Volume 1, Issue 2 (December 2023) – 5 articles


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.


12 October 2023

Risk Analysis of Crisis Management on the Example of Rural Areas in Poland

The aim of this article is to analyze and assess the risk of crisis hazards and to introduce possible improvements on the example of the Municipality of Branice. The types of threats and the consequences associated with their occurrence are also described. The quality management method (FMEA) was used to develop the risk assessment, as well as an indication of the risk values presented by the risk matrix made. Thanks to the research part of the study, the most probable possible risks and their consequences were detected, and improvements were proposed to prevent the occurrence of such situations in the future. The main conclusions of the study are: (1) a properly prepared crisis management plan is the most important and effective method to deal with emergencies that threaten the life and health of citizens; (2) hazards have been, are, and will continue to accompany people, so adequate preparation is needed to minimize their effects or even eliminate them altogether; (3) during the occurrence of an emergency, the sphere of logistical action is very broad and determines the methods and actions of the relevant services in order to reduce the effects of the threats that occur; (4) the conducted analysis of threats possible to occur in the area of Branice Commune indicates that the highest probability of occurrence of a threat is floods and waterlogging as well as hurricanes and strong winds; (5) the conducted FMEA analysis indicates that a very important factor preventing the creation of the threats discussed in the point above are periodical inspections and cleaning or modernization works of the given threat areas. In summary, the FMEA analysis showed that in the analysed municipality, the most serious risks were flooding and flooding, as well as hurricanes and high winds. The following remedial actions are proposed in the analysis and to improve these areas in the rural areas: water surge in the riverbed (cleaning of the riverbed; repair of dikes; securing roads and communication bridges against possible damage; securing drinking water reservoirs against pollution; securing sewage treatment plants against possible leakage of faecal matter into flood waters); obstruction of field drainage (regular mowing and cleaning of ditches; checking the patency of ditches; roofs of residential and commercial buildings and fallen trees in villages close to houses (inspections and pruning of dangerous tree branches and possible removal of trees threatening danger of falling; inspection of roof structures by building supervision) and fallen trees in riverbeds (cleaning of banks and riverbeds; inspection of tree stands near rivers). The policy implications of this study may be far-reaching, not least because it may determine rural managers to change their management and attention to and response to crisis threats that may occur in such areas. Regarding the limitations of the study, it is important to remember that it was conducted on the author’s chosen terrain. In most cases, changes in the terrain, the population or its management have a determining influence on the shaping of emergency response principles. Therefore, the study conducted should provide an overview of the research issue undertaken. In the future, it is planned to extend the study area to equal rural areas occurring in the world, and it is also planned to verify the existing hazards on the ground on a continuous basis. In addition, it is intended to extend the deeper cooperation with both the rural authorities and the rescue units in order to imply the research results in the actual territorial units.


15 November 2023

Local Production, Consumption, and Innovation: Enhancing Sustainability through SMEs in Japan

The study focuses on the process of business development with the use of food tech and open innovation by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Japan to create a sustainable ecosystem in the regional economy. Production of alternative food materials is introduced in the new business of SMEs with the hope to reduce carbon footprint. SMEs need to create an SME ecosystem that integrates consumers as vital partners in the process of introducing new alternative food items to the market as agents of change. Innovative ways of inventing new food products involve the processes of sourcing ingredients, creating new recipes for alternative food products, and incorporating local food culture and methods of food preparation. Therefore, it is crucial for SMEs to involve local producers as well as consumers as stakeholders in innovation. Some case examples of SMEs producing plant-based alternative meats in Japan are reviewed in this study to highlight key factors impacting the outcome of innovation in the products and processes of SMEs seeking sustainable solutions. The significance of the study lies in acknowledging catalytic roles of SMEs in regional settings and interactive roles of consumers as product buyers as well as active players who consciously opt for certain products and modes of consumption driven by their inclination to support sustainability. Based on the findings of the study, some policy suggestions are also made for enhancing sustainability and revitalizing the local economy through SMEs. 


18 December 2023

Measurement of Energy Poverty and Influencing Factors of Rural Households in China

Despite being the world’s largest developing country, China faces significant disparities between urban and rural areas, which exacerbates energy poverty in rural regions. This issue of energy poverty is a global concern, as millions of people lack access to modern energy necessary for a decent quality of life. This research aims to analyze the levels and structures of energy consumption in rural Chinese households, using data from the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) conducted in 2015 and 2018. The research employs the poverty line threshold and Theil index methods to comprehensively assess energy poverty in diverse regions. It also examines the economic, social, and familial factors influencing rural energy poverty. The findings reveal a transition in rural energy consumption towards cleaner sources, but energy poverty remains a significant issue. Factors such as energy prices and household size have a positive impact on energy poverty, while per capita income, education level, and social factors exert a negative influence. 


19 December 2023