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Sudra P.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Przeglad Geograficzny | Year: 2016

This article reviews selected indicative methods allowing for analysis of the concentration and dispersion of settlement. A further aim is to evaluate the utility of these measures in studying the spontaneous process of suburbanisation known as “urban sprawl”. Following the model of the “dispersed city”, as opposed to the “compact city”, it is assumed that urban sprawl is associated with scattering of development. It is therefore reasonable to assume that spatial concentration indicators will allow for the at least partial description of its physiognomy. Urban sprawl is described as a multi-dimensional spatial phenomenon related to metropolitan deconcentration. Three fundamental spatial forms are observed: lowdensity sprawl, ribbon sprawl and leapfrog sprawl. Thereafter, issues are described in relation to the nature of the spatial dispersion and diffusion, the influence of centripetal and centrifugal forces, and the occurrence of the modified areal unit problem (MAUP), in the analysis of urbanisation. The four different measures chosen for actual review were the Gini coefficient, the C index of B. Kostrubiec, the average nearest neighbour method (Clark-Evans index) and Shannon entropy. Each of the indicators is analysed, with account taken of its theoretical and mathematical underpinnings, the adopted understanding of the spatial concentration concept, the impact of the delimitation of basic units on the results of spatial analyses, and available methods by which results may be presented. The Gini coefficient, based on the Lorenz curve, and initially used in econometrics, determines the cumulated concentration of features within a smaller or larger number of spatial units. It measures the unevenness of spatial distribution, but does not consider the mutual location of the basic units. A further limitation of this indicator in studying urban sprawl is that it takes no account of the precise locations of the objects. The spatial concentration index C, as proposed by B. Kostrubiec, is a measure of the concentration or dispersion of a set of elements – on a scale between concentration at one point and a spread across the maximum distance (range) it is possible to achieve within the boundaries of a certain area. The indicator is rarely used, but is of clear applicability, given the way it allows additional statistical parameters based on marginal distributions to be calculated. The average nearest neighbour method (Clark-Evans index), as derived from ecology, is widely known and applied in urbanisation studies. It allows for observation of the attractive forces associated with the locating of buildings and other new developments. This indicator resembles the previous one in combining recognition of the level of dispersion and the randomness of a set of features. Shannon entropy is a probabilistic measure of “disorder” and – in geography – a measure of segregation, the spatial organisation of an area, or, most simply, the proportion of the share of a phenomenon in territorial units. Entropy defines fragmentation or the filling of terrain with settlement. It is often used in researching land use and land cover change. This article concludes with a table describing the main features of the four indicators. Methods of multidimensional analysis of urban sprawl are also highlighted. These are important because the morphology of sprawl cannot be defined solely by reference to the degree of spatial concentration, which is understood and defined in various ways. Other important spatial dimensions include density, continuity, clustering, centralisation or the mixed use of land. In the author’s view, the most comprehensive assessment of the phenomenon of sprawl will be made possible if several methods are selected, and parallel analyses carried out using them. In these circumstances, complementary information will be obtained as regards the concentration and dispersion of development in an area. © 2016, Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved. Source


Eberhardt P.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Przeglad Geograficzny | Year: 2016

The article presents the biography and creative achievements of Milan Hodža (1878- 1944), who was an outstanding Slovak politician and scholar of the first half of the 20th century. An active promoter of political union between Central European countries, Hodža was convinced that more than a dozen nations in territory between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas ought to form a close political federation. Given its major demographic and economic potential, a union of this kind was envisaged as strong enough in military terms to be able to defend itself against potential aggression on the part of both Russia (the USSR) and Germany. In its introductory part, this article considers general issues relating to the understanding of the notions of federation and federationism. In this context, various kinds of federal associations, grouping smaller or larger numbers of relatively autonomous units, are identified. Exemplified by the Unions between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, these functioned in various historical periods, experiencing both success and failure. The main body of the article is devoted to a description of Milan Hodža’s political achievements and scholarly work. He was among the creators of the Czechoslovak state, supporting the federation of the Slovak and Czech peoples within a single political entity. He took high ministerial positions in the central administration in Prague, there defending the interests of the Slovak nation consistently. At the same time, he advanced his aforementioned postulate regarding the establishment of a federation of states situated along the Danube. He included Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria in this group of countries, with the proposed federal association seeking to replace the so-called Small Entente, intended to be directed against the potential threat posed by Hungarian revanchism. After the Munich Dictate, Milan Hodža was forced to emigrate, staying in France, Britain, and then in the United States. Two years before his death (in 1942), Hodža published an English-language work entitled “Federation in Central Europe”, in which he sought to justify the establishment of a federation of countries of Central Europe. He assumed that the association, or union, of free nations and equal states, ought to encompass Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Greece. In formulating this concept, Hodža opposed the German idea of Mitteleuropa, which he saw as aimed at the subordination of Central European nations under German hegemony. Side by side with the territorial aspect, Hodža devoted ample space in his study to the organisation of the future federation, and especially to systemic and legal aspects, and the potential regulation of internal relations, as well as foreign policies. Hodža also dealt in this study with prerequisites for the federation’s future constitution, as well as the competences of the autonomous provinces. The article also describes and comments on these considerations. The final part of the article seeks to emphasise how entirely unrealistic the idea forwarded by Hodža was, in the geopolitical conditions then existing. The area of Central Europe concerned soon fell within the Soviet zone of influence, and the region’s states largely lost their political sovereignty. Yet the vision formulated by Hodža, of political union within Central Europe, was in fact to be implemented to a great extent half a century later. The majority of countries in the region became Member States of the European Union, as a federal association of many nations and states, in principle enjoying equal rights. © 2016, Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved. Source


Szupryczynski J.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Przeglad Geograficzny | Year: 2013

Franz Josef Land was discovered on 30th August 1873 by an Austro-Hungarian Expedition. The author describes the story of this 1872-1874 Tegetthof expedition, which was originally destined for the North Pole, but had as its ultimate intention the discovery of a Northeast Passage to the Far East. However, while caught in the grip of the ice for some two years, the expedition unexpectedly came upon Franz Josef Land, spending seven months of winter 1873-1874 there. Unsurprisingly, the expedition's contribution to the scientifi c discovery of the archipelago and to the mapping thereof proved to be of considerable signifi cance. Source


Eberhardt P.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Przeglad Geograficzny | Year: 2015

This paper presents the creative achievements of Friedrich Ratzel – an outstanding German geographer commonly considered the world pioneer of political geography and geopolitics. Ratzel’s life and scientific achievements are presented first, and it is noted how his scientific work extend to several dozen books, devoted mainly to regional geography perceived on different territorial scales. It is recalled that Ratzel was the follower and heir to such great German geographers as J. Herder, K. Ritter and M. Wagner. His scientific worldview was also strongly infl uenced by the concepts of Ch. Darwin, H. Spencer, A. Comte and E. A. Haeckel. The remainder of the paper comprises two parts – a consideration of Ratzel’s views in matters of human geography, and then an assessment of his contribution to matters of political geography, which turned into geopolitics, under the intellectual inspiration of Ratzel. As achievements in the domain of human geography are presented, attention is also paid to Ratzel’s injection into explanations of the relations characterising human communities of both biological principles and deterministic factors. In his opinion, the development of human societies resembled nature in that a struggle for life took place, generating a form of natural selection that ensured the elimination of weaker organisms less adapted to the geographical, social and political environment. Another explanatory concept, which played an important cognitive role, was the Wagnerian theory of migrations, adopted by Ratzel. The analysis of the views of Ratzel on human geography seeks to emphasise the interdisciplinary nature of those views, with their connections to biology, sociology, ethnography, demography and statistics. The second part of the paper is then devoted to the scientific contribution made by Ratzel to the appearance of the new scientific discipline that geopolitics became. The basis for his reasoning was the proposition that the state and the nation, like a living organism, undergoes successive phases of development, from simple forms towards more complex ones. This development takes place in the framework of confrontations and military struggles for domination and living space (Lebensraum). Starting from these conceptual prerequisites, Ratzel considered his contemporary international situation and construed the image of future, probable political processes in the world. The presentation of Ratzel’s views stresses how use was later made of these in the formulation of German imperial plans and territorial annexation programs. However, as this phase characterised a period after Ratzel’s death, he cannot be held responsible for the extreme uses to which his ideas were put. Nevertheless, even with an overall positive assessment of the scientific achievements of Ratzel, substantive analysis and evaluation of this controversial issue could not be avoided. © 2015, Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved. Source


Sleszynski P.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Przeglad Geograficzny | Year: 2015

This article discusses issue relating to the current administrative division of Poland, as it seems there are more arguments emerging that make such a discussion of a possible amendment necessary. In recent times there has been yet-further conditioning of the situation as regards anticipated depopulation and a weakening economic base, with more functions expected to be lost by some urban centres. In these circumstances it is worth offering examples of how use may be made of the gravity analysis to show what possibilities for optimisation may exist. The article refers in particular to elaborations by D. Sokołowski (2014) and Ł. Zaborowski (2014a) which concern the administrative division of Poland at the level of the voivodship (province-region). The background to the discussion is an administrative division of Poland that has now been in place for more than 15 years, making it possible for a comprehensive assessment of its impact on wider economic and social life to be made. There are three main reasons why such an assessment ought to be critical. First, the effects of reforms and adopted administrative-territorial solutions seem not to be satisfactory, or at least are less so than expected (as regards the division of competences, and the numbers and sizes of individual units). Second, there is the polarising nature of the country’s current development, which is assessed negatively. And the third relevant factor is then the expected intensification of the depopulation process in Poland, with further deterioration of the age structure to the Polish population, an associated decrease in revenues to territorial units of administration and a consequent need to further optimise public services. All these factors make plainer the need for a discussion regarding optimisation of the country’s administrative division. It seemed clear from the outset that gravity analysis might prove a useful method of optimisation. The assumption is that the determination of the number and designation of areas belonging to or affiliated with major settlement centres can involve consideration being given to natural gravitation, as related to a physical understanding of relevant socio-economic impacts. If a given unit experiences greater attraction to another, their legal and administrative linkages may denote, not only greater spatial and functional cohesion, but also a greater possibility of synergies, benefits of cooperation, and so on, arising. The analyses made use of a classic gravitation model with a matrix of cities/towns together with Poland’s units of local-government administration at gmina level (as aggregated in the case of the Upper Silesian conurbation and the Tri-City (GdańskGdynia-Sopot), as well as the urban and rural gminas sharing the same seats). Adopted to give the assumed weight was a synthetic index composed in equal proportions of the size of the population and the number of enterprises. Analyses were then performed in relation to two issues: the optimal number of highest-order units and ranges of impact or influence. Analyses drawing on the aforesaid gravity analysis point to the sub-optimal nature of both the number of first-tier administrative units and their boundaries as delineated currently. For example, it may be concluded that a division of Poland more justified than the present one involving 16 voivodships (province-regions) would comprise 14 units at this level (i.e. a reduced number) or else 18-20 (an increase). © 2015, Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved. Source

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