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Title: Systematyka procesu depopulacji miast na obszarze Polski od XIX do XXI wieku
Authors: Kantor-Pietraga, Iwona
Keywords: ludność miejska w Polsce; migracja wewnętrzna w Polsce; gęstość zaludnienia w Polsce
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: Depopulation of towns has been a constant element of demographic processes in the area of Poland for over 200 years. This phenomenon has had a different significance in the shaping of the population of Polish towns. The causes and consequences of depopulation have also varied. The aim of this study is to determine the process of depopulation in Polish towns and to clarify the key issue of this phenomenon, namely an attempt to answer the question of why the process of depopulation is common and persistent in the development of Polish towns, despite the fact that in the past two hundred years the fundamental determinants of this phenomenon have drastically changed. While in the first half of the 19th century urban population loss resulted almost exclusively from economic factors (and less frequently due to environmental or anthropogenic hazards), it was the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries when an additional factor became the consequences of the second demographic transition. An important objective of the study was also to systematize the processes of depopulation of Polish towns, both chronologically and typologically. In the first case, the process of urban depopulation has been explained in the context of general stages of economic, social and political development of the Polish territory, assigning the following analytical periods: 1810—1918, 1919—1939, 1939—1945, 1946—1989, 1990—2010. The element of the dynamic depiction was the presentation of this phenomenon in the context of the population forecast until 2035. Each of the indicated research sub-periods was discussed, pointing out basic components of demographic processes with an indication of the role of the natural flow of the population and migration flow. An important element was the presentation of the general political, economic and social background with particular emphasis on those elements, which could have had a significant impact on the depopulation of towns. The remainder of each of the sub-sections indicated the role of the phenomenon of depopulation of towns, pointing out the quantity and size participation of towns, where population loss was observed. An essential element of the study was an indication of the types of depopulating towns, defined on the basis of the criterion of demographic potential and the criterion of the relationship of the town towards its region. Regarding the first criterion, the towns of apparent and actual depopulation and the so-called “extinct” towns were indicated In the first case, the observed population loss resulted exclusively from administrative changes. Although the population of a town dropped as a result of the separation of its district (districts), in fact, the population of the area affected by the administrative changes did not have to decrease (within the town limits before the division). The actual depopulation is in fact the real and statistical loss of population, regardless of whether administrative changes have taken place or not. The last category featured here were the so- called “extinct” towns. Formally, these places no longer have the status of a town. They lost it as a result of a complete or almost complete depopulation. The demographic potential criterion therefore relates to the relationship of a place of residence of population, strictly defined by specific borders to its dynamics in terms of population loss. The second criterion was the element of the relationship of the town towards its environment, considered from the point of view of the dynamics of the population, and in this particular case, the phenomenon of depopulation. Accordingly, centres absolutely depopulating and degraded towns were distinguished. While the absolutely depopulating towns are those in which the population loss is recorded both within them and in their immediate surroundings, depopulation relativity should be identified with the situation of population decline in the town, and population growth in its suburban zone. Relative depopulation , in most cases, shall be identified with the phenomenon of suburbanization. It constitutes a stage of urban development. The end of depopulation of the town, from a statistical point of view, occurs at the moment of inclusion of suburban areas in the town limits. From the point of view of the negative consequences of the urban depopulation phenomenon, absolute depopulation is particularly dangerous. Durable depopulation of towns, or a relatively small demographic potential may cause the degradation of the town to the level of a village (formally a non — urban settlement). Depopulation then has a double dimension. On one hand, a permanent population loss of a small town is observed, on the other, depriving it of civic rights at some point, makes its residents not included in the urban population inhabiting the region. Formally, they do not live in the town. A separate part of the study was devoted to the issue of urban shrinkage. The notion of a urban shrinkage, in its definition, includes a wider range of conditions than only a statistical decline in population. In the case of shrinking cities, it is extremely important to draw attention to the functional driver ultimately determining the loss of population. In the process of urban shrinkage, population loss is both a driver of depopulation as well as its consequence. Shrinking centres have been discussed with examples of different size urban centers, starting from a large metropolitan city (Łódź), through a city (Sosnowiec), a medium-size town (Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski) and ending with a small town (eg. Działoszyce in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship). A specific type of shrinking urban centers are cities which are “no longer needed” from a functional point of view. This term strictly refers to the declining position of a given city in the hierarchy of a national or regional settlement network, but primarily emphasizes the disappearance of the existing economic basis that consolidated the existence of the city. Due to the fact that in the examined case there was no succession, the functional basis of this existence completely collapsed. Strong depopulation in this case is one of the effects of de-urbanization of such a city. Bytom was pointed out as an example of such a center. The study proposes many new methodological depictions referring to the phenomenon of depopulation. The most important of these was the indication of a city development model, alternative to the model by Klaassen and Paelinck. While the Klaassen and Paelinck’s model emphasizes the role of the transformation of the city within its boundaries and the suburban zone, in the proposed depiction, attention is drawn to the phenomenon of urban structures defragmentation, which result in: — their complete disappearance, — long-distance dislocation (or movement), — suburban dislocation (or movement). These last ones are the essence of the Klaassen and Paelinck’s model. Confronted with contemporary de-urbanization of some metropolitan areas (the Katowice conurbation), this model is the only model that explains development of large cities, which can not withstand the test of time. Some of the terms that specify the issue of depopulation of cities, their consequences and causes, come from the author and are published in a special chapter with glossary. Most of the terms included in this chapter are already used in geographical studies. The selection made in this study takes account of the real relationships (causes or effects) and the wider background for explanation of the process of depopulation. The study also points out the importance of some of the models and geographical and demographic concepts which are an important starting point in explaining the depopulation of cities. The role of J. Webb’s model was highlighted, as well as the issue of redistribution of population according to J. Dzieciuchowicz’s project and the concept of wave urban development by P. Korcelli. Making a direct reference to the posed fundamental aim of the study and the research problem, the existence of long-term systemic determinants of urban depopulation was indicated. The social and demographic component of these conditions (the second demographic transition) and economic one were pointed out and also the systemic change of the economic foundations of existence of the cities (transition from sector I to II and sector II to III). The issue of spatial redistribution of urban population in the regional depiction and migrations (their scale and types) constitute the explanation of the fact that the scale of urban depopulation in the 19th century was similar (proportional) in character to that of the second half of the 20th century and the early 21st century, despite the fact that in the first period it was only conditioned by the economic element, and at present by both elements. Both of these issues explain the ability of the socio-demographic system to self-regulate in terms of population processes.
ISBN: 9788322623251
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (WNP)

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