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Mazovia

Mazovia is a region of rapid social and economic development: it was one of the four fastest growing regions in the EU in 2007-2015 in terms of GDP per capita. This growth is accompanied by rapidly progressing (sub)urbanisation. At the same time, agriculture plays an important role in the region’s economy as a large number of the region’s inhabitants live in rural areas. Fast economic growth has entailed a large number of unfdesirable tendencies such as increasing land prices, negative demographic trends in rural areas, landscape degradation and urban pressure on areas of natural beauty. These tendencies are particularly intense in the Metropolitan Area of Warsaw.

An agricultural landscape predominates in the region which consists mainly of arable land and orchards. 23% of the region’s area is covered with forests, mainly pine and oak. In Mazovia one can find a remnant of the backwoods which used to cover Europe, the Kampinos Forest. There are also six landscape parks and nearly two hundred nature reserves in the region.

Agricultural and horticultural production
The Mazovia Region has considerable potential for food and agricultural product processing. It is a hub of horticulture and fruit-growing. Over 30% of land used for orchards in Poland are located in Mazovia, providing over 45% of national fruit production. Nearly half the apples and 25% of strawberries are produced in the Mazovia Region. Mazovia is also a leading producer of vegetables and the third largest producer of basic cereals among Polish regions. Moreover, the Mazovia Region is a leading producer of milk in Poland. Meat production is another of the region’s strong points.

Fruit-growing is concentrated mainly in the southern part of the region. Market gardening, on the other hand, is spread primarily along the Vistula River and in the southwest part of the Warsaw conurbation. Modern dairy farms can be found in the northern part of the region, whereas avicultural production is concentrated in the northwest.


Peri-urban area In the vicinity of Warsaw. Zegrzynskie Lake

Photo: Grzegorz Sledz

Population increases in peri-urban areas
Although the phenomena and processes characteristic of peri-urban areas occur in the vicinity of all towns and cities in Mazovia (see map), they are particularly evident in the surroundings of Warsaw.

The Warsaw Metropolitan Area (WMA) – is an informal territorial unit used to analyze functional relations between Warsaw and its surroundings. It is inhabited by 58% of the population of the region. In 2004-2016, the population of rural areas in all of Mazovia increased by 5%. However, over an earlier 12-year span, the population in suburban rural areas in the WMA increased by 18% and reached a 17% share in the population of whole WMA (including Warsaw). This high rate of growth was mainly due to positive net migration, with an annual average of 1% in rural areas in WMA (though many rural municipalities adjacent to Warsaw recorded a figure as high as 2%). The intensity of this process is particularly outstanding when compared to the net migration in the whole WMA – 0.48%, and the rural areas in Mazovia region generally – 0.1%.

Economic Growth brings increased urbanisation
Peri-urban areas in the vicinity of Warsaw are also characterized by high economic growth and increased urbanization. Since 1992 at least 27 thousand hectares of the best agricultural land have been allocated to other purposes. In the short period from 2002 to 2005 the number of municipalities, in which the share of urbanized land has reached 15%, increased from 33 to 42. The process of urban sprawl progresses every year. In 26 municipalities surrounding Warsaw, in 2008 the share of urbanized area increased by at least 10%, in comparison to the previous year.

Mitigating the negative effects of city sprawl requires seizing the development opportunities of Mazovia’s rural areas concentrated around the conurbation. It is necessary to make good use of the peri-urban areas’ potential: i.e. the proximity of the market for food products, the possibility to serve recreational and tourist needs or the provision of all kinds of services to the city dwellers. At the same time, it needs to be ensured that all these processes progress with due respect for the natural environment and preservation of the nature of peri-urban areas.

The challenges that our region faces include, on the one hand, prevention of problems of peri-urban areas, such as ageing society, a lack of young farmers, creation of job opportunities outside agriculture and life quality improvement and, on the other, striving for the increased penetration of development processes from the metropolis to rural areas and for the reduction of intraregional economic disparity.

PURPLE provides our region with the possibility to exchange experiences and best practices regarding stimulation of peri-urban area development. As a result of our participation in the Peri-Urban Regions Platform we gain access to the knowledge possessed by other network members. We are interested in activities related to the development of the local products market, shaping open spaces and taking advantage of the natural environment potential and cultural heritage for the development of peri-urban areas.

General data:

Country: Poland
Total area: 35,558 km2 
Population: 5,365,898
Density: 150.9 hab/km2
Agriculture land use: 53% (of total area), incl. 2% ecological agriculture
Arable land: 72% (of agricultural land)
Main economic activities: Food and drink processing, chemical industry, telecommunication production and services
Main agricultural products cereals, vegetables, potatoes, apples, cow's milk

The Mazovia Region has considerable potential for food and agricultural product processing. It is a hub of horticulture and fruit-growing. Over 30% of land used for orchards in Poland are located in Mazovia, providing over 45% of national fruit production. Nearly half the apples and 25% of strawberries are produced in the Mazovia Region. Mazovia is also a leading producer of vegetables and the third largest producer of basic cereals among Polish regions. Moreover, the Mazovia Region is a leading producer of milk in Poland. Meat production is another of the region’s strong points.

Fruit-growing is concentrated mainly in the southern part of the region. Market gardening, on the other hand, is spread primarily along the Vistula River and in the southwest part of the Warsaw conurbation. Modern dairy farms can be found in the northern part of the region, whereas avicultural production is concentrated in the northwest.

Last updated: 31 October, 2017

Mazovia

www.mazovia.pl

Land use map - peri-urban Mazovia

Mazovia Voivodship

Purple Working Group member: 
Maciej Sulmicki 
msulmicki@mbpr.pl

 

Zegrzynskie Lake near Warsaw
Photo: Grzegorz Sledz

Peri-urban area - Kabacki Forest in Warsaw.
Photo: Grzegorz Sledz

Radziejowice fields near Warsaw
Photo: Grzegorz Sledz

Warsaw - Slasko-Dabrowski Bridge
Photo: Grzegorz Sledz