Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Regional Science

Metropolisation in Warsaw: Economic Change and Urban Growth *

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Regional Science

Metropolisation in Warsaw: Economic Change and Urban Growth *

Article excerpt

A number of the world's large cities are taking on increasing economic importance in the international arenas because they concentrate high-order activities such as research, innovation, finance and producer services, information and communication, and decision and control. This metropolization process is a result of the changes occurring in the emerging post-industrial economy, i.e. the rise of services and information. It is based on the combination of proximity interactions and global interactions and it is characterised both by a specific internal spatial pattern and by a large outside area of influence.

Since the transition period, services, and particularly high-order services, have grown more rapidly in Poland than in EU countries, as if a catching-up process has been underway. A large part of these services are located in downtown Warsaw, in the district of Srodmiescie, as was shown in a previous paper by Bourdeau-Lepage. Combining several Polish data sources, mainly on the geography of employment by sectors, on the location of firms, and on the development of specialized high-order services, we propose to analyze in detail the concentration of metropolitan functions in Warsaw and to determine whether or not a process of metropolization is emerging in the city. Starting from the idea that the internal organization of high-order functions in a metropolis is closely connected to its international attractiveness, we compare the "internal metropolization" of Warsaw with its "external metropolization" i.e. its effective world position, evaluated essentially by its position in the transport networks and by its attractiveness in terms of investment and of cultural activities. The results indicate an effective internal metropolization and a narrowing gap between internal and external metropolization.

Le role economique international d'un certain nombre de grandes villes s'accroit au fur et a mesure qu'elles concentrent des activites de haut niveau comme la recherche et l'innovation, la finance et les services aux producteurs, l'information et la communication, la decision et le controle. Ce processus de metropolisation est la consequence de l'evolution vers l'economie post-industrielle marquee par le developpement des services et de l'information. Il resulte de la combinaison d'interactions de proximite et d'interactions globales et il se manifeste par une configuration spatiale interne particuliere et par une aire d'influence tres etendue.

Depuis la periode de transition, la Pologne a connu une croissance des services, et plus particulierement des services superieurs, plus rapide que les pays de l'UE, comme par un effet de rattrapage. Une part importante de ces services est localisee dans l'hyper-centre de Varsovie, a Srodmiescie, comme l'a montre Bourdeau-Lepage dans un precedent papier. A partir de plusieurs sources de donnees polonaises, principalement sur la geographie de l'emploi par secteur, sur la localisation des firmes et sur le developpement des services superieurs specialises, nous proposons d'analyser de facon detaillee la concentration des fonctions metropolitaines a Varsovie et de determiner l'eventuelle emergence d'un processus de metropolisation. Sur la base de l'idee que l'organisation interne des fonctions superieures dans une metropole est etroitement liee a son attractivite mondiale, nous comparons la "metropolisation interne" de Varsovie avec sa "metropolisation externe", c'est-a-dire son statut international evalue par sa situation dans les reseaux de transport et par son attractivite en termes d'investissements et d'activites culturelles. Les resultats montrent la realisation d'une veritable metropolisation interne et un retard de la metropolisation externe qui va en diminuant.


Metropolisation is affecting a number of major cities throughout the developed world. This process results from the changes occurring in the emergent post-industrial economy. …

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