Metropolisation Processes In Contemporary Space Of Poland
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The last 20 years of scientific research on metropolises and metropolitan areas in Poland can be divided into three basic stages. The first one, observed at the turn of the 20 th century, focused on the implementation of the basic terminology and methodology from European and American scientific literature. That was also the time of the first attempts of identify Polish metropolises and delimit their functional areas. This period strongly influenced further achievements in this field, first of all, two basic approaches towards understanding the metropolis were applied then. The first one, according to the international terminology, refers to a big city which due to well-developed metropolitan functions is considered (or aspires) to be an important centre on the global scale (global metropolis). In Poland only the capital city, Warsaw, to some extent seems to meet such criteria. In such circumstances, this term more and more often was used to refer also to other regional and supra-regional centres. As a result, scientists who certainly acknowledged this nuance, began to equate “metropolitan areas” with “urban agglomerations”. The popularity of this approach could be explained in the context of prestige and political objectives. However, despite the fact that for many years numerous attempts to institutionalize such metropolitan areas have been made, still there is no agreement on the identification of metropolises and the delimitation of their functional areas, not mentioning other issues related to metropolitan governance. The second stage of research in the described field fell on the first decade of the 21 st century. The main focus was on identification of metropolitan functions in the biggest Polish cities, usually four or five of them. At that time a dual approach towards the understanding the idea of metropolis was clearly visible. Nowadays we experience the third stage of metropolitan research, in which the internal structure of metropolitan areas as well as the relations within them attract scientific attention. Simultaneously, numerous projects focusing on smaller territorial units (e.g. small towns located in metropolitan hinterland) are being carried out. It seems that in future this stage could be followed by focusing the interest on the institutionalisation of metropolitan areas. This ought to result in integration of transport policies, land management and performing other municipal tasks, and, in a broader perspective, in establishing complex metropolitan management. The example of considerable advancement in this field may already be found in Poznań, where local authorities, together with the scientific circ les, successfully stimulate integration of the metropolitan area. To conclude, metropolises and metropolitan areas are nowadays among the most important scientific research subjects in Poland. Not only does this refer to socio-economic geography, but also to economy, urban sociology and management. A considerable share of the scientific projects in this field has application values – their results are implemented in various planning documents prepared at each level of territorial organisation. This evidently proves the importance of research activities regarding metropolisation processes as well as the necessity of their continuation in future.
- Książki/Rozdziały 
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