Geographia Polonica (1975) vol. 32, pp. 113-121 | Full text
Geographia Polonica (1975) vol. 32, pp. 121-132 | Full text
The settlement network is the key element of the physical structure of a country. It represents the distribution of the population and thereby determines the utlization of the geographical environment by man.Nowadays when the system of forecasting is being extensively developed as a ba-sis for planning, it is important to visualize the future picture of the settlement network.Bearing this in mind, two possible approaches can be differentiated. The first consists in forecasting in the strict sense of the word, that is, in foreseeing future possible changes in the settlement network based on the extrapolation of phenomena observed today and on the possible changes of these trends depending on the adop-ted assumptions for development. The second approach is more subjective. It con-sists in presenting the probable future picture of the settlement network of the count-ry as it seems to fulfill justified social goals.I wish to present in this article, the methodological premises and the reasoning, which lead to the construction of objective prognoses as regards the settlement net-work of the country. At the same time I should like to make use of these same pre-mises for the construction of one version of the future settlement pattern of Poland which — on the basis of available information — I believe to be the most probable and the most desirable.It has to be mentioned that the version of prognosis presented here for the settle-ment network of Poland is in essence an attempt to expand earlier ideas on this subjecti. This new version seems to be more comprehensive and much better sub-stantiated.I further wish to explain, still as an introductory remark, that I have adopted the year 2000 as the time horizon of forecasting. I do not, however, attach any partic-ular importance to this date for I think that in forecasting for the distant future es-pecially concerning the physical structure, the setting up of a definite time limit is less important than thinking in terms of so-called "open" models which contain in themselves a considerable degree of flexibility and can be harmoniously developed in conditions of changing circumstances.
Bolesław Malisz, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw