The role of borders in regional development with a particular focus on natural and cultural heritage

Date: 2012-01-01 - 2015-12-31

Supervisor: Marek Więckowski

Contractors: Bożena Degórska, Ewa Jankowska, Tomasz Komornicki, Marek Więckowski, Denis Cerić

The characteristic feature of borderland areas is usually their peripherality, in the sense of socio-economic development. These areas are relatively poorly impacted by human activity, typically abounding in valuable natural landscapes and being also significant in terms of historical and cultural heritage (frequently undiscovered and poorly popularized as yet). Thus they have huge touristic potential. That potential is one of most important bases for functioning of borderland areas, and also for transborder collaboration. Borders influence the modifications of geographical space, predetermine the specific ways of development. Changeable functions of political borders also have impact on shaping the space in the vicinity of them – these studies should indicate the directions of that development. Hence, the ongoing changes need to be traced, as well as the regularities ought to be discovered and practical conclusions drawn. Constant transformations of borders’ functions enforce carrying out new studies. In Europe that is now in the processes of integration, transborder cooperation is increasingly gaining in importance, which affects the directions of research studies.

The studies carried out should provide us with answers to a number of hugely significant questions as follows:

  • what is the impact of change in border functions on development of neighbourhood areas,
  • what influence have the transborder interactions and flows (people, capital, goods and services) on borderland areas,
  • what is the role of natural and cultural heritage in the functioning of borderland areas,
  • whether it is possible and if yes, in what way the socio-economic development of borderland areas can be planned to not affect adversely natural environment,
  • how to take advantage of borderlands’ potential,
  • how to take better advantage of financial resources allocated to development of borderland areas (for example EWT – transborder cooperation).

The analysis of the role of borders and borderland areas will be based primarily on the example of Poland, with reference to their historical and functional specificity and with taking account of internal and external EU borders, including antecedent and subsequent ones.

Databases will be established, covering basic elements of information about borderlands, with special regard to environmental and cultural heritage (inter alia, environmentally valuable areas, including legally protected areas with unique environmental value, monuments, tourist attractions), as well arrangement of databases concerning Polish border crossings in the 1989-2011 period, as well as incoming tourism and trade exchange taking place in the borderlands. These databases are being developed on the basis of original data obtained from the Border Guard office, Custom Service of the Polish Ministry of Finance and the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS).

Publications

Abstracts, reviews, notes

  • Komornicki Tomasz, Więckowski Marek: Spatial accessibility as a measure of cross-border relations under conditions of integration. [w]: Regional Conference of the International Geographical Union, August 4-9, Kyoto International Conference Center. Kyoto: IGU, 2013 - s. 1.

Articles

Chapters

  • Komornicki Tomasz: Spatial and social effects of infrastructural integration in the case of the Polish borders. [w]: Linking networks: The formation of common standards and visions for infrastructure development. Eds. Martin Schiefelbusch, Hans-Ludgier Dienel. Dorchester: Ashgate, 2014 - s. 187-208.

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