In this page we present both our previous publications, which have become the leaven of the current project and introduce the problems of depopulation as well as economic, social and spatial changes in the Kłodzko region, and we will successively add further publications that will arise during the progress of our research.

The depopulated villages in the Sudetes. And what next?


The aims of the research described here were: (1) to investigate the present state of highly-depopulated or vanished villages in Poland’s Kłodzko region and, (2) to show the prospects for change and development as these are detailed in existing spatial planning documents. The focus has been on changes in population in mountain villages, in the settlement network and in land use. 36 villages were selected for detailed analysis, each once having more than 100 inhabitants but now being either totally abandoned, or else highly-depopulated (retaining between several and 25 inhabitants). The research methods involved analysis of historical statistical and cartographic data, the presentation of the statistics available from local authorities and the documents on spatial planning (basically local physical development plans), and field inventories and on-site verifications of the present state of the depopulated areas – present land use, state of preservation of anthropogenic features and mapping of recent changes and new developments.

The present state of the depopulated villages was discussed in line with a division of the study areas into three groups: vanished villages, villages preserved in vestigial form and villages that are highly-depopulated but still in existence. In turn, the analysis of spatial planning documents was presented with reference to the scale of planned changes, i.e. in regard to areas with minimal change or a lack of change, areas with moderate-scale change and areas with large-scale change.


Rural revival? Changes in population and settlement pattern of the Kłodzko region in the post-war period


The aim of the study was to assess the changes of population and settlement pattern, which occurred in the Kłodzko region in the post-war period. Particular attention was paid to villages that have been severely depopulated or vanished – the research question was whether the processes that are taking place in such places today can be described as rural revival. The analysis was based on statistical data from pre- and post-war censuses, pre-war and contemporary cartographic materials and data on annual permits issued for single-family housing development. Fieldwork has also been carried out, including inventory and interviews.

In the post-war period polarization of population-settlement processes took place. In the periphery there was depopulation and degradation of buildings, while in the center of the region and around the cities an increase in new buildings was observed, which intensified after 1989. Repair and modernization of old buildings have also become common since that time. In most of the vanished and heavily depopulated villages, some social and economic movements have taken place in recent years. The article presents typology of processes currently observed in these areas. This allows to conclude that in the spatial-landscape dimension one may ascertain revival of some villages in the context of appearing new buildings and residents or renovations of old farmsteads. However, the type and function of the new developments and their layout often do not refer to the old structure and function of the village, thus they do not represent the literal revival of the previous functional-spatial system. Some depopulated villages also have important cultural and social functions.

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Depopulation of the Kłodzko region – spatial differences and conditioning


This paper presents population changes in the Kłodzko region, in which the most
far-reaching depopulation is found to characterise the Sudetes (or Sudety Mountains). The research questions were as follows: (1) what is the scale of depopulation and its spatial distribution? (2) what are the long-term tendencies where population change in the Kłodzko region if concerned? (3) Does the depopulation experienced relate more to environmental or to socio-economic factors?
The study was based on data from 14 Censuses in the pre- and post-War periods (1867–2002). The maximum depopulation in each settlement was calculated by comparing the maximum and minimum numbers of inhabitants in the pre- and post-War period respectively. The application of Gi Getis-Ord local statistics allowed for analysis of differences in the spatial distribution of settlements
experiencing various degrees of depopulation, as well as any clustering tendencies. Time-series analysis (by the k-mean method) was in turn used to investigate long-term population trends in the region. Finally, the impact of natural environmental conditions, such as elevation, slope and landforms on depopulation was analyzed via a digital elevation model in ArcGIS software.

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The project is financed by the National Science Center as grant No. 0201/2403/18, UMO-2017/27/B/HS4/01220 entitled "Reviving villages? New socio-economic processes in the Kłodzko region" implemented in the years 2018-2022.