Geographia Polonica (1972) vol. 24

Semi-urbanization, with special reference to the problem of settlement complexes

Antoni Zagożdżon

Geographia Polonica (1972) vol. 24, pp. 57-71 | Full text

The present paper is based on the results of research work carried out bythe Department of Social Geography at Wrocław University under the directionof Professor Stefan Golachowski, whoae works, together with those of BohdanJałowiecki and of the present author, have been utilised here.

Among the various processes at present occurring in the socio-economicfield, the phenomenon of semi-urbanization is worthy of attention. Accordingto Golachowski this concept cf semi-urbanization is to be understood as SDcioeconomicand morphological changes in the countryside which do not always,or necessarily, lead to complete urbanization in the sense of a village eitherbeing annexed to an existing town or being transformed into a fullydevelopedtown. A settlement form which is neither a town nor a traditionalpeasant village will occur as a result. It may be considered as a "semi-villagesemi-town", i.e., something similar to the form called, in American English,a "rurban community".1 It appears, however, that there may be circumstanceswhen the processes do not lead to the development of a single, larger, fullyurbanized settlement, but to the creation of groups of morphologically separateyet fully integrated settlements associated with each other by various kinds ofrelationships. Such groups of settlements — which may be called "systems"or "complexes" — are similar only in some respects to the traditionallyconceivedtown as a compactly built-up area. Some analogies between a settlementcomplex and a town are perhaps a little difficult to grasp in view of thelack of topographical links between the elements of the agglomeration settlements,which, in fact, are reminiscent of the "dispersed cities" known fromthe literature.

Antoni Zagożdżon, Wrocław Universit y