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Poland: The Environment in Transition

Jonathan Warner
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 165, No. 2, The Changing Meaning of Place in Post-Socialist Eastern Europe: Commodification, Perception and Environment (Jul., 1999), pp. 209-221
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/3060419
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3060419
Page Count: 13
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Poland: The Environment in Transition
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Abstract

Environmental problems in Poland were highlighted during the 1980s, although discussion of the causes and consequences was discouraged. With the round table meetings and the ending of the communist Government, concern about the environment reached a new high point. Decisions were taken to close certain enterprises which were particularly damaging to the environment, and to try to clear up the damage left by the former regime. However, when the recession of the early 1990s began to bite, public concern about rising unemployment downgraded the environment as an issue, with the result that some of the condemned businesses were reprieved, at least temporarily. In the public sector, work on cleaning up and on remedying deficiencies in infrastructure (such as building municipal sewage works) has proceeded more slowly than might have been expected. This paper surveys the progress made in Poland over the past eight years, and looks at the prospects for sustainable development in the future. Examples are drawn from all over Poland, but with a particular emphasis on the city of Torun.

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