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Between Industrialism and Postindustrialism—the Case of Small Towns in a Large Urban Region: The Katowice Conurbation, Poland

Department of Economic Geography, University of Silesia in Katowice, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
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Urban Sci. 2019, 3(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3030068
Received: 2 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Futures of Small Industrial Towns)
The socio-economic transformation of (post)mining towns takes different forms and follows varied pathways. This obvious fact acquires a different significance in a region that is a polycentric urban conurbation whose growth was based on coal mining and industry. Particularly as concerns small towns, which are a minority in it in terms of numbers. This paper attempts to present the issue based on the cases of two small towns, Lędziny and Radzionków, located in the Katowice conurbation in southern Poland. While having similar mining origins, the towns currently represent two radically different paths of economic development. Both mentioned towns are developing relatively well. However, certain threats to their growth are also revealed: social functional, environmental and even political. A closer inspection of both is important in that the two small towns are examples of two extremities in the region, between which other types of towns undergoing socio-economic transformation are situated. The selected examples also indicate that a small (post)mining town does not necessarily have to be ‘the place that don’t matter’. Additionally, an important conclusion is that despite many objective barriers, a small town in a mining region can follow a line of development based on the industry 4.0 concept. View Full-Text
Keywords: postindustrial town; industrial town; socio-economic transformation; urban development; Poland postindustrial town; industrial town; socio-economic transformation; urban development; Poland
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Krzysztofik, R.; Kantor-Pietraga, I.; Kłosowski, F. Between Industrialism and Postindustrialism—the Case of Small Towns in a Large Urban Region: The Katowice Conurbation, Poland. Urban Sci. 2019, 3, 68.

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