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25 September 2023

Depopulation Villages in Poland—Current Status and Possible Transition Scenarios

The picture of many localities undergoing depopulation will change in the coming years. A significant scale of migration and advanced ageing processes will result in an increase in the number of vacant buildings, or the removal of social infrastructure. The term ‘shrinkage’ tends to have negative connotations, but can lead to positive changes, e.g., an improvement in land structure under conditions of fragmented, dispersed agriculture. Depending on the quality of the natural environment and communication accessibility, other functions will develop there, including housing and recreation. However, a large part of the village may disappear completely.

Keywords: Shrinkage; Depopulation; Rural settlement; Changes in the rural space; Visions of the countryside