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The scenic value of abandoned mining areas in Poland
Published December 31, 2008

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 manage...ment 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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