The Importance of Coastal Cities and Regions in Selected European Countries
Purpose: The article aims to verify the common claim about the location of coastal regions and related historical conditions as a factor bringing above-average socio-economic benefits. Design/Methodology/Approach: The analyses in the paper are based on data from Eurostat and European Commission reports. They take into account the state of knowledge of urbanisation processes in Europe and their historical background. Data analysis and synthesis methods were used. Findings: The article brings confirmation of the thesis made on the basis of basic development indicators, as well as comparative data on the elements of the settlement network structure of selected European countries. The regularities observed reveal the role and position of coastal cities, their importance for building the potential of individual countries in relation to the coast and the sea, but also the specificity depending on the size of the country or its location on the continent. Practical implications: regions will be identified, and therefore countries, for which the potential threat of climate change and its consequences, in confrontation with the socio-economic potential of the location indicated in the title, may result in the greatest difficulties and the need to remodel the settlement structure. Originality/value: The concept of coastal cities as a separate object of study is rarely present in the source literature. In addition, the authors seek to introduce the development of research and analysis of basic indicators based on a developed perception of coastal regions including so-called low-lying coastal regions. This will form the basis for further extended research into these areas. In addition, an analysis of the demographic and economic consequences was also carried out in the light of the potential risks in these areas and the feasibility of their functioning in the form known to date. This provides some methodological structuring that can serve as a starting point for verification based on further and more recent data, as well as an in-depth analysis of the links between urbanisation, development in coastal areas and the risks posed by climate change.