Department of Regional Development in a structural unit of the Institute of Geography at the University of Gdansk. There are nine research-teaching employees and one technical coordinator employed in the Department. There are also several PhD students in the unit.
The beginnings of socio-economic geography in the post-war Tricity are related to two institutions of higher education: the Higher Pedagogical School (the HPS) in Gdansk and the Higher School of Maritime Trade (later the Higher Economics School; the HES) in Sopot. Our Department and its traditions refers to Department of Geography (later its name was changed to Department of Economic Geography) at the Alma Mater in Sopot. In its history, Department of Economic Geography was headed by two notable scientists: prof. dr Jan Moniak (until 1966) and prof. dr hab. Jerzy Zaleski (from 1966 r. until the HES was incorporated in the University of Gdansk.
In 1970 the two already-mentioned institutions of higher education merged and the University of Gdansk emerged. This event had serious impact on the socio-economic geographers. The Institute of Geography was established as a research unit of the new university. The socio-economic geographers from both the former HPS and HES worked in a newly formed Department of Economic Geography. In 1981 the Institute was closed and some independent departments were established instead. Two departments were involved into Socio-economic geography research: Department of Economic Geography and Department of Maritime Affairs (our Department refers to its traditions). This Department of Maritime Affairs employed the majority of staff of the former Department of Economic Geography at the HES. After prof. dr hab. Jerzy Zaleski had retired (in 1994), our Department became a laboratory at Department of Economic Geography. In 1997 it regained its independence again and emerged as Department of Regional Development, headed by hab. Marek Dutkowski. Since 2002, prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Palmowski has been a head of the Department. In 2016 Laboratory of Spatial Analysis was established as a new research unit incorporated into the Department. It is headed by dr hab. Jan A. Wendt, a full professor.