Although Warsaw is home to Europe’s third-largest office centre after London’s Canary Wharf and Paris’ La Défense, further deindustrialization of the city poses a major economic risk, warn ESPON analysts. In their opinion, the capital city authorities should follow the example of Wrocław or Tricity and strengthen cooperation with neighbouring municipalities to rebuild the industrial sector.
The case study is the most common research tool used in ESPON, the European Space Research Programme funded by the European Commission. It allows for in-depth analyses of socio-economic processes in a given region and a comparison of the results obtained with data from other areas in Europe.
“International research teams prepare reports that are useful for designing and implementing various types of policies, including at the local or city levels. They inspire stakeholders (e.g., local government officials) to find solutions to the problems facing their regions. They help them understand the needs of local communities and draw on the experiences of other territorial units studies by ESPON,” explains PhD Dorota Celińska-Janowicz, a geographer at the EUROREG, Centre for European Regional and Local Studies of Warsaw University, who leads the Polish team of the ESPON SUPER project.
The subject of one of the most recent case studies is the condition of the industrial sector in the so-called capital city region of Warsaw, which consists of the city of Warsaw and the following districts Grodziski Mazowiecki, Legionós, Miński Mazowiecki, Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, Otwock, Piaseczno, Pruszków, Western Warsaw and Wołomin (in total about 3 million inhabitants and 6104 sq).
ESPON researchers remind us that European countries and cities are undergoing a process of deindustrialization, with industrial production now contributing only about 5 per cent of their GDPs. Warsaw has become similar to London and other large metropolises with a 2-5 per cent share of industry, while the capital region as a whole has a share of 22 per cent, similar to the Polish average.
The authors of the study suggest that the authorities of Warsaw and the surrounding counties should develop a comprehensive reindustrialization program for the region. Of course, we are not talking about a return to smoking chimneys of giant factories, but modern, innovative and climate-neutral manufacturing – pharmaceuticals, aviation and aerospace, and electronics.
The capital city can offer them access to skilled workers and academic centres, as cooperation with the world of science is now the basis for the development of the high-tech industry, as exemplified by other European metropolises such as Stuttgart and Helsinki. The advantage of neighbouring communes is definitely a lower price of land for future investments than in Warsaw.