Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 1

Articles

Poverty and household economic practices in Nowa Huta, Poland

Alison Stenning, Dariusz Świątek, Adrian Smith, Alena Rochnovska

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 1, pp. 7-24 | Full text

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Abstract:

Drawing upon research in Nowa Huta (Kraków, Poland), the paper investigates theeconomic conditions of households and individuals in this large post-socialist housing estate,where the context of social exclusion and poverty emerges from the introduction of market-basedmechanisms. Starting from the characteristics of households and individuals, the paper identifiesthose living ‘at risk’ of poverty. It explores different labour market strategies, investigates the relationshipbetween employment and poverty and describes the role of employment in supportinglivelihoods, especially for households ‘at risk’ of poverty. The paper then examines the materialassets and social networks which households have at their disposal and the way these are used tosupport and develop their livelihoods in everyday life. In addition, the role of citizenship assets,e.g. pensions, child, unemployment and other social benefits, as protection from poverty and socialexclusion is explored. Finally the paper shows how this variety of assets and institutions worktogether in everyday life and create a range of geographies in which households and individualsoperate.

Keywords: post-socialist housing estates, Nowa Huta, labour market strategies, social networks, material assets, poverty

Dariusz Świątek [swiatekd@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00‑818 Warsaw: Poland

Regional Geography: Past and Present (A Review of Ideas, Approaches and Goals)

Paul Claval

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 1, pp. 25-42 | Full text

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Abstract:

Geography always relies on regional approaches, since it deals with areas. However,in the last two centuries, the concept of the region has undergone profound changes. Whilegeographers long sought a delimitation and description of objective units on the Earth’s surface,the last forty years has seen them focus mainly on the significance of places, the meaning of territoriesand the role regional approaches have played in the building of identities. This paperhas sought to track the changing role of the regional concept in geography and to reveal the wayin which links up with other scientific disciplines (e.g. the natural sciences, sociology, economicsand history). The author concludes with an opinion regarding the current coexistence of the twoapproaches. Though stressing different factors where the shaping of terrestrial reality is concerned—and applying different concepts to express it—the two approaches seem to complementeach other as they work to explaining the social texture of space. What is more, the regionalapproach in the scientific study of human societies no longer constitutes a stage coming after allthe others, but is rather something to be used from the very beginning.

Keywords: region, regional geography, home country/pays, territory, identity, regional organization, symbol

Paul Claval, UFR de Géographie et Aménagement, Université Paris Sorbonne (Paris IV), 191, rue St.Jacques; 75005 Paris, France

The Impacts of Relocation on the Spatial Pattern to Hungarian Industry

Eva Kiss

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 1, pp. 42-62 | Full text

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Abstract:

In the post-communist countries the phenomenon of relocation has only become commonrecently. The main purposes of the study are thus to demonstrate the major characteristicsof relocation to and from Hungarian industry and to reveal its spatial impacts, i.e. the waysin which relocation has affected the post-communist spatial pattern formed for industry in the1990s. The study also examines how relocation and reorganization of production were achievedat a transnational company (Flextronics), as well as the spatial and structural consequences of thechanges. Of all the post-communist countries, Hungary forms one of the most important targetsfor relocation due to its favourable geographical location. In spite of this, the relocation notedto date has not been very intensive, and has not therefore affected the new spatial pattern of industrymuch either. In the long run, however, relocation can become more intensive and that canlead to relevant changes in the spatial pattern displayed by Hungarian industry.

Keywords: relocation, FDI, industry, Hungary

Eva Kiss, Geographical Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1112. Budapest, Budaörsi út 45, Hungary

Assessment of bioclimatic differentiation of Poland based on the human heat balance

Krzysztof Błażejczyk, Andreas Matzarakis

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 1, pp. 63-82 | Full text

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Abstract:

The paper presents general features of the bioclimate of Poland and discusses theirseasonal and spatial differentiation. Special attention is paid to biothermal indices (PhysiologicalSubjective Temperature—PST, Physiological Strain—PhS, Physiological Equivalent Temperature—PET and Weather Suitability Index—WSI) derived from the human heat balance modelsMENEX_2005 and MEMI. Climatic and biothermal indices were used to distinguish eight bioclimaticregions in Poland. WSI was also applied in defining bioclimatic weather seasons, and PETto illustrate seasonal differentiation in biothermal conditions over Polish territory. The presentresults augment bioclimatic research with a detailed analysis of physiologically significant interactionsbetween humankind and the environment.

Keywords: bioclimate, bioclimatic regionalization, biothermal indices (PST, PhS, PET and WSI), human heat balance

Krzysztof Błażejczyk [k.blaz@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland

The Significance of Trees and Coarse Woody Debris in Shaping the Debris Flow Accumulation Zone (North Slope of the Babia Gora Massif, Poland)

Marcin Matyja

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 1, pp. 83-102 | Full text

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Abstract:

In August 2002 a debris flow with a total length of 760m occurred on the northern slopeof Poland’s Mount Babia Góra. The deposition zone stretched across a distance of 280m layingentirely within upper montane-zone spruce forest. The objective of this study was to determinethe influence of trees and coarse woody debris (CWD) on transport and deposition processeswithin the deposition zone, and to estimate the length of time during which CWD influencesslope processes. The greatest influence on deposition processes was found to be exerted by thepresence of CWD lying perpendicular to the debris flow axis. The 53% of CWD laying in thepath of debris flow formed steps intercepting deposits and slowing down surface runoff. Theimpact of standing trees on depositional processes is seen to be of secondary importance. Onthe other hand, piles of debris more than 1m in height on the up-slope side of trees are stableenough to change the direction of flow. Also the larger CWD is able to change or deflect thepath of debris flow. The relative decrease in velocity caused by trees and CWD ranges from 6%to 53%. This study shows that, in the case of low-energy debris flow, CWD and trees can significantlychange the flow morphology, decreasing its velocity and range, and increasing sinuosity(Si=1.3). The CWD enhances the roughness of the slope surface and restricts the delivery ofdeposits to the valley bottom. Dating of CWD shows that its decay time in aerial conditions is100–150 years.

Keywords: dendrogeomorphology, debris flow, CWD, slope evolution, timberline, Babia Góra, Poland

Marcin Matyja, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia, ul. Będzinska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland