Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN

Warsaw, Poland

Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN

Warsaw, Poland

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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.


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.


Taylor Z.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN | Ciechanskiz A.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Przeglad Geograficzny | Year: 2016

Alongside air transport, road transport plays an important role in the servicing of the mass organised tourist traffic in Poland. The purpose of this paper is therefore to present the major road carriers, including firms offering and providing feeder services, as well as transport at destinations. All other carriers facilitating tourism (cruise liners, ferries and railways) are also presented, though their role is found to be much smaller than that of their air and coach counterparts, where organised tourist traffic is concerned. Coach is the second most-used means of transport among the tour operators researched. According to the authors’ accounts, it is used by 15.79% of tour operators, with instances of tourism involving coaches accounting for 3.2% of their total turnover, and with 8.62% of customers involved in these. The role of the coach among the means of transport used is actually greater, since this is the most frequent mode of travel besides aircraft, in a category called ‘various means’ of transport. It was even more typical for coaches to be made use of in the 1990s, but with increased affluence in Polish society, and a partial change in the nature of foreign outward travel from touring excursions (sightseeing) to typical leisure (holiday) tours, the role played by coaches has been in gradual decline. The coach allows for the avoidance of problems with transfer, luggage, the arrangement of travel formalities, a knowledge of foreign languages, and so on. “Coach tours are in the main cheaper than air travel, and frequently also than rail tours. Because of these advantages, the coach is a means of transport particularly gladly chosen in certain segments of tourist demand” (Konieczna- Domańska, 2008, p. 61). In coach transport, three types of activity can be distinguished: tourist travel on ‘feeder’ lines from smaller localities to hubs using scheduled coaches (sometimes microbuses and cars), carriage of small groups by scheduled coaches, and the usage (sometimes charter) of whole coaches by tour operators (also at destinations). Some of the tour operators researched have their own coaches available (e.g. the Jan Pol Incoming Tour Operator, Mazurkas Travel, Funclub, Atas and Skarpa Travel). These are put to use in both own carriage and that of the competition. In the case of groups of companies such as Almatur, tour operators not having their own stock use coaches of other members of their group. Own means of transport, if they are available, are limited to coaches only, and not air carriers. The latter, in turn, is a domain of larger tour operators with foreign capital (like TUI and Neckermann). Tour operators involved in inward tourism usually have their own fleet of coaches (e.g. the Jan Pol Incoming Tour Operator and Mazurkas Travel). Possession of an own fleet of coaches is characteristic for tour operators with exclusively Polish capital. The largest tour operators with foreign and ‘mixed’ Polish-foreign capital as a rule do not own coaches. There is no precise information available on cooperation between the Polish tour operators and individual coach carriers. Only a few tour operators provide such infor mation on their websites. This may point to a lack of long-term cooperation agreements, with carriers being chosen ad hoc, in line with the needs of the given time. Some coach carriers (e.g. Żak Express and Hubertus) rendering services for the largest Polish tour operators, also engage in tourist services under their own brand name, selling someone’s else events, or organising their own instances of tourism (e.g. school excursions, works’ outings and trips). It is of interest that a majority of the coach carriers analysed have their seats in southern Poland. In the case of the Cracow-based tour operators, it is possible to note the use of local coach carriers. The remaining means of transport are used only occasionally by the largest tour operators. Only some of these provide information on the usage of other means of transport besides aeroplanes and/or coaches during organised instances of tourism. In Poland, maritime tourism cannot be qualified by the adjective ‘mass’, though it is a fast-developing segment of the market, and certain offers are to be found amongst selected tour operators (such as Atlas Tours, Sigma Travel, Itaka, Rainbow Tours, TUI Poland). It is usual for tour operators to cooperate with cruise ships and/or ferries on various seas, rivers or lakes. Railways are also only seldom used as means of transport by our tour operators, and rather abroad than in Poland. Scheduled trains feature in the offer from Itaka, Rainbow Tours, Alfa Star and TUI. Moreover, some tour operators (e.g. TUI Poland) that make use of foreign airports provide their customers with free tickets for rail access to any airport in Germany, in the context of a service called rail&fly. This is also true of the transfer from railway station to airport. © 2016, Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved.


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.


Taylor Z.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN | Ciechanski A.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Przeglad Geograficzny | Year: 2015

The purpose of this paper is to present the air carriers servicing the largest Polish tour operators. In an absolute majority of tourist ventures organised by Polish tour operators it is aircraft that are used as the primary means of transport, along with possibly one or more other means. Where mass tourist traffi c is concerned, fl ights are supplied mainly as the charters which will be described in detail in the second part of this paper (to be published in Przegląd Geografi czny, 2015, 87, 4). In the fi rst part of this paper it is therefore scheduled air traffi c, including low-cost airlines, that is analysed. However, a scheduled fl ight may be taken in relation to various goals and purposes of travel, including gainful employment, business trips, family visits and individual tourism. Therefore it is only to some extent that this kind of fl ight is connected with tourist traffi c organised en masse. To a greater extent, scheduled fl ights are used by the smaller tour operators, as focused in the direction of special segments of the market. Examples here would be Atas, Active Travel, Misja Travel, Espace Trans, Delta Travel, Top Travel Incentives or Pol Tur, all of which may be unable to fi ll an aircraft or even the greater part of one, single-handed. In such situations it may even be the case that participants on a small group travel offer buy air tickets on their own, individually. Scheduled carriers are also used by larger tour operators, but it is not easy to determine the degree to which such cooperation takes place. Thus, despite quite good statistics being available on scheduled air traffi c, data on this are only concerned with organised tourist traffi c to a limited extent, while domestic traffi c does not concern it at all. For this reason, in what follows in this paper, scheduled traffi c is described briefl y, while foreign charter traffi c will be presented extensively in Part II. It should nevertheless be recalled that charter fl ights can also be provided by scheduled (full-service or low-cost) airlines. By and large, a common feature of air carriers is their great variety in cooperation with tour operators. In 2012, Polish airports served a total of 24.6 million passengers, including 3.6 million in domestic, and slightly more than 21 million in international, traffi c. That still leaves the mobility coeffi cient as low as 0.565 in the case of Poland, though this is increasing slowly. The value proves that Poland is a country in which the air-transport market is in the process of development. According to information from Poland’s Civil Aviation Authority (ULC), an absolutely predominant share of the traffi c among scheduled airlines on the Polish market is taken by just 25 carriers, given that some 98.68% of all passengers are served by them. Table 5 offers a concise characterisation of the largest carriers, and the tour operators cooperating with them. Not in every case could cooperating tour operators even be found since, as has already been noted, scheduled carriage serves various purposes, and not fi rst and foremost the servicing of organised tourist traffi c. Amongst the larger scheduled carriers there is LOT Polish Airlines with its affi liate EuroLOT, which jointly serve 29.1% of all passengers and cooperate with many of the largest tour operators (e.g. Itaka, Rainbow Tours, Neckermann Polska and Exim Tours), as well as smaller ones (e.g. Espace Trans and Top Travel Incentives). When the most important directions of fl ights (the UK, Ireland, Germany and Norway) are considered, the number-2 scheduled carrier - the Irish low-cost line Ryanair - is seen to cater fi rst and foremost for gainful-employment trips, rather than those based around tourism. Another low-cost, the Hungarian Wizz Air, serves both segments of the market and cooperates with several tour operators (Itaka, Rainbow Tours, Otium Polska, Espace Trans and Pol Tur). Finally, the fourth most signifi cant carrier on the Polish market – the full-service carrier Lufthansa – in fact offers various kinds of carriage, including of tourists and in cooperation with certain Polish tour operators (see Table 5). Taking into account the numbers of passengers using scheduled airlines, the Polish carriers (mainly LOT Polish Airlines + EuroLOT, OLT Express Regional, EuroLOT and OLT Express Poland) jointly served 34.56% of all passengers. In turn, the share of the low-cost carriers in scheduled traffi c in Poland in 2012 was 47.40%. This refl ects the activity of such LCCs as Ryanair, Wizz Air, easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Air Berlin and several smaller lines. © 2015, Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved.


Comparative analysis was performed in relation to the scales of ecological indicator values for plant species proposed by: (1) Ellenberg, for the flora of Germany, (2) Landolt for the flora of Switzerland and (3) Zarzycki for the flora of Poland – in relation to six environmental features classed as either “climatic”: light intensity [L], temperature [T] or continentality [K] or soil-related (edaphic), i.e. moisture [F], acidity [R] and nitrogen content [N]. Species characteristic of sandy xeric grasslands from Koelerio glaucae- Corynephoretea canescentis class were used as a”tool” in the comparison. Numbers of species differ – from 55 to 62 - depending on environmental features and the compared scales. However, it was assumed that pairs of ecological scales were similar if the per centage share of species was above 50% in corresponding points on scales. The main aim of the analysis was to assess whether compared scales originating from different parts of Central Europe are similar (or different) in their ecological diagnosis as regards climatic and edaphic conditions, where each feature of the geographical environment is expressed in relation to three indicator values deriving from the three scales. The interpretation of results was based around two opposing hypotheses: that the scales compared are similar, with particular points along them conforming to the same ranges of actual measurements, while differences concern the assessment of the requirements of the species as indicators of environmental conditions; or that the scales are different (most often shifted by one degree), while the ecological requirements of the species are similar. The analysis of histograms of frequency for the particular species categories shows that examples supporting the first of the two hypotheses are constituted by the pairs of scales for: (1) light intensity [L] of Ellenberg and Zarzycki, (2) temperature [T] of Ellenberg and Zarzycki; (3) soil moisture [F] of Ellenberg and Zarzycki; (4) nitrogen content in the soil [N] of Ellenberg and Landolt. In terms of the second hypothesis the distribution of frequencies of the species categories in the histograms allows for the explanation of the differences (shifts) within the compared pairs of scales concerning: (1) light [L] as expressed by Landolt or Zarzycki values; (2) continentality [K] of Ellenberg and Zarzycki; (3) soil moisture [F] of Ellenbeg and Landolt; (4) soil moisture of Landolt and Zarzycki; (5) soil acidity of Landolt and Zarzycki; (5) nitrogen content in the soil [N] of Ellenberg and Zarzycki. It is worth noting that similar results for analysis were obtained when the same ecological scales of indicator values were compared by reference to species from meadows of Molinio-Arrhenathereta class (Roo-Zielinska, 2004), deciduous forest of Querco-Fagetea class (Roo-Zielińska 2009) and xerothermic grasslands of Festuco-Brometea class (Roo- Zielińska, 2012). This means that a total of around 380 species (of meadow, deciduous forest, xerothermic and sandy xeric grassland) have now been evaluated, though admittedly this is still only about 20% of K. Zarzycki’s list of Polish flora (Zarzycki et al., 2002). Nevertheless, the ecological spectra and tolerances found for the four groups are very different, with results obtained suggesting the need to continue with the comparative analysis of European ecological scales for groups of species characteristic of different phytosociological units/associations, with appropriate ecological indicator values for Polish flora and plant communities being found in the process. © 2015 Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved.


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

The objective of the work reported on here was to assess the potential of scientifi c staff and the role played in the contemporary development of Polish geography, extending also to the prospects for the next decade and more. The author’s attention is concentrated on scientifi c achievements and levels of research activity among professionally- active geographers, with no account therefore being taken of participation in the academic teaching process and involvement in organisational work. The latter elements are in fact very important parts of scientists’ work, but they will need to be the subject of a separate analysis. Here account is also taken of the diversifi cation of staff among the centres considered. The study was based upon a variety of information sources, but above all upon subject literature, together with databases of the offi cial Information Processing Centre (Polish acronym OPI). However, these data were found to need further interpretation, and in some cases also supplementation with information originating, in particular, from the websites of the academic centres. Harzing’s Publish or Perish application was also made use of, since it inter alia allows for analysis and assessment of the cited publications of scientists. It will be clear that an approach of this kind imbues some opinions and conclusions with a degree of subjectivity refl ecting the author’s experience and observations. However, the purpose of what is written is to motivate readers into discussing, or at least thinking about, the state of - and prospects for – scientifi c staff in our discipline. Scientifi c staff at Poland’s academic centres in the fi eld of geography are found to be much polarised with respect to all features considered, i.e. numbers, level of activity level and research specialisation. Overall, the shares accounted for by the individual professional are such as to ensure the maintenance of the structure that has thus far characterised scientifi c staff at the centres in question. However, some of these are seen to have too small a number of Professors, a fact that may fi nd refl ection in the lower quality of investigations performed, and hence in marginalisation of the units concerned as regards the organisational structures operating within Polish geography. As a rule, the centres in question are also characterised by the most limited effectiveness of their researchers. Current changes in the system of Polish science seeking primarily to raise the prestige and competitiveness of the country’s scientifi c community, will most probably lead to a closing-down of the weakest units in geography. This is also highly probable given the way in which geography fails to belong to the “mainstream” of science in Poland, with a decline also being observed when it comes to young people’s interest in studying geography. The investigations reported on demonstrate a disadvantageous age structure among senior academic staff. For example, there are found to be too few Full Professors of geography in younger age groups. Slow career advance most probably refl ects lack of adequate stimulation on the part of older colleagues, and conceivably also actual suppression of ambitions by the leaders of research teams. A further important factor may be the excessive load imposed on employees by teaching activities that hinder or entirely thwart efforts to carry out research work and then disseminate the results thereof. What is more, the citation analysis confi ned to Full Professors reveals a low level of activity on their part also. Polish geographers only appear rather sporadically in the known journals of international reach. Thus, for example, in the group of six leading journals in the domain of socio-economic geography, in the period 2000-2010, only two papers were published by an author of Polish affi liation (in Geoforum). The number of researchers publishing with international journals of high impact factor is very low, and those involved are seen to be confi ned to just a handful of leading Polish centres of geographical research. It is to be anticipated that coming years will bring an increase in the numbers of papers published by Polish geographers in ISI-indexed journals, because such publication has become a necessary precondition for the advancement of a scientifi c career, obtainment of research grants and international cooperation. Indeed, it is already possible to observe – among young representatives of science in particular – increasing activity in searching for possible publication abroad of research results. The scientifi c community of geographers proves to be highly differentiated where involvement in research projects is concerned. The greatest effectiveness is in fact anifested by employees of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences, presumably in refl ection of the lack of teaching obligations there, as well as employees’ active search for additional sources of fi nance for research. At the other extreme, the smallest university units only carry out single projects, while the effectiveness of researchers they employ is minimal. Given decreasing numbers of students and a lack of demand for teachers of geography in primary and secondary schools, such centres are heading for a crisis, and will probably fi nd themselves either absorbed by larger university units or else closed down altogether. The analysis regarding the subject-matter structure of research projects confi rms the clear dominance of physical over socio-economic geography. On the other hand, the themes of doctoral dissertations and doctor-of-science publications indicate increased interest in socio-economic geography, resulting in an increase in the number of geographers dealing with this sub-discipline. There is also an increasingly visible confl ict of interest between representatives of physical and socio-economic geography, given that the former wish to maintain “a single” geography (in order to go on playing the lead role within it), while the latter see strong links with the social sciences, and thus drift willingly into the realms of other scientifi c disciplines. It would seem that the specialists in physical geography dominant in our community perceive the weakening role of studies in their own area, and in general a declining interest in studying the subjects involved. While there is a similar decline in interest in socio-geographic studies, it is lucky that the domains of tourism, regional science, European studies and the spatial economy have come into existence here, and also fall within the scope of scientifi c interest of socio-economic geographers. © 2015, Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved.


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.


Bednarek-Szczepanska M.,Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Przeglad Geograficzny | Year: 2015

This article centres around an analysis and evaluation of how rural space is represented in the promotional publications that Poland’s local authorities in rural areas come out with. The purposes of the research were in fact served through the study of 33 promotional brochures of the above profi le, specially selected to reflect differences between Poland’s gminas in terms of location, social conditions and main economic functions, as well as the role assigned there to nature, environmental protection and infrastructure; and to the external environmental when it comes to the shaping of the said representation of municipalities. Studies have already shown just how diverse the approach taken by local authorities in creating an image of their rural area may be. Brochures are seen to be adaptable in the way that they can either weaken or reinforce certain cliché images of rural space. Efforts to break with stereotypical images of rural areas generally entail a playing-down of the productive functions of agricultural space, with simultaneous “talking up” of any manifestations of modernity and technological progress that may be present. Strengthening of the stereotypical image of rural space in turn occurs when and where the significance of – and commitment to – folk culture are alluded to, while valuable natural features also receive accentuation. The principal result of the study has thus been an identification of main motifs, which is to say recurring patterns resorted to as rural space is represented in the promotional brochures published by local authorities, with a view to a particular image being conveyed. The fi rst of these is the motif of space attractive from the point of view of tourism. Tourist attractiveness is a ubiquitous, most-common characteristic ascribed to rural space. Another identified motif is that of the comprehensively perfect space. Attractiveness for the purposes of residence, recreation, investment and work are emphasised here with equal force. The rural area thus features as a space combining attributes that appear mutually exclusive at first glance. In this ideal space the needs of different social groups can be met, with the theme of traditional modernity also being assembled by means of a similar principle of combining antagonisms. Symptoms of modernity (technological progress, modern infrastructure), harmonise with socially-appreciated forms of conservatism (respect for tradition and the ongoing cultivation of certain kinds of ceremony, for example). The research has also made it clear how the motif of dynamically-developing space is returned to repeatedly. In this context space is seen to be improving steadily and continuously, as supported by the vital ongoing processes of infrastructural and economic development. The presence of this motif acts to break the stereotype of the rural area as a place of stagnation. Beyond the aforementioned, yet further motifs capable of being distinguished were: space for the young-generation, space associated with celebration and folk culture, space associated with history and remembrance and unspoiled space. © 2015, Polska Akademia Nauk. All rights reserved.


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.

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