2010 | 1-4 | 157-172
Article title

Dziedzictwo przemysłowe – szansa czy balast? Problem Sosnowca na tle aglomeracji katowickiej

Title variants
Industrial Heritage – an opportunity or a burden? The problem of Sosnowiec in the context of the Katowice Conurbation
Languages of publication
The development of technology and means of production has always been an inherent element of the development of humankind. However, the 19th century has brought an unprecedented leap forward in this respect, when in a relatively short period of time, a rapid technological progress occurred, and we could talk about industry as one of the branches of the economy for the first time. In many areas across Europe numerous mining and manufacturing plants were established and attracted masses of labourers. This influx of people made it necessary to build flats, cultural centres, healthcare centres and places of worship for them. This way, they became dependent on their place of employment, often for several generations. The process was also noticeable in the area of today’s Poland, and it was the most intense in the region of today’s Katowice Conurbation. The fact that significant hard coal seams were found there and could be extracted using more and more technologically advanced equipment had a substantial influence on the shape of the landscape and the future of the region. Establishing new mines, mills and other plants necessary for them to function, as well as the development of other branches of industry, e.g. textiles, led to mass migrations into this area, which in turn resulted in new urban organisms being created. Industrial plants were lined1 with residential and public buildings. Typically, most of the cities in the Conurbation come from as late as the 19th century. The 20th century was tragic for the region, especially in the last decades, when a considerable part of the industry of the region was liquidated or restructured as a result of changes in the economy, its modernisation and due to extraction restrictions. It significantly influenced the social, economic and environmental situation in the whole voivodeship. It turned out that in this relatively small area, there was a mass of people with no employment opportunities, who had developed their culture, identity and their famed work ethics there over dozens of years, but now are often unable to adjust to the new reality. There was more and more poverty of an unprecedented scale, which caused an increase in crime. There has been a considerable impact on the environment – the degree of soil pollution has been substantial, and the necessity to rehabilitate the land requires great financial outlays and many years of active work. The economic impact has also been significant – the areas that remained after the plants closed down are largely located in city centres and have no owners or have been bought only for someone to obtain land in the city centre for next to nothing – they are run-down and are definitely not a positive mark of the region. These are the problems that the authorities of all the cities in the Katowice Conurbation are facing. The most common barrier in overcoming the situation, apart from the frequently unclear ownership of the land, are financial problems. The lack of funds has been standing in the way of restructuring the post-industrial areas for a long time. After Poland joined the European Union (EU), the situation began to change, and new funding opportunities for this kind of activity appeared, as providing new functions for post-industrial areas is one of the more important EU policies. However, it was not only the funds that were preventing the revitalisation of the area, but also, or maybe above all, the lack of local communities’ and regional authorities’ sensitivity to industrial heritage. The idea that industrial buildings are unaesthetic persisted. It was considered that they don’t have any artistic value, so it is not worth looking after them and preserving them for future generations. It wasn’t until fairly recently that it was observed that what reflects the building’s significance is not necessarily its artistic or architectural value. What matters is the historical value, bearing testimony to the region’s and its inhabitants’ identity. Industrial buildings and areas started to be gradually documented and identified. In the Silesian Voivodeship, the Voivodeship Database of Postindustrial Areas (Wojewódzka baza terenów poprzemysłowych) was created within the Regional Spatial Information System (Regionalny System Informacji Przestrzennej, RSIP). In spite of the lack of clear features of a monument-study or conservation character (and being neither complete, nor widely accessible), the database is an important start on the path to creating a single resource, where it will be possible not only to obtain information about the areas that require revitalisation and rehabilitation, but also about those that have already been adapted for new purposes. An additional spur to act for the protection of indusrial heritage and provide it with new functions is definitely a growing number of people interested in this kind of heritage from the not-so-distant times, who want to visit the region and learn about its history through the history of the industry. Industrial tourism is one of the more dynamically developing branches of tourism in the world, winning more and more enthusiasts, and at the same time driving the economy of cities and regions through the creation of new jobs. Post-industrial heritage requires protection and preserving for future generations as a testimony and reflection of the past ages and history. It provides one of the potential forms of regional development.
Physical description
  • historyk, w roku 2000 ukończyła studia na Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim w Krakowie, na Wydziale Historycznym, w Instytucie Historii. W latach 2003-2005 studiowała na organizowanej przez Międzynarodowe Centrum Kultury oraz Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Krakowie – Akademii Dziedzictwa (studia podyplomowe z zakresu ochrony, zarządzania dziedzictwem kulturowym). Obecnie kończy studia podyplomowe w Górnośląskiej Wyższej Szkole Handlowej w Katowicach, na kierunku Menedżer Rewitalizacji (praca dyplomowa nt. rewitalizacji terenów fortecznych w Polsce, na wybranych przykładach). Od roku 2005 pracuje w MCK w Instytucie Dziedzictwa Europejskiego, w pionie badawczym. W latach 2009-2011 koordynowała projekt wymiany doświadczeń „Zarządzanie miejscami wpisanymi na Listę Światowego Dziedzictwa UNESCO w Polsce i w Norwegii”, dofinansowany w ramach Funduszu Wymiany Kulturalnej MKiDN. W Instytucie odpowiada głównie za tematy związane z dziedzictwem światowym
Document Type
Publication order reference
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