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.
The article points to several very up-to-date issues that occur in relation with the vanishing of traditional forms of land use and introduction of new, other than indigenous, management styles in Poland. Current processes of deterioration of the structure of the cultural landscapes have been discussed with regard to natural values and the hist
...orical process of land management by man. The article is a peculiar case study for quite common negative transformation of the polish countryside caused by relatively free use of the space, legal negligence, low awareness and poor identification of residents with the landscape – the countryside which loses its peculiar and typical features as the result of “mass consumption”. The text also presents positive examples of care taken for the regional landscape and lists initiatives aimed at improving the image of polish area.