Volume VII, Number 2, 2011


The Demographic Component in the Development of a Metropolis. Case-Study: Iaşi
Pages 3-16

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ABSTRACT - Several peculiarities make Iaşi an outstanding city: it is a first-rank city in the national settlement system and the capital of the historical province of Moldova, numbers over 300,000 inhabitants and holds the 2nd position in the national urban hierarchy by demographic size, and a national growth pole since 2008 (Government Decision 998/2008). In view of the above, Iaşi has a significant demographic potential, also discharging complex functions and polarizing a large influence area, being one of the pillars of urban development in Romania. The aim of this paper is to outline the urban development strategy in the light of demographic structures and evolution. The demography today in the peri-urban space shows two characteristic features, namely the urban–rural migration, on the one hand, and the dominant agricultural functionality, on the other hand, as mirrored by the structure of employment. The development–related factors are the positive natural demographic balance, low level of population ageing and supply of a large workforce, a potential well-balanced local labour market. Concluding, the provision of Iaşi integrated urban and peri-urban strategy are pointed out.

Keywords: demographic evolution, urban development, catalyst factors, development strategy, Iaşi
“Place Based” Rural Development: Hungarian Experiences Concerning the Rural Development Plan and the LEADER Program
Pages 17-24

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ABSTRACT - Rural development, namely the LEADER program, plays an important role in reducing regional disparities in catching up backward regions not only in Hungary but also in Romania. The study, or the lecture, is going to focus on those essential elements in which member States have wide competence and the different decision making options basically affect and even determine the success of the implementation. In case of the LEADER program, the definition of the demarcation criteria of geographic coverage, size, form of organization, planning, staff procedures, and various community programs can be regarded as such element. The presentation and knowledge of the Hungarian experience can contribute to a more successful implementation of the Romanian LEADER or rural development program and to avoiding the errors that have occurred in the Hungarian program.

Keywords: rural development, LEADER program, regional disparities, cohesion policy
The Role of Territorial Partnerships at Local Level – the Case of “Cotnari Local Action Group”
Pages 25-30

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ABSTRACT - The objective of this paper is to analyze new forms of local territorial partnerships developed under the territorial cohesion policy promoted by the European Union. In this context, the future of cohesion policy and the growing importance of territorial cohesion led to the initiating of the micro-regional projects in order to reduce economic and social disparities. The promotion of regional policies based on local agreement is dedicated to create partnerships in order to start projects for local development that involve civil society, municipalities, regions, private sector, experts, or private citizens. These partnerships are presented as informal organizations, created by cooperation at local level of public institutions, with social and economic actors stated aim to develop community consistently using all the resources offered by their territory. Such forms of cooperation can be found in several places in the world, but with a greater focus in Europe, and their main purpose is to promote community participation and sustainable development, engaging citizens and organizations in taking decisions at local level. The study aims to clarify the concept of “local action group” and to analyse the effects of public - private partnership on territorial development for the project initiated in the Hârlău region. This project groups 12 administrative-territorial units from Iaşi County, developed with the support from the European program LEADER.

Keywords: territorial partnership, rural development, LAG, LEADER, rural network

Territorial Differences of Human Development Index in Romania
Pages 31-40

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ABSTRACT - The measuring of human capital, human development from both a quantitative and a qualitative point of view is difficult, the problem being further complicated if we consider regional and territorial approaches as well. At an international level, the Human Development Index is usually used for measuring and comparing these issues. This index addresses the most complex level of development of a region through the aggregation of the three indices from demographic (life expectancy at birth), social (education level) and the economic sphere (GDP per capita) with which we can have a much more complex picture about living standards of the population as well as the development level of a country.  Because the applicability of this index has caused serious debates since its introduction, this study also focuses on selecting the right indicators for measuring human development.

Keywords: life expectancy at birth, education, GDP per capita, differences, HDI, Romania
Social Problems of the Most Disadvantaged Southern Transdanubian Micro-Regions in Hungary
Pages 41-50

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ABSTRACT -There are the so called most disadvantageous or MD micro-regions. The Hungarian government and the regional development institution system has worked out an own development programme for the improvement of these regions. The Southern Transdanubian Regional Development Council was established in 1998.The investigation focuses on the 8 most disadvantageous micro-regions of Southern Transdanubia. The micro-regional level in Hungary was determined on statistical and not on administrative consideration. The degree of social-economic underdevelopment under Hungarian circumstances is reflected by indicators of economy, infrastructure, society, sociality, and employment. The most disadvantaged micro-regions are qualified as beneficiary micro-regions. The 8 micro-regions of the Southern Transdanubian related to environmental development can be subsidized in the framework of the regional operational programme from the presumable resources of the micro-regions: economic development (business infrastructure), settlement development (function-expanding settlement development), environmental development (sewage, water management).

Keywords: territorial development, micro-regions, most disadvantaged micro-regions, flagship programme, environmental problems
Dysfunctions Within Spatial Microsystems. Case Study: Chinteni Commune
Pages 51-60

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ABSTRACT - This paper presents the main dysfunctions encountered in a microsystem, in this case, the one of Chinteni Commune, as well as the measures proposed for the revitalization of the analyzed area and the outlining of a functional space of reduced dimensions. The identification and the analysis of the dysfunctions were realized based on several differentiated indicators, in order to be able to apprehend, as well as possible, the reality of the territory. The encountered dysfunctions were classified into four groups: dysfunctions of the natural environment, dysfunctions of the human resource and of the settlement, economic dysfunctions and dysfunctions related to infrastructure. The conclusions have proved the necessity of implementing several solutions that will lead to a desirable state of the microsystem of Chinteni Commune.

Keywords: system, microsystem, dysfunctions
Typology and Current Structure of the Geosystems in the Southern Part of the Trascău Mountains
Pages 61-66

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ABSTRACT - The geoecological complexity of the Trascău Mountains is revealed not only by means of its natural components but also by means of its existing interactions and inter-dependences with the anthropic elements identified within the region. The current paper represents an overview and a small scale analysis of the existing types of geosystems identified in the southern part of the Trascău Mountains, mainly along the Ampoi River valley, as well as of the type of the existing interactions between the anthropic elements with the natural environment materialized by means of land utilization carried out in order to sustain the existence and development of agricultural activities, as a basis for the development of the local communities. Throughout the time, the human communities have modified the natural environment in such a manner that they have altered the nature’s ability to restore its initial equilibrium, many of the current types of landforms (especially those located alongside the water courses) being modified as result of the man’s interference. The development of the human communities resulted in an increase of the demand for more resources which materialized in an increase in the cultivated surfaces, development of more settlements, and modification of the land utilization with a more pronounced development of crops to the detriment of the natural vegetation. In regards to the existing human settlements, the spreading of the households along the Ampoi River valley and along its tributaries can be observed, the villages thus possessing a congregate shape.

Keywords: geosystems, biostasy, parastazy, land use map 

The Perception upon Landscape Revitalization of Industrial Spaces. Case Study – The Industrial Units Belvedere Cigarette Factory and S.C. Mefin Sinaia
Pages 67-78

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ABSTRACT - Many Romanian cities are confronted with difficulties regarding the insertion of redundant industrial objectives in the present urban landscape. This study focuses on two industrial units that have created a certain place identity through time, both undergoing a conversion process, due to relict or underused industrial structures. These industrial units are reclaimed by the increasingly public demand for new construction spaces that are more adapted to the cultural, social, economic and ecological context. Belvedere Cigarette Factory was an important factory in Bucharest because it initiated the tobacco manufacturing in the Romanian capital city. The buildings of the cigarette factory, which were constructed from the late 19th century until the early 20th century, are considered heritage objectives. Currently, some factory buildings and annexes are demolished and in their place shopping and entertainment spaces have been built.  S.C. MEFIN S.A. Sinaia was established on a pre-existing industrial unit in 1953 and in 2007 it was decided to be integrated into the services sector (tourist accommodation, commercial spaces, sports and leisure) in order to raise the attractiveness of the area. However, the transformation of this unit cannot be dissociated from the community`s preferences regarding the area`s revitalization (Stan A, 2009, p. 201). The methods applied in this study are the case study research and the survey that allows the comparison of the reuse perception of the industrial units. The need to return these productive areas to the urban context recognizes people (residents) as active participants in the revitalization process of industrial landscapes

Keywords: spatial disparities, perception, industrial landscape, urban regeneration, industrial heritage
Competition Between Aupark Shopping Center and Avion Shopping Park
Pages 79-90

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ABSTRACT - This paper provides an overview of the establishment and historical development of shopping centres in Bratislava, Slovakia. In the framework of a case study we also describe the competition between Aupark and Avion Shopping Park, the two largest shopping centres in Slovakia. Our analysis is based on a field research and on a desk research as well. In the framework of the case study, 300 questionnaires were filled in, 150 in each centre.

Keywords: shopping centres, competitiveness, historical development, Bratislava
Growth Trends of the Demographic Structures in the City of Piteşti
Pages 91-98

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ABSTRACT – The city, depending on its size, represents a pole of attraction for different groups of people situated both near and far from the city. The causes that lead to the movement towards the city of the population living in the rural area are related to a more developed economic activity, the possibility of finding a job (especially for middle-aged persons), the presence of learning institutions, hospitals, cultural centres and better living conditions. The city’s power of attraction is proportional to its size: the larger the city, the more people come to it from great distances or smaller cities whilst a small city attracts only the population from the neighbouring settlements. Presently, in large cities the population shifts from the urban area towards the rural one through the development of the suburban settlements and residential districts. For the city of Piteşti, this migration is available thus in its peripheral districts as residential neighbourhoods appeared within the adjacent settlements, a fact which caused the decline of the city population opposite to the growth of the rural population. A major influence on the evolution of the city’s population is the natural movement of the population and the industrial restructuration, which forced the affected population to move to the rural area or to work in a foreign country. Between 1990 and 2010, the city’s population recorded three evolution periods: a slight growth between 1990 and 1997, followed by a period of stagnation between 1997 and 2001, and a period of regression between 2002 and 2009. These periods were influenced by the economic activities, which initially grew then declined, by the natural movement of the population and the migration towards adjacent settlements or across the borders.

Keywords: demography, demographic trends, population
The Religious Identity of the Catholics of Moldavia
Pages 99-104

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ABSTRACT – Catholics represent almost 5% of the total population of Moldavia. Their spiritual identity was formed in opposition to that of the Orthodox majority and according to the universal church dogmata, preached by the missionary priests who reached the territory surrounded by the Carpathians, the Nister, the Black Sea, the Danube and the Milcov as early as the 14th century. In the Middle Ages, religion was the means of differentiating oneself from the others and not ethnicity. Therefore, the large Catholic communities around Roman and Bacău, of mixed ethnic origin (Hungarian and Romanian) and of different ages (due to the Transcarpathian movement of the population from Transylvania), considered themselves to be Catholics and nothing else until the modern period. Once the ideas of nation and nationality appeared, these biethnic groups were gradually involved in the process of formation of the modern states (Romania and Hungary). The Catholics of other origins, such as Polish, German, Armenian, Rroma, French and Italian are very few and some even became completely Romanian, preserving only their religious identity. As many of the speakers of Hungarian and Romanian (called Csangos by the Hungarians and the Secklers) lived in Moldavia, it was inevitable for them to be subjected to a natural process of becoming Romanian, through school, army and church for the past 150 years. Yet, they managed to preserve unaltered their laws, customs and superstitions, supported by the active participation in the spiritual and social life of the community.

Keywords: religious identity, Catholics, Moldavia, Csango, acculturation
Demographic Evolution of the Small Towns in the North-East Development Region in the Post-Communist Period
Pages 105-110

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ABSTRACT - Romania's population has declined steadily from 23.2 million in 1990 to 21.5 million inhabitants in 2007. This overall decline in population is not entirely true for the towns and cities of the North-East Region, as during the same period they recorded both decreases and increases in population due to positive natural balance. The North-East Region (partially superimposed over the historic region of the western Moldova) is considered the poorest region in the European Union and a disadvantaged area. The rural young population of Moldova is a reservoir which supplies urban areas and especially large cities. In these circumstances, the small towns of the North-East Region are seeking balance (demographic, economic, functional). This paper examines the demographic evolution of the small towns located in the area under analysis, in the post-communist period, illustrating the types of fluctuations in statistical methods as regards demographic changes and the risk of depopulation in the future, correlated with a lower overall population of Romania. 

Keywords: demographic evolution, small cities, post-communist, North-East Region
Quality of Life Assessment Based on Spatial and Temporal Analysis of the Vegetation Area Derived from Satellite Images
Pages 111-120

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ABSTRACT - The quality of life in urban areas is a function of many parameters among which, one highly important is the number and quality of green areas for people and wildlife to thrive. The quality of life is also a political concept often used to describe citizen satisfaction within different residential locations. Only in the last decades green areas have suffered a progressive decrease in quality, pointing out the ecological urban risk with a negative impact on the standard of living and population health status. This paper presents the evolution of green areas in the cities of South-Eastern Romania within the last 20 years and sets forth the current state of quality of life from the perspective of vegetation reference. By using state-of-the-art processing tools applied on high-resolution satellite images, we have derived knowledge about the spatial and temporal expansion of urbanized regions. Our semi-automatic technologies for analysis of remote sensing data such as Landsat 7 ETM+, correlated with statistical information inferred from urban charts, demonstrate a negative trend in the distribution of green areas within the analyzed cities, with long-term implications on multiple areas in our lives.

Keywords: environment, green area, city, satellite image, statistical data
Assessing the Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Romanian Part of the Tisza River Basin
Pages 121-128

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ABSTRACT - Clime change represents a current and important issue; in addition to the disputed global warming, at local or regional levels, floods could also be a consequence of this phenomenon. If the potential effects are assessed in terms of exposure, sensitivity, and vulnerability, a GIS methodology, based on statistical indicators and GIS modelling was used to assess the overall vulnerability of the Tisza river basin and define the flood-prone area. Even though specific indicators exhibited high values in some NUTS III units, the overall vulnerability of the regions appears to be low.

Keywords: clime change, adaptability, vulnerability, Tisza, CORINE
Book review
DAVID, NICOLETA Ţara Zărandului. Studiu de Geografie Regională [The Land of Zărand. Study of Regional Geography], Presa Universitară Clujeană, Cluj-Napoca, 2010, 391 p.
Pages 129-130

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Book review
NEIL ADAMS, GIANCARLO COTELLA and RICHARD NUNES - Territorial Development, Cohesion and Spatial Planning: Knowledge and Policy Development in an Enlarged EU, 1st edition, Routledge, Abingdon, 2010, 488 p.
Pages 131-133

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Babes Bolyai University | Faculty of Geography | Centre for Regional Geography | Cluj University Press
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