From restructuring to sustainable development

The case of Upper Silesia

A just transition of the Silesian Voivodeship is connected to three inter- linked challenges:

  1. Economic challenge, equally as applicable to the region as otherparts of Poland. It is based on raising – within three decades – the level of GDP per capita and productivity of labour in the voivodeship to that of the prosperous states of Western Europe. The other two challenges follow from the features shared by the regions with long industrial traditions dating back to the 19th century.
  2. Demographic challenge, i.e. halting the decline in the number of the region’s inhabitants and the intensive ageing process of the local population. This means stopping the problem of negative natural increase and replacing intensive emigration with influx of people to the voivodeship from other parts of Poland or from abroad.
  3. Social challenge, which is to improve the quality of life. This requires solving the interconnected social and ecological problems in the region: the areas with high unemployment, poverty and increased crime, decapitalised housing and transportation infra- structure, or the very high level of air pollution.
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