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Mirek Dymitrow

Postdoctoral fellow

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The concept of urbanity in light of the municipal reform in interwar Poland

Author

  • Mirek Dymitrow

Editor

  • Robert Krzysztofik
  • Mirek Dymitrow

Summary, in English

Degradations in Poland are sometimes made on an individual basis. Most often, however, they are the result of large-scale administrative reforms. Throughout history, the Polish lands were subject to many such reforms. Relatively little-known is the Polish reform of 1933–1934, which – depending on the definition of ‘city’ – degraded up to 722 units with some form of urban denominator. The modest notoriety of this reform depends on three major factors. Firstly, most settlements affected by it are currently outside of Polish territory. Secondly, the reform was carried out by Polish authorities, which makes it difficult to "demonize" as is often the case with the Russian reform of 1869–1870 and the subsequent “Communist” reforms of the 1950s and 1970s. Thirdly, knowledge about the reform of 1933–1934 is scarce in that it is perceived primarily as a municipal reform carried out to equalize the divergent municipal structure of Poland incurred by years of belonging to three different administrative systems following its partitions in the late 18th century. Assuming therefore that the administrative changes of 1933–1934 that affected the fates of so many urban settlements require a particular commentary, the aim of this chapter is to systematize information and to correct frequently encountered errors and misunderstandings. In terms of methodology, data have been compiled from several reliable sources, as well as by drawing on original legislation. The chapter concludes that the reform of 1933–1934 put an end to a much chaotic extant system of designating settlements as ‘urban’. As a consequence of this, I conclude that degradation of any one of the deliberated settlements – if it occurred between 1772 and 1934 – is complex and cannot be captured in a binary urban/non-urban mode. Moreover, this chapter extends its historical findings to contemporaneity, by discussing the towns’ current state and prospect of restitution.

Publishing year

2015

Language

English

Pages

61-115

Publication/Series

Degraded and restituted towns in Poland: Origins, development, problems

Document type

Book chapter

Publisher

University of Gothenburg

Topic

  • Social and Economic Geography

Keywords

  • degraded towns
  • restituted towns
  • urbanity
  • rurality
  • formalization
  • Poland
  • Interbellum
  • administrative
  • reform
  • maps

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISBN: 91-86472-76-3
  • ISBN: 91-86472-76-3