Wirtschaftsraumanalyse von altindustriellen Regionen unter Einsatz von geographischen Informationssystemen und komplexen, multivariaten Methoden : Oberschlesien, Ruhrgebiet und Pittsburgh im Vergleich

  • Economic analysis of old industrial regions with geographic information systems and multivariate methods of analysis : Upper Silesia, Ruhr and Pittsburgh

Pudlik, Martin; Gräf, Peter (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2011)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2011


Upper Silesia and the Ruhr are two of the most important agglomerations in Europe. Both regions are not only of economic importance for their countries but also involved in an economic structural change. Whereas it started in the Ruhr area at the end of the 50s with the coal crisis, the process begun belated in the Upper Silesia in 1993 after the fall of the communism and the end of the COMECON in 1991. Therefore Upper Silisia was confronted with the challenges of the economic structural change over 30 years later. Hence both regions are suitable for a comparison and the verification of the developed methods related to the time lag of their development. Primary objective of this research project is not a descriptive comparison of both study areas but rather the identification of cities with similar characteristics and the visualization of topic interconnectivities in the main research areas. The research results of Pittsburgh and surrounding cities had been used to implement transatlantic experiences in the field of economic structural change and a view on different forms of cooperation. The comparison of such complex entities like agglomerations is also a challenge to the methods used. Therefore the application and development of proper tools is imperative. This is the secondary objective of this work together with the identification and inquiry of proper data. The latter consists of statistical data, expert interviews, surveys, press analysis and spatial data. The data collected was mainly analyzed with Geographic Information Systems and complex multivariate statistical methods. The key research statement is on the one hand the development and use of complex methods, and on the other hand the recognition of different topic interconnectivities in Upper Silesia and the Ruhr as well as the identification of similar city clusters in both research areas. It was shown that the use of geographic information systems and complex, multidimensional statistical methods successfully helps to achieve the research objectives. Especially the correspondence analysis proved to be an effective method for integral interview and survey analysis and the identification of specific city clusters. Due to the method scalability it is also possible to change the extent of the analysis. Respective to the regional analysis Upper Silesia is confronted with more social rather than economic problems. The often discussed economic decoupling of the Ruhr compared to other old industrial regions in Europe couldn’t be verified. Furthermore the suspiciousness against central structures, like metropolis organizations, could be detected especially in the polish research area. In both main research areas several city clusters with similar characterisitcs could be detected not only at the regional but also at the inter-regional level. Alternative cooperation forms, like the JEDDs (Joint Economic Districts), had been presented as substitutes for the creation of a central metropolitan area administration.


  • Division of Earth Sciences and Geography [530000]
  • Economic Geography of Services Teaching and Research Area [551720]