Konrad Billwitz


Some natural environmental changes within the Halle-Leipzig agglomeration and their interpretation

Konrad Billwitz

Geographia Polonica (1975) vol. 30, pp. 138-151 | Full text

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The trend observed today towards a steadily growing spatial concentration of industrial production favours the agglomeration of production and popula-tion. This necessitates an increased utilization of both economic and natural resources within such areas.

The resulting "exchange" with nature (geotechnischer Metabolismus, acc. to E. Neef, 1967, p. 31) occurs in our era of scientific-and-technological revolu-tion on an enormous scale, whereas the individual geo-factors or elements of the landscape (i.e., water, soil, air, area, woods, minerals) assume the character of resources. They are being partially displaced in the process from their nat-ural structure, processed, re-shaped and altered according to the purpose of their utilization. In course of the above process, man not only removes mate-rial or energy out of the natural milieu, but also returns such materials and energy. The natural milieu is, however, frequently, not in the position to absorb such recovered materials and energy, or to accumulate them safely. This requi-res basically new economic-expenditure.

The above scope of man-environment problems, or in other words questions arising within the system of the socialist land management are in my opinion too heterogeneous for geography to deal with them. They are rather involved in the ever more intense utilization of territory, the phenomena and processes in space, the changed material and energy management, i.e. the geo-ecology of intensely utilized geo-systems within the agglomerations. Since only individual preliminary geographical studies are available on the subject, we shall point in the further course of this paper merely to particularly intensely claimed nat-ural resources which in addition to the complex problems will require in fu-ture a greater attention.

Konrad Billwitz, Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg