Zmiana położenia środka ciężkości miast i ludności miejskiej w Polsce w XX wieku
In the 20th century, Poland went through repeated changes of its administrative borders that had consequences for numbers of towns and cities, overall levels of urbanization and the configuration of the urban settlement network (Table 1). There is thus a question to be answered as to whether the above changes encouraged concentrations of cities and the urban population in certain regions of the country, as has been the case in France, where 1/5 of the country’s population live in the metropolitan region of Paris? Has a process of this kind had different results in Poland? The present article describes work in which centroid measures were used to present 20th-century changes in Poland’s urban settlement network, by reference to the three historical periods of the 2nd Republic of Poland, the People’s Republic of Poland and the 3rd Republic of Poland. The relevant changes in borders are reflected in data from the national censuses carried out in 1931, 1950 and 2002. The set of cities was transformed into a set of points in geographical space, the weight of a unit being assumed to reflect its number of citizens, while coordinates of the point describe longitude and the latitude. The calculated coordinates of centroids allowed for the identification and delineation of geometric centres for urban population. An assumption regarding equal population sizes of all cities was used to determine the directions in which and extent to which geometric centres of urban population are relocated in relation to the actual geometric centres reflecting the distribution of towns and cities. Also determined were the standard deviation allowing for the degree of concentration of city space to be evaluated, and the ellipse of the standard deviations showing the directions assumed by dispersion. The formation of the urban settlement network over more than 100 years of Polish history took place within the context of changing national borders (Jażdżewska, 2006), but the last 100 years was by no means an unusual period. In fact, the shape it assumes at the beginning of the 21st century reflects a process many centuries long and is thus part of the cultural heritage of the country, which should be the subject of special attention and concern as political decisions are taken. It is after all these that go a long way to influencing the contemporary shape of the urban settlement network (Jażdżewska, 2006).
- Artykuły naukowe