The Dolnośląskie Region is situated in the south-west Poland. To the south it borders with Czech Republic and to the west with Germany.
To the north and east Dolnośląskie borders with Polish regions of Lubuskie, Wielkopolskie and Opolskie. The region enjoys a diversity of natural, spatial, economic and social conditions. Its landscape varies from lowlands in the Oder Valley to mountains in The Sudetes, whereas the diversity of nature makes the region very attractive for tourists. The region covers 19.9 thousand km2 and is inhabited by 2.9 million people. 71% of the population lives in cities.
Dolnośląskie Region is situated at the cross roads of ancient trade routes running from west to east and north to south, which even nowadays are key European transport routes. The Oder River, which flows across Lower Silesia, has a great transport potential and natural amenity. Once its full navigability is restored, it will become a transit route between Lower Silesia, Baltic ports and the system of European inland waterways.
The unique characteristics of Dolnośląskie Region developed over centuries as a result of complex and multinational history. Lower Silesia once belonged to Poland, Czech, Austria, Germany, and then once again to Poland. The largest cities include Wrocław, Wałbrzych, Legnica and Jelenia Góra. The capital of this region is Wrocław, with the population of 600 thousand people. It is the fourth largest city in Poland. Wrocław enjoys a long and rich history. During the Second World War much of the city was destroyed. At the moment, it is a large academic centre and an important cultural, industrial and services centre. Numerous historical monuments and urban atmosphere attract thousands of tourists. It is one of the most rapidly developing Polish cities. This development is a result of social and economic potential as well as its location on the Oder River and at the cross roads of several transport routes.
Rich deposits of natural resources can be found in Dolnośląskie along the CETC and together with highly qualified and educated staff and investment constitute to high economic growth. Lower Silesia is the centre for automotive industry, as well as ceramic, pharmaceutical and electronic production. Natural deposits in the region, including copper, hard coal (mining has been discontinued), brown coal, aggregates, minerals, therapeutic water, and good quality soil trigger development of various industries, such as power generation, metal, chemical, glass, paper, and food processing. The central part of Dolnośląskie has very good natural conditions for agricultural production. Tourism focuses on the mountainous area and the capital of the region – Wroclaw, as well as Silesian cities and towns which attract with their numerous historical monuments and beautiful landscape. Spa resorts are situated in the mountainous part of the region.
The Pan-European Corridor No. III Dresden (Berlin) – Wrocław–Cracow–Lviv-Kiev passes across the region and crosses with transport routes from south of Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, as well as European road E65. National road no. 3 leads to the border crossing in Lubawka and continues on Czech territory. The region enjoys a well developed network of domestic and international railway lines, the latter providing links to capitals of Central and Eastern Europe: Prague, Vienna, Berlin, and Budapest.
In recent years, east-west transport routes have been prioritised therefore the extension of transport infrastructure along the Central European Transport Corridor would eliminate communication imbalance and considerably improve connections to and from region on the north-south axis. The CETC Initiative and plans to develop express road S3/E65 have already been taken into account by investors, for example the establishment of Wałbrzych and Kamienna Góra Special Economic Zone, situated by the E65 road.
Good accessibility to regions situated to the north and south, a favourable transport system and high economic growth would be capable of generating development impulses for this highly urbanised and industrialised region and boost growth along the whole CETC-ROUTE65axis.