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The expansion of coal mining in the depression areas – a way to development?

Author: , , , , , and

The coal has been mined in the Karviná area for more than 150 years. During the course of time mining areas were continuously extended at the expense of the settled areas. At the beginnings the mining was limited, but later, namely under conditions of centrally planned economy in the period between 1950s and 1980s, it was heavily intensified. Then, as a result of economic restructuring of the Czech Republic mining was reduced in the region to be re-developed in the last decade again. The expansion of coal mining has been continuously affecting the socio-economic structure of local population (huge working immigration, industrialisation, construction of mass housing for miners – miners dormitories, later housing estates etc., displacement of settlements), surrounding landscape (subsidence of terrain, undermining, hydrological changes and formation of artificial lakes, occurrence of plenty of post-mining brownfields after the reduction of mining etc.), but also contemporary outward, image and socio-spatial structure of cities (dominance housing in housing estates, effects of communists spatial urban planning etc.). Currently, negotiations about expansion of coal mining are in progress in this region, namely the city parts of Karviná (Staré Město) and Orlová (Výhoda) should be affected. In the introductory parts of this paper social, economical and environmental aspects of coal mining on the development of regions and connected problems are discussed and both cities are shortly presented. The questionnaire survey focused on perceptions of after-mining renewal and potential expansion of mining in the area of cities of Karviná and Orlová was conducted (n=1000). As the most important predictor that influences perception of mining and renewal, employment in mining companies has been identified. The higher education respondents achieved, the higher level of opposition against mining was manifested. The correlation was also found between the level of income and the agreement with expansion of mining. It can be concluded that employees of mining company, less educated population and people with higher income agreed with economic development of the city that is based on mining.

Keywords: , , , ,
Issue: Volume 8, Issue 1, 2014