Urban expansion and rural spatial chaos in the fringe area


  • Hubert Mełges




Due to the constant increase in human population, man, citizen of the planet Earth, faces many momentous questions and challenges. First of all, they concern problems of accommodation, sustenance, proper health care, education, leisure, transport, development of technical infrastructure, etc. It seems, however, that the pace of progress and the accumulation of new challenges related to the needs of modernising and developing towns significantly exceed the existing capabilities of planning processes and work. Newer and newer investment projects always seem to be one step ahead of these possibilities. It is also noted that despite the great progress of civilization, life in cities does not become easier, but, on the contrary, more and more difficult. Therefore, city dwellers either fully or partially run away from them, seeking an opportunity to live in hitherto rural areas close to nature. Above all a tempting target for city dwellers have become villages surrounding these cities. As a result of this complex process, the nearest villages become the suburbs of cities with detached houses, in a sense blocking the development of these cities. Thus, existing rural areas cease to be such areas, losing the title of host sites. All of this is a kind of a trap as simultaneously these phenomena become unrestrained and generate spatial chaos. The more so that the chaos also affects interpersonal relationships, the quality of which is influenced by cultural differences as well as lifestyle. Nowadays the problem exists in most Polish cities, but observation in this article is limited to Cracow and Lesser Poland only.