West Pomeranian University of Technology Szczecin, Poland
The level of regional development in the EU has been largely diversified from the beginning. A compensatory variant of regional policy, aiming at a simple redistribution of revenue, was not bringing about the desired results. Therefore, policy makers increasingly pay attention to the significance of the concentration of economic processes in the development of geographical space. A natural location for developmental processes to accumulate are seaports. In regional policies of many countries, they are treated as growth poles. The hitherto actions of public authorities supporting the development of peripheral areas with the use of seaports have brought about varied results. Therefore, the aim of the article is to elaborate a concept of developing the coastal areas of West Pomerania, Poland, based on seaports. The adopted concept has to take into account the premises of polarized development theory and the specific local conditions. The subject matter of the article meets the criteria of the polarization-diffusion development. Most coastal municipalities belong to peripheral areas. Seaports, on the other hand, are centers of economic activity. Both primary and secondary sources of information have been used in the article. A comprehensive review of the theory of polarized development has been conducted, including the most recent scientific publications and studies. Research was conducted in the form of in-depth interviews with representatives of seaports. The conducted research demonstrated significant development potential of seaports which was not used to its fullest capacity. The main reason for this was the bad condition of the reloading and transportation infrastructure. The aforementioned barrier limited the seaports’ scope of influence and the intensity of commercial contacts. Improving access to seaports will require significant investment outlays which exceed the budgets of local municipalities. Therefore, central authorities should become involved in the investment process. As far as production is concerned, it is essential to acquire key investors who produce goods with high added value on the basis of raw materials and semi-finished products supplied by local companies. The cooperation will stimulate the development of the existing and the emergence of new businesses. The role of municipal authorities should consist in professional activation of local communities. The proposed concept includes a wide cooperation between the public authorities at all levels, the key investors, and the local community.
Keywords: seaports, regional development, growth poles, transport infrastructure
Last Update: October 18, 2018