1. SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT
Contemporary population and settlement processes occurring in rural areas in Poland and in the world are multifaceted. On the one hand, many areas are gradually depopulating, on the other hand - other villages undergo metamorphoses related to the processes of renewal, revitalization or suburbanization. However, it is rather rare, that areas with long-term depopulation, disappearance of settlements and economic recession, would show signs of local recovery in socio-economic processes, including the development of new buildings, tourist infrastructure, small entrepreneurship, diverse social activity and the creation of new rural communities in the villages previously considered as vanished or disappearing. Such unique places include Kłodzko region, the most depopulated region in the entire Sudetes. In the context of the earlier depopulation and disappearance of many settlement units, the question arises, if we can call these new processes as the revival of the villages? It is assumed in the project, that the revival of the village can be manifested on various levels: demographic, social, economic and spatial.
The main purpose of the research is to identify — in the context of the revival of villages — contemporary socio-economic processes taking place in depopulation areas with an indication of their conditions and mechanisms.
Research hypothesis: after a prolonged period of depopulation and economic decline in the Kłodzko region, the process of revival of some villages is currently being observed, having various forms and diverse conditions, including, above all, socio-economic.
Research questions are:
- With what criteria can a reviving village be identified?
- What are the directions and types of revival of villages?
- How is the process of the revival of villages related to changes that can be quantified or is it rather of a qualitative type?
- What is the role of rural communities in the process of the revival of villages and how does their functioning contribute to the consolidation or weakening of the effect of revival?
- What are the factors supporting or inhibiting the revival of villages?
- In what way and under what conditions can the process of revival of villages contribute to the activation of neighboring rural areas (or the entire region)?
2. RESEARCH TASKS
Research Task 1 Developing a research methodology for designating the reviving villages
Research Task 2 Delimitation of the reviving villages for detailed research
Research Task 3 Characteristics of the communities in the reviving villages and assessment of their role in the process of rural revival
Research Task 4 Creating a typology of the directions and types of revival of villages taking into account demographic, social, economic, functional, spatial and landscape aspects
Research Task 5 Developing a typology and hierarchy of factors supporting or inhibiting the revival of villages
Research Task 6 Creating a conceptual model / models of socio-economic development of reviving villages and showing the strength of individual factors responsible for their revival
Research Task 7 Modeling and forecasting the development of socio-economic processes in the research area
Research Task 8 Integration and synthesis of research results and systematic dissemination of partial and final effects of the project both in the scientific and local communities.
3. RESEARCH METHODS
Interdisciplinary character of the project requires using research methods and tools which derive from the scientific tradition and experiences of human geography, sociology, spatial management and landscape ecology. The methods include:
- Analyzes of statistical data and thematic statistical databases
- Quantitative and qualitative social research
- Field inventory of economic entities, farms, tourist facilities, buildings, infrastructure etc.
- Comparative analyses of cartographic materials, aerial photos and ortophotomaps from various periods
- Integration of data and spatial analysis using GIS systems.