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When Environmental Protection Collides with Economic Development

  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


This paper, based on two case studies from Polish localities, makes a case for a scalar interpretation of conflicts related to environmental protection and economic development. Poland, one of the poorest and least environmentally friendly member countries of the European Union, has to reconcile conflicting objectives and contradictory interests thatâdue to the imperatives of both fast economic growth and ecological sustainabilityâmanifest themselves at different scales. Thus, drawing on dynamic and interactive conceptualizations of scale, the study argues that the two cases can be seen as an illustration of interscalar conflicts. In doing so, the paper demonstrates why a scalar interpretation is preferable to other explanations. It also sheds light on the question of the privileged status of the local scale, suggesting that it is problematic to uncritically regard any scale as superior to other scales. By exploring sociospatial processes in the east European context, the study aims to expand the existing body of knowledge.

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