Odrębność rozwojowa regionu łódzkiego. Niewykorzystane dziedzictwo Królestwa Polskiego
The term Łódź region connected to the regional organization of the country appears in 1999 according to the organization of the EU countries. It refers to the Łódź voivodeship which has functioned, within a bit different borders however, since 1919 with a small break from 1975 to 1999. The above mentioned voivodeship is not a natural region of either physical or geographical properties as it is situated in the main watershed of Poland, in the keystone of the watersheds of three rivers: Bzura, Pilica and Warta. Nor is it a homogeneous historical unity. After all historical divisions corresponded with neither geographical nor cultural properties of regions. What is extremely interesting about the history of Łódź is the fact that it was established in such a place which created a center of rapidly developing economic region. The next historical paradox is that the administrative distinction of the region as well as a formal recognition of Łódź as its capital happened in a time when the conditions supporting the development of the city and region changed dramatically due to the World War I. Since then Łódź has been in a state of permanent restructuring linked with making up for the civilization losses occurred in the nineteenth-century city eruption. The insufficiency of the restructuring actions towards the historical part of the city as well as uncoordinated development of its outer area (which was the outcome of mistakes in planning and land development) led to a regression phase of the city and its region in the final period of industrial age (which was also the end of the communist regime). Study of conditions and urban arrangement directions of the city of Łódź accepted by the Łódź City Council in 2002 (main designer – Mirosław Wiśniewski), which the talk will touch upon, as well as the Voivodeship arrangement plan passed by the Same of Lodz Voivodeship in the same year describe not only the scale of the development problems but also the aims of the land policy. Apart from the problems of the material sphere, the most crucial point at present is, as the research shows (Krystyna Rembowska), the problem of low territorial consciousness, (...) feeling of our own territorial distinction and our own territorial group – the problem of lack of identity. The paper suggests that the material evidence (architectural heritage) as well as the elements of the „founding myth” of the city and region should be used in a greater degree in the process of building the regional identity. Those two points would help present the role which the strategy of the Polish Kingdom government played in the years 1815 – 1830 in the beginning of the development of industrial Łódź – especially an ingenious plan of the Head of Mazowieckie Voivodeship Committee (Voivode) - Rajmund Rembieliński. The paper also includes the thesis that Rembieliński, while establishing a set of industrial cities and creating the conditions for their development, very accurately predicted the future structure of the set. As a „background” of the region capital he used the already existing „colonies”, which were being established from the Poniatowski’s period to the times of the Prussian annexation (1793-1807) as well as private industrial cities build in the times of the Duchy of Warsaw (Ozorków) and the beginnings of the Polish Kingdom (Aleksandrów Łódzki and Zduńska Wola). He made the right choice of the place for the region capital by localizing its center first in Zgierz (1820) and right after that (in the years 1823-25) in Łódź. The choice was much better than the one by the Prussian authorities which wanted to make Nowosolna a capital. A very rapid development of Zgierz confirmed the correctness of the decision. Yet it was seen even better in Łódź, where its founder equipped the city in an unmatched assets based on a well-thought-of strategy and a finessed work. Among the most essential ones we can mention: spatial form of the city organism which was strictly subjected to the production needs and territorial immensity of the areas designed specifically for industry with specially arranged cascade of Jasień river to receive important clients. Moreover we must mention the invitation of important industrialists of those times since the very establishment of the city and, last but not least, taking into consideration the production of cotton fabrics in the city development plan. The author also advances a thesis that Rembieliński, having noticed the beginnings of the industrial region as well as having localized and adapted a place of the greatest potential for becoming a central point of the region, managed to anticipate and put into practice the ideas set in the theory (established over one hundred years later) by Walter Christaller (Die Zentralen Orte in Suddeutschland, Iena 1933).