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Łódź: Transformation einer altindustriellen Stadt in der postsozialistischen Periode

Łódź: transformation of an old industrial city in the post-socialist period
[journal article]

Riley, Ray; Burdack, Joachim; Niżnik, Anna Małgorzata

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Abstract In the 19th century, Łódź grew within a few decades from being an insignificant rural town to become the leading textile city in Eastern Europe. Until the present day, the Łódź region has remained the primary centre of the Polish textile industry. The transformation process in the city industry in Eastern Europe is connected with decisive changes in the organisation of the city centres. In comparison to western cities, the double problems of a simultaneous transformation become apparent: transformation from a planned economy to regional structures of a free market economy, as well as transformation from old industrial to post-industrial structures. The article examines the changes in the regional structures of the city centre of the old industrial city of Łódź in the course of the transformation process. If a temporal delay is given consideration, the location development of the industrial sector in Łódź corresponds in its basic structures to the western patterns. City centre production plants were given up at the start of the nineties in favour of suburban locations. A deviation from western patterns is the prevalence of small companies in city centre locations. In retail trade as well, development tendencies towards western European patterns can also be recognised. Large retail trade outlets are settling increasingly around the cities. The large open markets are one dissimilar element. The dynamic of the quaternary sector and the concentration of office use in the city centre, which goes hand in hand with this, reveal a clear convergence to the developments in western cities. In a summarised sense, we can state that the signs for a convergence to western European regional structure patterns are considerably more pronounced as those which would suggest the emergence of divergent regional structures. The revitalisation of Łódź has made considerable progress in the last few years. The successes are relative in comparison to other Polish cities. This reveals the problems of old industrial structures and the relative proximity of Łódź to the primate city Warsaw.
Keywords Poland; Eastern Europe; post-socialist country; industry; town; urban development; transformation; structural change; settlement density; population development; wholesale; location factors; service; retail trade; city center
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Macrosociology, Analysis of Whole Societies; Sociology of Settlements and Housing, Urban Sociology
Document language German
Publication Year 1999
Page/Pages p. 22-32
Journal Europa Regional, 7.1999 (1999) 1
ISSN 0943-7142
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications