What is the opinion of Małopolska Region’s residents about actions taken by the regional government of the Małopolska region. Do they recognize any of landscape parks located in the region?

These are some of the questions that were asked to the inhabitants of Małopolska Region in the 8th edition of „The opinion poll of Małopolska Region’s residents 2019”. They voiced their opinion on the issues of quality of life, labor market, social capital, the area of ​​culture and environmental awareness.

Regional authorities

As many as 94% of respondents pointed to problems in the area of ​​their residence. According to a large part of the voivodship’s population (36.7%), the biggest problems are caused by the condition of roads and transport infrastructure, 15.1% of respondents pointed to the poor quality of technical and urban / municipal infrastructure, and 13.3% see the poor condition of the natural environment. The first two issues are simultaneously indicated by the respondents as matters which regional authorities should get involved in to a much greater extent than before. Expectations of greater involvement are also expressed in the matter of health protection, social care and spending more public money for this purpose.

Culture

An emphasis in the study was put on the culture. Respondents were asked, if and how they participate in culture. Almost 3/4 of them (79%) declare that they participate in culture, 34% do it several times a month (the highest percentage of responses). Most often, the residents of Małopolska use the offer of cinemas, theaters, concert halls, art galleries (70.6%) and entertainment events (e.g. concerts, cabarets). Almost the same percentage of Małopolska residents uses both the cultural offer via the Internet and the library, book and press rentals (respectively 43.6% and 43%). When choosing a cultural offer, the inhabitants of the Małopolska Region are mostly guided by their personal interests – over 70.0% of responses, but give up due to lack of time (65% of responses).

What is a knowledge of landscape parks located in Małopolska Region among residents? The main reason why residents of the region visit the landscape parks is to spend free time with family and friends (almost 74% of declarations). Farther down there was admiring views and landscapes, and breathing the fresh, clean air. It turns out that despite positive associations with the term “landscape park”, almost ¼ of respondents confuse landscape parks with national parks, or identify them with other green areas, such as city parks.

Landscape parks

Every third inhabitant of the region declares that visits the Małopolska landscape parks “at least once a year”. 16.6% of the respondents indicated that visit landscape parks several times a month. Interestingly, landscape parks are most often visited by residents of Kraków (21% of the declarations “several times a month”). A large proportion of people, however, could not indicate the full, correct name of even one landscape park in Małopolska Region. The Bielańsko-Tyniecki Landscape Park seems to be the best known, because the percentage of correct indications among the respondents in this case was the largest (27.8).

As a part of the opinion poll of Małopolska Region’s residents, computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted. In accordance with the delimitation established by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), the research was conducted in six subregions: the city of Kraków, Krakowski Obszar Metropolitalny – counties (powiaty): bocheński, krakowski, miechowski, myślenicki, proszowicki and wielicki), Nowosądecki – counties (powiaty): gorlicki, limanowski, the city of Nowy Sącz, nowosądecki), Nowotarski – counties (powiaty): nowotarski, suski, tatrzański, Oświęcimski – counties (powiaty): chrzanowski, olkuski, oświęcimski, wadowicki, Tarnowski – counties (powiaty): brzeski, dąbrowski, the city of Tarnów, tarnowski). In each of them, the size of the research sample was at least 500 respondents.

Read the report (in Polish language)

The report is the result of the study “Functional and spatial relations between urban centers and their surroundings”, which main purpose was to analyze the functional and spatial relations and connections in the network of cities and to determine their impact ranges in 6 regions of Poland.

The report has been published by the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in cooperation with the Regional Development Observatory of Małopolska Region. The project was started in July 2018. The survey included cooperation of six polish regions (voivodships): pomorskie, małopolskie, kujawsko-pomorskie, zachodniopomorskie, warmińsko-mazurskie, łódzkie. The research methodology was common to all regions and gives an opportunity to compare results for all of them.

A number of research issues and questions were used, for example:

  • What is the grade of matching public transport links to functional links (labor market, education)?
  • What is the strength and directions of city connections in the public transport system?
  • Are there any areas where a public transport service doesn’t work sufficiently?
  • What kind of actions should be taken to improve the efficiency of public transport service?

Road accessibility

Studies that have been carried out show that one of the most important elements strengthening the potential of cities is road accessibility. An access to roads of various categories determines the transport accessibility of cities, which is an important factor conditioning a level of economic and social development. Road transport in Małopolska Region is the dominant type of transport, both in the scope of goods and passenger transport. Unfortunately, the Małopolska Region doesn’t have well-developed road infrastructure, and thus transport in all parts of region.

The Kraków Metropolitan Area (KOM) and the municipalities located along the A4 motorway route have the best accessibility, both from the economic and quality of life perspective. However, this accessibility deteriorates the more north and south of the region’s main transport axis of this system. Counties of Tatry Mountains area, Nowy Targ, Gorlice and Nowy Sącz have the poorest accessibility.

Kraków, as a capital of Małopolska Region, is available from almost the entire area of ​​the region in less than 2 hours. The municipalities of Muszyna, Uście Gorlickie and Piwniczna-Zdrój are located in the longest distance (in terms of travel time) from Kraków.

The south-eastern part of the Małopolska Region remains one of the weakest region due to a road and transport connection with others. It is the most important barrier in attracting external investors and may provoke a migration outflow from such areas to those with better accessibility and development.

An access to other urban centers with an administrative service is often more important for residents than accessibility to the capital of the region. Most people live within the range of Wieliczka town and Chrzanów town, which are influenced by the vicinity of Kraków and good communication with the cities of the Śląsk Region. Wieliczka town and Chrzanów town are available in less than 120 minutes for all inhabitans of their counties. Similar positive situation concerns Brzesko and Bochnia with the vicinity of  the A4 motorway.

Public transport

According to research, 26,867 connections between 62 cities in Małopolska Region have been recorded in 2019, which accounted for over 15% of public transport connections in the countryside commonly. On Sundays, connections (14,687) between cities accounted for over 20%. Kraków is best connected with other cities compared to other six examined regions. Strong connections with Kraków are observed both along the railway lines (Oświęcim – Trzebinia – Kraków – Tarnów – Rzeszów) and roads served only by buses (e.g. to Olkusz, Skała, Proszowice or Myślenice). Although accessibility from rural areas to cities in the Małopolska Region can be assessed as good, 16% of the localities did not have a public transport station at all.

It is worth emphasizing that almost 90% of inhabitants live in towns with access to public transport to the nearest city: excellent (27%), very good (15%) or good (16%). Locations with weak and very weak accessibility were concentrated in several zones: Gorlice County, Tarnów County, Limanowa County, areas near Miechów, counties: Kraków, Proszowice, Dąbrowa Tarnowska, Tarnów and Brzesko.

Locations with weak and very weak accessibility were concentrated in several zones:

  • Beskid Niski (Gorlice county),
  • Pogórze (Tarnów country, Limanowa country),
  • Wyżyna Miechowska,
  • Dąbrowa Tarnowska county, Tarnów county, Brzesko county.

57 cities, where 24.000 people live, had no connections to the town between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. Such cities occur only in the northern and eastern parts of the region. However, even in well-developed KOM area, rural towns with only two daily routes to the county town were recorded. Importantly, over 50% of towns had a direct connection to Kraków, including almost all towns in the region. In total, 69% of the region’s residents living outside Krakow have a direct connection to it in the public transport system.

Public transport is also a very important component of the transport system in the context of commuting to secondary schools. In the Małopolska Region, most students attend to schools in Kraków, where a large number of highly specialized institutions is located. Nowy Sącz and Tarnów are also large centers of secondary schools education, followed by Nowy Targ, Limanowa and Oświęcim.

Functional links between cities and towns

The range and scale of impact of individual urban centers in the Małopolska region are very diverse. The influence of three main urban centers is clearly visible: Kraków, Tarnów and Nowy Sącz, with the dominance of Kraków. The western part of Małopolska Region is strongly linked with Śląsk Region, which is reflected in the intensity and directions of flows from centers located there.

The most powerful city center is Kraków – over 84,000 people arrive to work in, and less than 20,000 leave it every day. Together with Tarnów and Nowy Sącz, they gather over 37% of those who are work migrants (data from 2016). An area of ​​strong economic suburbanization has developed around the capital of the region, which also gathers towns with considerable commuting.

The Carpathian area (with some exceptions of Nowy Sącz, Gorlice, Nowy Targ or Zakopane) and the borderland with the Świętokrzyskie Region – isolated centers (Wolbrom, Sucha Beskidzka or Dąbrowa Tarnowska) with their small but attractive towns, is characterized by low intensity of commuting. Among the cities with a negative balance of commutes we can also distinguish former coalmine cities located in the western part of the Małopolska Region.

Read the report (in Polish language)

What are attitudes characteristic for the users of landscape parks? Are these areas attractive for tourism? Where are users looking for knowledge about landscape parks and what is the cooperation between users and landscape parks like?

Here we have some questions that can be answered in the latest report “Research into environmental awareness and attitudes of people, entities and institutions related to the Małopolska Region’s landscape parks”. The results of the study are the basis for the implementation by the regional authorities of specific activities and projects in the field of nature and landscape protection policy, including increasing the attractiveness of landscape parks and taking into account the opinions of many user communities.

The report was based on a survey conducted using a number of data: existing, questionnaire interviews among residents, tourists, entrepreneurs and local government representatives, an online survey, as well as group and individual interviews and workshops for young people.

The report consists of three parts:

  • theoretical,
  • presenting the results of the study,
  • summary with conclusions and recommendations.

The first part, containing the theoretical introduction, presents the methodology and course of the study as well as the main information on the protection of nature and its individual forms in Poland and Małopolska Region. Particular attention was devoted to 11 landscape parks and focused on the role and history of the Landscape Park Complex of the Małopolska Region – the budget institution responsible for coordinating the conservation activities of landscape parks in the Małopolska Region.

The conducted research shows that landscape parks and national parks are the most recognizable forms of nature protection among residents and tourists. More than a half of the inhabitants and tourists believe that nature and landscape protection is needed and should be maintained at least at the current level. The majority of residents and entrepreneurs think that landscape parks are important to the proces of tourism development. However, it is necessary to carry out activities increasing knowledge about the natural environment in landscape parks. Similarly, it is necessary to undertake promotional and information activities to increase the recognition of landscape parks brand and municipalities located in their area.

The results of the study were summarized during an expert discussion. It indicated the role and vision of the Landscape Park Complex of the Małopolska Region. There also have been identified some steps to be taken to preserve the natural and landscape values ​​of parks, while creating products and a tourist offer.

Read the report (in English language)

Read the report (in Polish language)

The value of goods and services exported from Małopolska Region in 2018 have exceeded 10,0 mld euro (10.11 mld zł) barrier for the first time, which gives it 6th place within regions in the country.

Foreign trade and export

Małopolska Region has recorded an increase in the value of exported goods and services by 5.7 % in comparison to 2017. The value of goods and services sent from Poland amounted to 219.18 billion EUR and increased by over 16.5 billion on a national scale. Leaders – Mazowieckie and Śląskie Voivodships – generate close to ¼ of domestic exports, and the value of each exceeds 27 billion EUR. Wielkopolska is another region where exports exceed 20 billion EUR. The next in the ranking – Dolnośląskie Voivodship – recorded the largest increase compared to 2017 – 1.4 billion EUR. A slightly higher export value than in Małopolska was recorded by the Pomorskie – 11.66 billion EUR.

Both Poland and Małopolska Region are definitely based on exports to european countries, especially to European Union (around 90%). Germany is the most important export partner for Małopolska Region, which is also reflected at the national level. The value of domestic exports to Germany exceeded 60 billion EUR, and the participation in domestic exports increased from 27.3% in 2017 to already 28.0% in 2018. For Małopolska region, it was 24.3% (2.5 billion EUR) and the increase from 23.5%, to 24.3% compare to 2017.

The value of exports above 500 million EUR and a share of 5% were also recorded by other directions of Małopolska exports: the Czech Republic (787 million EUR), France (768 million EUR), Great Britain (551 million EUR) and Slovakia (523 million EUR). The largest increase (similar to the national scale) was recorded in a trade exchange with Romania (13.5%). A decrease in value of exports was recorded for several countries, including the largest in the shipment of goods to Lithuania (-13.9%), as well as in exports to Austria, Brazil, Belarus and Luxembourg (all above 10 million EUR).

In 2018, 3,921 export companies operated in Małopolska (4th place in the ranking). Since 2017, the number of transport companies has increased by 110. The largest number of exporting companies is in the Mazowieckie Voivodship, where the number is gradually approaching the border of 10,000. In the whole country, this number increased from 44,494 to 44,820.

Import in Małopolska region

In total, the value of imports to Poland in 2018 reached 220.98 billion EUR and it was the first period when the value of imports exceeded 200 billion EUR. All Polish voivodships in 2018 recorded an increase in the value of imports. During this period, Małopolska imported goods with a total value of 10.82 billion EUR from the outside and for the first time it crossed the barrier of 10 billion EUR. In the ranking of regions, Małopolska Region took 6th place again.

The Mazowieckie Voivodship remains the unchallenged leader in this ranking. The value of imports of this region amounted to 60.18 billion EUR, which exceeds the total value of three other regions in this ranking – Wielkopolska (22.23 billion EUR), Śląsk (20.37 billion EUR) and Dolny Śląsk (16.01 billion EUR). Each of the regions also recorded an increase in value per capita and exceeds 1000 EUR.

Małopolska Region recorded an increase from 2.9 thousand EUR up to 3,200. Importers in Poland constituted a group of 54 424 entities, however Małopolska – 4690 entities, which makes the region one of the leaders (4th place). The value of imports per one enterprise in Małopolska Region in 2018 amounted to 2.3 million EUR.

The leading countries that import goods to Poland include:

  • Germany (the largest increase in the value of imports every year, on the Polish scale in 2018, over EUR 5 billion),
  • Russia (an increase of over 3.7 billion since 2017)
  • China (an increase of over 1.7 billion since 2017)

The Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic are next. The Asian countries are also dominated by the Republic of Korea and Vietnam, the value of imports from each of these countries increased by more than 500 million EUR year on year. Interestingly, the largest percentage increase was recorded in the import of goods from Belarus.

Germany is the largest importer to Małopolska Region, and the value of imported goods increased by over 200 million EUR and amounted to 3 billion EUR (nearly 28% of the total value of imports). The next countries generating an import value above 700 million EUR are: China, Italy and the Netherlands. Slovakia is a prominent importer, certainly due to the immediate vicinity of Małopolska region (629 million EUR).

For the first time, since 2014, both Poland and Małopolska region recorded a negative trade balance. The value of goods imported to Poland is higher by 1.8 billion EUR, and to Małopolska by 0.72 billion EUR, which means to double the negative balance from 2017.

Commodity products of Małopolska

The most important goods exported from Małopolska Region are road tractors for pulling semi-trailers, and their value exceeded 437 million EUR. Above 200 million EUR also reached other automotive and motor-related categories: Electrical, lighting or visual signaling equipment of a kind used in motor vehicles, Radiators for motor vehicles, Vehicles other than for the transport of radioactive substances, and slightly below 200 million EUR – traffic jams, lids, caps.

The two most important categories of imported goods also belong to the automotive industry. The highest import value was achieved in the category: Engines (according to item 840820, without item 84082010; for vehicles of Chapter 87, except those for wheeled agricultural and forestry tractors; with power> 200 kW) and Bodies (including cabs), motor vehicles. In addition to the abovementioned, the category of liquefied hydrocarbons without propane, butane, ethylene, propylene, butylene, butadiene exceeded the value of EUR 200 million (increase from 180.2 million in 2017).

Read the report (in Polish language)