Alexia J.

Environmental Żarnowiec Environmental and Economic
Population: 861 Żarnowiec has a long history, so its low population can be attributed to environmental factors. It is located on a plateau that was left over from the last glacial area; as the ice receded, sandy soil was deposited on the plateau. Thus, the soil is largely infertile. In addition, the village has some of the coldest weather in Poland, with an average annual temperature between -4.5°C and -5.5°C. These factors have led to a poor agricultural yield and high unemployment, compelling many natives to move to the nearby economic centers of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot.

Zakopane Environmental and Cultural
Population: 28 000 Zakopane is a well-known tourist destination located at the feet of the Tatra Mountains. The town’s scenery, flora, fauna, peaks, valleys and ridges have contributed to its popularity among tourists. As the highest town in Poland (from 750 to 1000 m above sea level), it is the country’s most popular alpine ski resort during the winter, during which up to 2 million tourists visit every year. During the summer, it is a popular hiking destination. It has also hosted several international ski championships; these events have added prestige and cultural recognition to the town. Its environment has also compelled artists to reside there permanently, making it a cultural centre.

Historical Gdańsk Historical, Economic and Environmental
Population: 458,053 The land surrounding Gdańsk was originally inhabited by tribes of pagan Prussians, who first established small fishermen villages in about the VII century. Later on, it became a trade centre due to its proximity to the Vistula River. In the XIII century, Prince Conrad of Moravia asked the Teutonic Order to assist him in fighting off the Prussians in the name of Christianity, and promised its knights land in exchange. After conquering the area, the Order brought in Moravian and German settlers, as well as Teutonic knights, to move to the land. Settlements were developed and as the city grew, it became a major European port, attracting workers and merchants. For these reasons, Gdańsk has always been heavily populated.

Toruń Historical, Economic and Environmental

Population: 207,190 Toruń is one of the oldest towns in Poland. It was established in 1233 by the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights due to its propitious location on the right bank of the Vistula, the largest river in Poland and an important communication route. For centuries, it was a stop on numerous trade routes, such as the amber route between Gdańsk Bay and the Moravian Gate. Historically, it has been a site at which merchants and artisans from congregate; this has contributed to its relatively large population.

Economic Katowice Economic, Environmental and Political
Population: 321,163 The coalfield around Katowice, in Upper Silesia, is one of the largest in the world. It has evolved into the industrial centre of Poland, with one of the country’s largest coal and steel industries. In order to increase productivity, the government has put into place since 2000 an incentive program for coal miners in Upper Silesia, encouraging re-training and early retirement. These conditions have attracted many workers to the city in search of work in factories or in mines.

Tarnobrzeg Economic and Environmental
Population: 51,300 Tarnobrzeg has some of the world’s largest sulphur deposits. Since they were discovered in the 1950s, the formerly small city has rapidly grown as workers flocked there for employment. It was designated a special economic zone in 1997; thus, favorable conditions, including technical infrastructure, are given for investment projects. Consequently, the city’s industries expanded to metal, raw materials, electro-machinery, building materials, food, agriculture and construction. With about 25,000 active businesses in the area, Tarnobrzeg has attracted large numbers of workers.

Nowa Huta Political, Historical and Economic
Population: 300,000 Nowa Huta is today a district of Kraków. However, it first originated as an independent town in the late 1940s; the communist government built the community as a ‘socialist’ city, centered on the newly-built steel mill. As well as being designed to galvanize the area’s economy, Nowa Huta was constructed to create a large a proletarian population which would hopefully overthrow Krakow’s elite, academic population. However, many of the workers revolted against the government, and the “dream city” fell along with communism in 1989. Today, the steel mill is Poland’s largest, and it is still a large draw for people seeking employment.

Warsaw

Political, Historical, Economic, Environmental and Cultural
Population: 1,687,600 Warsaw replaced Krakow as the royal capital of Poland in 1596 under the reign of King Zygmund III Wasa. Warsaw was chosen because of its location near the geographical centre of the country and close to the Vistula River, a major communication route. For centuries, its role as the political centre of Poland has compelled people seeking employment and an urban lifestyle to move there. Following the Second World War, eighty-five percent of the city was destroyed, and the government chose to restore it to its former architectural elegance and beauty. This painstaking restoration was carried out because Poland had always prized Warsaw for its historical and cultural significance. Today, its cultural, historical, economic and political allure makes it Poland’s most inhabited city.

Works Cited
Kate Sun Alexia Jablonski

Bates, J. and Blazyca, G. (2007). Warsaw. Retrieved February 17, 2008, from Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Web site: http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761560771/warsaw.html Gdansk history. (2003). Retrieved February 16, 2008, from Polish Travel Quo Vadis. Web site: http://www.experiencepoland.com/gdanskhistory.html Januszewski, M. (n.d.). History of Prussia. Retrieved February 16, 2008, from Castles of Poland. Web site: http://www.castlesofpoland.com/prusy/historia_en.htm Maps of the World Team. (2004). Gdansk. Retrieved February 16, 2008, from Maps of the World. Web site: http://www.mapsofworld.com/poland/cities/gdansk.html Maps of the World Team. (2004). Torun. Retrieved February 16, 2008, from Maps of the World. Web site: http://www.mapsofworld.com/poland/cities/torun.html Otfinoski, S. (1995). Poland (Nations in transition). New York: Facts On File Szewczyk, R. (2006). Poland (UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Warsaw: Muza SA Tarnobrzeg. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved February 16, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Web site: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article9071309 Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2008, from the Economic Information Centre of Ministry of Economy. Web site: http://baltic.mg.gov.pl/Investments/sez/tarnobrzeg/ Torun, Poland Travel Guide. (2008). Retrieved February 16, 2008, from TravelPost.com Inc. Web Site: http://www.travelpost.com/EU/Poland/KujawskoPomorskie/Torun/1198500 Zakopane Poland information. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2008, from Zakopane Poland Travel Guide. Web site: http://www.zakopane-life.com/info/info.php Zamoyski, A. (1987). The Polish way. London: Hippocrene Żarnowiec. (March 22, 2005). Retrieved February 16, 2008, from Atomowe. Website:http://www.atomowe.kei.pl/index.php?Itemid=65&id=48&option=com_ content&task=

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