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THE SCENIC VALUE OF ABANDONED MINING AREAS IN POLAND

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Author(s): URSZULA MYGA-PIĄTEK | JERZY NITA

Journal: Acta Geographica Debrecina. Landscape and Environment Series
ISSN 1789-4921

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 132;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: urban-industrial landscape | abandoned mining areas | mineral management | environment protection | land reclamation | valuable landforms

ABSTRACT
Abandoned Polish mining areas are commonly heavily transformed so that they endanger no longer the environment. A disadvantage is that the newly created areas commonly contribute to the monotonous urban-industrial landscape, rather than providing additional value. This is partly due to legislation that hampers a more diversified management of abandoned mining areas as potentially valuable landforms. One of the legal barriers that restricts the possibilities of making these areas more attractive, regards the utilization of remaining exploitation holes (i.e. land depressions of at least 2 m deep, formed as a result of open-pit mining of energy, chemical, building or metallurgical resources) and waste heaps as important cultural and scenic elements. Such a new use of these old mininginduced phenomena is important if it is intended not only to involve the regional population in the process of exploring and exploiting the earth’s resources, but also to confront them with some negative consequences of these activities, including shaping the landscape in which these objects are situated. The current attitude towards a new architecture for abandoned mining areas should be reconsidered; particularly the present-day approach based on narrow specializations – for instance of experts in mineral exploitation, spatial planning or environmental protection – should be replaced by interdisciplinary action regarding shaping the landscape of abandoned mining areas.
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