types of regions—the core city of Berlin, the suburban belt and the peripheral parts of the metropolitan region. This analysis emphasises a conflicting picture. While Berlin had hitherto been the leading European region for knowledge industries, it has clearly not yet stabilized its new economic base and is still suffering from the loss of traditional manufacturing industries. Furthermore, a par-ticular threat is posed to the smaller towns of Brandenburg's periphery by a drift into economic disaster with social erosion and depopulation. Additionally, there is evidence of an inability to cope with the dramatic economic and social changes, on the part of the restructured local and regional governments.

Keywords: transformation, core-periphery dichotomy, demography, knowledge economies, transnational economic linkages, regional institutions, governance, system, and Berlin-Branden-burg.

Hans Joachim Kujath, IRS-Leibnitz-Institute für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplannung Flakenstrasse 28-31, D-15537 Erkner, Germany

Economic Transformation of Small Silesian Towns in the Years 1990-1999

Elżbieta Zuzańska-Żyśko

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 137-150 | Full text

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This elaboration concerns small towns in the highly urbanized region of Upper Silesia. The character of the towns is presented against the background of the urban conurbation of the Upper Silesian Industrial Centre, as are demographic changes—such as the decline and ageing of the population—during the 1990s. The size structure of enterprises, including the smallest so important in the process of transformation, was shown. Moreover, a regionally differentiated labour market—characterized by a decrease in the number of persons employed in medium and large enterprises, and an increase in the number of small economic enterprises—was described.

Keywords: small town, economic transformation, demographic changes, Upper Silesia

Elżbieta Zuzańska-Żyśko, The Silesian University Faculty of Earth Sciences, Department of Economic Geography Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland

The Birth and Development of a Modern Socialist City: Shenzhen, China

Mee Kaming, Wing-shing Tang

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 151-162 | Full text

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One of the first Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in an opening China since late 1970s, Shenzhen municipality is a 'globalizing' socialist city. This paper discusses the Shenzhen experi-ment. Four interrelated underlying forces are investigated: central government policies, needs and trends of foreign direct investment, ever changing regional and local urban realities, and local governance and plan making processes. The Shenzhen SEZ first planned by the central government, has faced almost continuous challenges since its establishment. Centrally planned master blueprints and the mode of urban governance have imposed constraints on Shenzhen's ability to cope with changing trends of foreign investment: from simple processing and assem-bly works to high-technology investment. The spatial structures and institutions established in the early days then had presented Shenzhen with many difficulties in her course of socio-eco-nomic and adminstrative restructuring. Planners are also challenged by sustainability demands of conserving the environment and promoting social welfare when economic development takes place. Shenzhen proved to be a difficult yet exciting experiment for socialist planners to build a 'modern' city in an age of globalization.

Keywords: globalizing socialist city, socialist economy, central-local relationships, urban develop-ment and planning, Shenzhen, China

Mee Kaming, Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management, The University of Hong Kong Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Wing-shing Tang, Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Closing remarks

Closing remarks

Ewa Nowosielska

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 163-171 | Full text

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