the downside is that it tends to be touristy and the air is very polluted (one of the worst locations in the EU in that category)...
I know what you mean, I was going to school there for few years. The reason that is polluted is that it lies in the valley, same thing like Los Angeles.
I do hope that the"Huta" is closed by now.
Where exactly and and why?
South is polluted and too crowded, I have in mind Śląsk=Silesia
Well Mazury are kinda North East, and i loved sailing there, hated the mosquitoes though.
Poland remains at the distant nineteenth place in the EU's competitiveness ranking . The most developed region of the country remains Mazovia, and the least - Warmia and Masuria . The European Commission appreciates our level of basic education. Not the best present for a Polish company , which is still rarely use modern technology.
The European Commission has published " EU Regional Competitiveness Index : RCI 2013 ' . The indicator is used to evaluate the different dimensions of competitiveness at national and regional level - shows the strengths and weaknesses of individual provinces (NUTS level 2 regions in the EU methodology).
Why? Well, it is based on history and personal experience as well, but my experience is out of date a bit.
Western Poland is more developed, infrastructure is much better, closer to go for beer to Berlin, unless one likes go to Minsk.
Eastern Poland was neglected during partitioning, it is catching up but still way to go, After the WW II border changes, people from "kresy" were moved to western Poland but they got to much better infrastructure.
West is more vibrant, cities like Wrocław or Poznań, Szczecin is also beautiful, tons of parks and looks so green, close to seaside. Pomerania also have lots of lakes if one likes to sail.
Anyhow read this,
Four province of Poland produce more than half of gross domestic product and per capita GDP is higher there than in the other twelve provinces. Statistical data show that the uneven distribution of economic potential and development is sustainable and deepens.
While in 1999, Lower Silesia , AB , BC and Greater produced a total of 50.4% of GDP, in 2008-2010 the share of the four provinces increased to 52.6 %.
Despite the huge financial outlay for the development of economically less developed regions , increasing the difference between the richer and poorer regions . This phenomenon is known in many European countries , especially in Italy . Supporting poorer regions , however, leads to the economic development of the less developed countries. Regional policy support poorer regions make sense without the progressive degradation would occur in these regions. The more economically developed regions usually develop faster than the rest of the country. It works kind of virtuous cycle . Attractive to investors are usually wealthy regions and subsequent new investors make is to increase the attractiveness and attract new investors . Less economically developed regions often experience a reverse mechanism .
Bottom line is (from my prospective) I would love to barricade myself in small town or even lone standing house in the forest, but knowing that if I wanted I can be within hour or two back to civilization for a day, shopping, go to see a play at theater, or whatever.