Who we are

We are Social and Human Geographers who work at the University of
Silesia. We are a team for over 10 years. Our boss is prof. Alicja
Szajnowska-Wysocka. Professor is the head of The Department of
Economic Geography. This is part of The Faculty of Sciences of Earth
Prof. Dr hab. Alicja Szajnowska Wysocka is Human and Social
Gepgrapher (Geography of Settlement, industrial spaces in Poland,
Globalization, Neoregionalism, Postindustrial Heritage)
Following problems and issues are in the field of her latest research:
Multicultural character of the Upper Silesia,
Institutional basis and circumstances of develpoment in Silesia,
The aspects and valors of migration during political transformation,
Spatial and demographical changes in post- socialist city (based on
Sosnowiec as an example),
Theories of regional and local development
Prof. dr hab. Jerzy Runge (Demography, post-socialist towns)
Social and spatial aspects of development of towns in Upper Silesia
Migrations of the population of Katowice Voivodeship,
Demografic transformations of the largest town of Silesia,
Territorial and socio-economic system of borderland in the
Morawian-Silesian Region,
Strategies of its development in the period of political and enonomic
Social transformations in Katowice Voivodeship,
The transformation of population in traditional economic regions in
Cenral Europe. Structural approach. Profesor is an expert in quantites
and quality methods in Geography and in Spatial Planning
Prof. UŚ. Dr hab. Maria Tkocz (the restructuration of traditional industry in
The main subjects of her research are:
The role of industry in development of Silesian towns,
Katowice as the centre of industrial region and now – postindustrial
Hard coal mining industry restructuration in Silesia. The settlement in old
part of Katowice,
The old workers estates in Katowice and Bytom
Research fellows:
Dr Anna Runge: (Demography, changes of population, Geography of
Towns, Geography of Religion)
She is an expert in
Demographic transformations of the largest cities of Silesian
The demographical circumstances of development of work market in
The spatial development in Silesia,
Monitoring demographical changes – her main areas of research:
changes of concentration of population in largest postindustrial cities
in Silesia, the dynamic of population in Silesia
Dr Iwona Kantor Pietraga (Demography and Human Geography)
Iwona researches: the differentiations (spatial, level of life of
inhabitants, social) in Silesian towns, she compares the situation in two
periods of time; in 80s and present period,
Social changes in Silesia during transformation,
analyses of demographical structures in industrial centers,
Iwona is an expert in survey methods, statistic research and GIS
Dr Sławomir Sitek (Social and Economical Geography):
The factor shaping migrations in the border regions of Poland,
The quality of life in Silesian towns,
The strategies of development of border regions in regional and
global context,
Sławomir is good organizer, every year he organises workshops about
co-existence in border regions of Poland for young Economy
Geographer (P.h.D students)
Dr Krystyna Magda-Żabińska (Political Geography, Human
Geography, Tourism).
Main subjects:
Ecological awareness of inhabitants in region,
Availability of health care,
Krystyna is an expert of health geography, and perception of cultural
Krystyna is very good human geographer. She has rich experiences in
survey methods and quantities methods in social research.
Dr Marzena Lamparska (Cultural Landscape, Historical and Human
Geography, Tourism):
my main subject has been cultural landscape and postindustrial heritage in
problems of development of monocultural areas - mainly mining areas in
postindustrial reality.
I’m an expert in tourism and GIS spatial and temporal databases based on
the old maps.
I spent in London last year , were I was a volunteer in Deptford Reach (Lewisham,
Deptford). I met many homeless from Poland in this center and what was
fascinating for me - men from Silesia…I asked those guys about theirs journey to
London and life here (I have 3 surveys – guys from Silesia and 12 – from other
parts of Poland). Now this is my main subject of research . I have analyzed
Polish migration to the UK and I have noticed, that demographic and social
structure of this migration has been change
• Dr Robert Krzysztofik (Historical
Geography, Human Geography,
Geography of Settlement)
• Robert is an expert of towns in historical
and modern aspects
• The development of towns in time,
• Individualities of landscape of rural
areas in Poland,
• Gateway towns in Europe and in Poland
(theoretical and practical aspects
• Quantative and quality analyses
statistical data
Dr Elżbieta Zuzańska Żyśko and dr Jacek Petryszyn
They work together. I present Eżbieta and Jacek both.
These field of research:
Changes of infrastructural level of market in towns and how this
fluctuating market is functioning
Spatial and functional transformations in Silesian agglomeration in
the light of conception of functional organization of areas
Local and regional development in Silesia, neo-regionalism
The metropolisation processes in Poland
Small and large towns in Poland and in Silesia during
transformation (theoretical and empirical research)
Institutional space in Silesia and changes during social and political
transformation (case studies in selected towns)
Mgr MartaChmielewska (PhD student)
has been researching:
Worker’s estates as a part of post-industrial landscape.
Revitalization of post-industrial landscape in traditional industrial areas (on examples of Silesia and Ruhr
area), especially:
directions of revitalization,
post-industrial tourism,
preservation of industrial heritage,
morphological and functional changes in urban space caused by revitalization (succession of function).
Upper Silesia as a historical region of cultural borderland.
Aspiration of the Upper Silesian Conurbation to become a metropolis.
Marta is preparing a PhD project about: Morphological transformations of urban space of Katowice.
Would like to research:
Economic migrations from Silesia, especially following issues:
change of direction of migrations (Germany  Great Britain),
motives of migrations,
conditions of being emigrant in different countries,
process of adaptation of emigrants,
temporary / permanent migration,
and related.
Mgr Monika Kurpanik - PhD student (human
Main subjects:
Research of identity and awareness of the
territorial population conurbation Rybnik;
Perception in geography;
Social problems;
Transformation of traditional industrial
So, you see that ours subject is – Silesia in Europe. We research economy, social
and political aspects transformation in East and Central Europe. We research
many aspects of socio-economic transformation, homelessness and community
rejection, poverty geography are issues commonly included in our work.
• During our further research we noticed this issues and now we feel these is
growing demand for complex international studies
• What we want: homelessness and poverty and unemployment are very common
in Silesia. We have areas, in wchih the migration is one chanse to earn many for
inhabitants . Migrations to richer countries in Europe, of course . We noticed that
traditional model and direction of migration from Silesia which was Germany,
is changing now. Many people choose The UK.
• It’s obvious, that we have the knowledge about circumstances how the level of
poverty, unemployment and social helpless is creating and shaping in Poland
and in Silesia
We present our main areas of research:
The local and regional development in Silesia
Micro and macro scale aspects of changes of settlement system and processes shaping
this system
The social and spatial studies of the industrial centers
The modern and postmodern cultural landscape in Silesia
Postindustrial heritage – valorization and classification in cultural space in Silesia,
Tourism in Silesia – as a new possibility of economic activity,
Spatial aspects of the quality of inhabitants life in Katowice and region
Ddemographic and spatial transformation of Silesia
Demographics problem (wide range)
Economic studies in Silesia
The aspects of co-existence border regions: Silesia and Moravia
Selected elements of infrastructural changes in towns, especially spatial and
organizational factors . Full list of our publications is here: http://kge.wnoz.us.edu.pl/
Present cooperation
“Spatial differentiation of conditions of life habitants in Silesia and spatial differentiation and
transformation social features and markets.”
7 European research programs “Governance of shrinkage in the European context” grant no
Shrinkage in as effect of decrease dynamic of demography, migrations , economic problems and
infrastructural problems in towns
In- town differentiation of demographic processes
Silesian region in the light of selected conceptions of social-economic transformation
The subjects of research are social, economic and spatial and functional transformations in towns
characterizing of regression in this points, especially during last 20 years (after political and
economy transformation and social modernization). Polish geographers work with team from
UmweltforshungZentrum Leipzig (leader of project), and Universities in Liverpool, Nottingham, Roma,
Timisoara, and others. Prof. Jerzy Runge is the leader. Dr Iwona Kantor Pietraga and dr Robert
Krzysztofik iare fellow of research team.

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