Open Access

The socio-economic importance of abandoned railway areas in the landscape of the Silesian Province (southern Poland)


The Province of Silesia, in Poland, is an area where many railway connections, of mostly local importance, have been closed recently. In some cities, they have been eliminated altogether and passenger rail transport has been replaced by bus transport. For this research, a sociological study was conducted using the diagnostic survey method and the questionnaire technique. A transversal testing strategy was also used. The aims of the study were to illustrate the function of abandoned railway areas in the landscape and to present possible recommendations for their development from the point of view of the needs of society. The research population included 1,685 people who were students at the University of the Third Age and adult residents. The surveys focused on the possibility of exploiting the natural potential of railway areas. The respondents’ answers provided suggestions for the development of unused railway areas, which included creating bicycle lanes, alleys with a high biodiversity of both flora and fauna, and walking tracks. The analysis of the study’s results can be useful to both local authorities and the Management of the Polish State Railways (PKP S.A.) in their decision-making processes concerning the revitalization of unused railway areas. Similar revitalization efforts have already been undertaken by various cities and communities.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Geosciences, Geography, Atmospheric Science and Climatology, Life Sciences, Plant Science, Ecology