Demographic challenges of regional development of Poland. The goals of the article are dichotomous. First of all, it is the recognition of the main problems of regional development in Poland, resulting from the current and forecast demographic and settlement situation, including depopulation and population aging. An increasing mismatch between jobs, housing, education and services, increasingly scattered and inefficient settlement and inefficiency of the administrative and territorial system in terms of income and expenditure balancing and ensuring an adequate standard of services resulting from the administrative hierarchization of the settlement network, territorial delimitation and spatial accessibility have been identified. Then, in the second place, an attempt was made to formulate remedial measures related mainly to the optimization of spatial development and stimulation of innovative economic growth based in particular on endogenous poles of growth. In the article, among others the results of the author’s research and analyzes were used, which were carried out for practical purposes for government diagnostic and strategic documents in the years 2000–2017 [incl. “Report of the spatial development of Poland”, “Concept of Spatial Development of Poland 2030”, “National Strategy for Regional Development 2010–2020”, delimitation of “State Intervention Strategic Areas: Growth Areas and Problem Areas” and “Responsible Development Strategy”].
Socio-Economic Effects of the Spatial Chaos for the Settlement Systems and Functional Land Use Structure. The aim of the study is an attempt to estimate, on the basis of literature and own analyzes, how costs are related to spatial chaos, i.e. mainly dispersion of settlement. Mainly residential (housing) settlement was addressed, which contributes the most to the defective structure of the entire settlement. In particular, the analysis uses several concentration indicators and graphical methods, including the so-called minimal spanning tree (MST). Analyzes have shown that costs can amount to several dozen billion zlotys a year, resulting due to the lack of utilities, unsatisfactory condition of public infrastructure, morphological and functional chaos, excessive location of buildings in agricultural areas, oversupply of investment land with low location potential and as a result of low economic efficiency and effectiveness of settlement.
Potential Compensatory Costs Related to Invalid Spatial Planning in Communes. The purpose of the article is to compare the costs of enacted local plans and their possible repeal in the part concerning the faulty (irrational) allocation of land for various functions. It was attempted to estimate the costs associated with the hypothetical repeal of local plans in a situation where such a need arises, resulting from the overestimation of areas designated especially for housing development. These costs are primarily the need to pay compensation to landowners for those parts of the land that first changed their intended use from a lower market value to a higher one, and then there would be a hypothetical “reverse” operation (e.g. restoration of agricultural use). It was obtained that depending on the methodology, these costs could fluctuate between 135-325 billion PLN. This means that there is no possibility of ‘automatic’ repealing defective local plans across the all country.
Expenditures Related to Technical Infrastructure. The aim of the study is to answer to the question what is the economic (financial) scale of expenditure and local investments related to the technical infrastructure and to what extent the investment processes are correlated with the planning coverage. The study is based on data used in the annual reports of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences on the state of planning work in communes. A detailed analysis of municipal budget expenditures was carried out, demonstrating large diversity of water and sewerage services, road construction and renovation, investment expenditures, etc. The research showed that a significant part of the investment is located outside local plans based on the decision on building conditions. This creates a serious risk of irrationality of spatial management and leads to increase of infrastructure service costs.
Aesthetic Costs of Spatial Chaos. The most characteristic process of settlement’s development in Poland after 1989, is chaotic dispersion of the buildings, usually around cities, but also along the routes, tourist sites and agricultural areas. The result of this pressure is the fragmentation and the increasing isolation of the landscape ecological systems. These processes have also consequences in the degradation of aesthetic values of the landscape. This report shows the consequences of these processes and condemns the most important tasks that should be taken to repair the quality of the landscape. It is estimated that over 60% of the Polish population lives in the conflict countryside, undergoing pressure of spatial disorder, with reduced or degraded of compositional and aesthetic values. The disintegration of the landscape style and the place identity has also appeared in this areas. In the cities grows the visual aggression of advertising billboards. These phenomena are increasingly negatively assessed by the society. Improvement of spatial order and landscape aesthetics requires fundamental changes in the system of spatial planning, transfer of modern knowledge about the landscape systems to local governments and spatial planning staff, as well as a long-term, consistent work of the society.It is necessary to establish a new way of thinking and learning about the landscape systems. The development and dissemination of methods and techniques of GIS, opens up a new possibilities for diagnosing the physiognomy of the landscape. A methods of assessing the physiognomic structure of landscape as well as methods of design the composition of landscape interiors and scenic panoramas are developed. Since 2015, the landscape audit procedure is implemented. The National Landscape Policy, as well as a common landscape education should be developed, conducted in parallel to the already well-developed environmental policy and education.