The new maritime route linking the Baltic Sea’s Gulf of Gdańsk and the Vistula Lagoon, along with the deepening of the waterway through the Lagoon and along the Elbląg River and the modernization of marinas, is planned to conclude by spring 2023 for all the three stages of the project. It is a megaproject, as understood by, e.g. Bent Flyvbjerg, which is intended to significantly alter Poland’s maritime economy and policy. In geographical terms, the cut will bring the Baltic Sea closer to Elbląg by 8 hours saved; the Elbląg port will finally become a real seaport. So far, it was only a seaport on paper, as the route from it to the sea leads through the territorial waters of the Russian Federation, with all the political and organisational conditions that stem with it. This, however, makes one ask the question, can one therefore anticipate that Elbląg, along with the entire subregion around the Vistula Lagoon, will in fact come closer to the sea in the social, economic, and cultural dimensions. The attempt to answer this question will be positioned in a theoretical framework, the poles of which will be Ludwik Janiszewski’s concept of marinisation and Andrzej Piskozub’s concept of “marine Poland”. The former, regardless of its high level of theorisation, is an enthusiastic projection of the society which wants to take the fullest advantage of the stimuli stemming from acquiring a long coastline after 1945. The latter, on the other hand, contains warnings against the mythical relationship towards Polish marinist traditions and the voluntaristic approach to marine economy, i.e. the search for justifications for investment projects in phantom or strictly political foundations.
Vistula Spit Cut – and then what? The New Waterway’s Place Between the Marinisation and the Criticism of Poland’s Maritime AmbitionsWritten by ptsadmin
Grupa tematyczna: G42
Słowa kluczowe: Vistula Spit Canal, Elbląg, port of Elbląg, marinisation, maritime Poland
Prelegent: Włodzimierz Karol Pessel