Volume IX, Number 1, 2013

Unconventional Maps: Geography Beyond the Real Territories
Pages 3-10

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ABSTRACT - Space is a concept that acquired in time new meanings shifting it from concrete to abstract and adding or subtracting dimensions. Even the geographical space is now claimed as object of study by other disciplines, such as ecology or spatial planning. Along with the concept of “space”, these sciences discovered the potential of geographical approaches, especially of the techniques based on using the Geographical Information Systems, and consequently maps found applications even beyond conventional spaces. The paper examines several mapping approaches, used by other disciplines or even by geography, which go beyond or distort the geographical reality, in an attempt to test the hypothesis according to which such methodological imports were productive for the recipient disciplines. The analysis of six approaches (bacterial geography, time space analyses, spatial interpolation maps, bubble maps, body viewer, and network maps) confirms the hypothesis, but underlines the need for caution in interpreting the results in relationship with the territorial reality, especially when unconventional maps are drawn over the real space.

Keywords: space, kriging, bacteria, Body Viewer, ScapeToad

Climate Changes and the Role of Recent Droughts on Agricultural Economy of Sistan
Pages 11-22

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ABSTRACT – Regional economy is usually affected by the operation and interaction of environment and human beings in geographical spaces. Warm and dry areas create special economic conditions, which have particular functions, quite different from the characteristics of humid and cold hilly areas or those of the Mediterranean areas. The Sistan Region is located in South East of Iran. Until recent droughts (1999-2005), agriculture sector was the basis of all economic activities in Sistan area, a major share of rural as well as urban income came directly and indirectly from agricultural activities. In accordance with the latest census before the drought period (1996), about 55 percent of the rural population directly depended on the agriculture sector for their income and employment. In addition, almost 24 percent of rural population was depended to cottage and rural industries for their employments. In urban areas, 70 percent of population was linked to service sector as a source of employment. The results of this research show that the environmental changes resulting from drought in Sistan area have had deep impacts on the socio-economic factors in the region. It is clearer in the Hamoon Lake area, which, before the onset drought, had produced crops like fodders, mat, bird meat and fish. The livestock sector also suffered to a great extent. Out of the total of 1.6 million livestock units in the area, more than 0.5 million remained in the production cycle nowadays. The production of these crops reduced to zero with drought. The total direct loss resulted from the drought amounts to 14,057,332 million Rails or 1,561 billion US$. To sum up, the environmental changes resulting from drought caused more than 80 percent of agricultural and livestock activities in the region come to halt, which, in turn, due to a reduced income multiplier effect of agriculture sector resulted in greater damage to socio-economic factors in rural, as well as in urban areas.

Keywords: climate change, drought, agricultural economy, Sistan, Iran

Water Resources Management in the Land of Făgăraș
Pages 23-34

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ABSTRACT – The efficient management of water resources is vital for a community, because water is both a precious ”good” and a strategic element in the process of spatial planning. It is not the abundance or scarcity of this resource that dictates the level of development in a territory, but the skills of local ”actors” to participate to an adequate utilisation strategy, without compromising it. The aim of this study is to analyze the spatial distribution of the water resources in the regional system of the Land of Făgăraș, which are considered to be one of the most valuable natural resources in the territory. We focused our research on presenting the potential of the surface water, particularly the hydrographical network and the artificial lakes, but also the underground reservoirs, all in relation to access to the centralized supply system and the production of hydropower. Indicators of social welfare, such as the amount of water distributed for household needs per capita from the total amount of water distributed through the supply network were calculated in relation to household consumers. Finally, we concluded that an efficient management of water resources should necessarily involve partnerships between localities positioned above the same underground reservoirs or those using the same surface sources.

Keywords: water resources management, underground reservoir, regional planning, water consumption activities, hydropower

Emission of Sulphur Oxides, Nitrogen Oxides and Carbon Monoxide in the Selected European Union Countries in the Years 1995-2010
Pages 35-50

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ABSTRACT – The article presents the diversity and changes in the emission of typical pollutant gases: CO, SOx and NOx in the selected European Union countries in the years 1995-2010. This process was determined to be diverse both in time and space. There was an evident decrease in the total emission of the above-mentioned pollutants also in some countries with a dynamics higher in the years 1995-2000 than in the first decade of the 21st century. The highest actual emission of the analyzed pollutants took place in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, with the lowest values in Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. In the years 1995-2010, the disproportions between the countries in the spatial diversification of air pollution emission considerably diminished. One of the consequences of the decline in the air pollution emission is an improvement of air quality in numerous urbanized and industrialized areas in the research countries.

Keywords: emission, carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, European Union

Growth Poles - an Alternative to Reducing Regional Disparities. Case Study-Iaşi Growth Pole
Pages 51-60

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ABSTRACT – The current development of the European Union is based on the cohesion policy which focuses on the attenuation of regional disparities. For this purpose, the idea of growth poles emerged in Romania, and its role became more than familiar: the determination of an internal socio-economic cohesion. Polycentrism becomes a concept of territorial planning increasingly promoted. Development of growth poles aims to reduce the attraction force of large centres and to balance the location of activities generating functions across a territory. This was the idea that led to the formation of Iaşi Metropolitan Area, territorial unit that is intended to be the main regional centre of the North-East Region, thus polarizing the surrounding areas. Iaşi Growth Pole objectives are represented by economic competitiveness, the development of regional connectivity and the promotion of regional cooperation. One of the major assets of the growth pole in achieving these goals is the cross-border position near the eastern border of the European Union. This paper examines to what extent Iași Growth Pole can rise to the required standards, while the peripheral position seems to be rather a disadvantage and the uncertain functionality of the metropolitan area shows that the main problem remains the reduced economic competitiveness.

Keywords: regional development, growth poles, development poles, territorial planning, economic disparities

Polarisation of Social Inequalities in Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods of Bucharest Metropolis
Pages 61-68

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ABSTRACT - This paper gives an insight into the statistical interpretation of socio-spatial changes of Bucharest urban landscape in connection to the transformations of the urban planning visions across the last decades. Special emphasis is placed on the emergence of disadvantaged neighbourhoods which are defined by a clear homogenisation of certain social classes on a precarious housing infrastructure. This came as a result of a historical hierarchy of the urban social space. Moreover, Bucharest was shaped in relation to different socio-economic and socio-cultural policies that determined the creation of a polarisation between north and south or between centre and periphery which were subject to numerous socio-urban inversions during the communist and post-communist eras. Hence, life in a large metropolis is vulnerable to inequalities appearing within the urban pattern that intensifies, in some cases, towards residential segregation. The historical-geographical analysis of vectors behind clusters of sensitive areas in the 20th and 21st centuries strengthens the importance of social cohesion measures in the future urban policies and territorial planning.

Keywords: socio-spatial structures, Index of Urban Life Deprivation, urban segregation, urban renewal

Spatial Patterns of Underdevelopment in Maramureş - Chioar Region, Romania
Pages 69-78

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ABSTRACT - This article approaches aspects of spatial patterns associated with underdevelopment situations in Maramureş – Chioar Region, Romania. Based on the concept according to which territorial balance results from a harmonization between structure and function, the analysis performed considers three territorial aspects: the road network, the economic characteristics and the spatial positioning of the human settlements. The correlated analysis of these aspects allowed capturing certain recurrent spatial situations of association between settlements without business organizations, with a poor road network development. Such situations, translated in terms of space as patterns of underdevelopment, are, due to the big number of cases, a symptom of uneven regional development. We have identified three classes of spatial patterns associated with economic underdevelopment situations: the sidewise pattern, the cul-de-sac pattern, and the proximity pattern. The analysis of network indicators (α, β, γ, μ) and of a compound indicator (κ) reveals in many cases that the identified spatial patterns coincide with low values of road network connectivity. From a systemic point of view, the significance of these indicators derives from the fact that they signal dysfunctions manifested at structural and functional level. The optimization of the patterns of underdevelopment requires both a harmonious relationship between road network meshes and nodes and an efficient network flow transmission, i.e. an optimization between time, space and consumed energy factors. Under these conditions, the emergence of new structural elements and network segments that will close the non-functional network meshes can be a possible solution that might eliminate underdevelopment situations by increasing the positional value of these settlements.

Keywords: spatial patterns, road network, underdevelopment, Maramureş – Chioar Region, Romania

The Convergence Process and the Effects of the Economic Crisis in Central-Eastern Europe
Pages 79-84

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ABSTRACT – The economic convergence and the effects of the economic crisis is a very popular research question. In this paper I propose to examine the convergence process in Central and Eastern Europe by testing the Williamson hypothesis form a multiscalar perspective: at national and at different regional levels as well. By using time series for the GDP per capita, I will try to answer three basic issues: firstly, the trends in convergence/divergence in Central and Eastern Europe, secondly, which convergence clubs have evolved in the analysed space, and, finally, the effects of the financial and economic crisis on the convergence process.

Keywords: convergence club, economic crisis, Central-Eastern Europe, Williamson hypothesis

Economic Disparities and Changes in the Convergente of the Romanian NUTS 2 and NUTS 3 Regions
Pages 85-90

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ABSTRACT - In this article we use the classic economic variable, the Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in order to investigate the economic convergence between regions in Romania and between the Romanian regions and EU in the period 2000–2010. The main results confirm that while there is an evident convergence between the country as whole and EU, the inter-regional disparities in Romania has widened, confirming the Williamson hypothesis.

Keywords: convergence, economic disparities, Romania, European Union

Integrating the “Lands” of Romania in the Experience Economy
Pages 91-98

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ABSTRACT – Starting from the offer of the experience economy – the experience – we took into account the hypothesis that the “lands” of Romania hosted enough goods, products, and services that one might use in order to create experiences and tourism based on commercialising experiences. We concluded that, first of all, the experience economy offered the means for creating not only a touristic phenomenon, but also the entire development characterised by environmental, social (including cultural), and economic sustainability. In this context, integrating the “lands” in the practice of the experience economy could be done through promoting folkloric, architectural, historical, and cultural or ethnographic brands that people could capitalize. Secondly, territorial cohesion, diminishing social and economic disparities and preventing further lagging behind of the “land” type regions could be ensured only if the political and administrative factors perceived the opportunity offered by tourism correctly and in due time.

Keywords: experiences, brand, research, development through local initiative

Factors Constraining Local Food Crop Production in Indonesia: Experiences from Kulon Progo Regency, Yogyakarta Special Province
Pages 99-108

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ABSTRACT - Local food crops are believed to be important alternatives in facing the problems of continuously growing price of food stuff worldwide. There has been a strong bias in national agricultural development policy towards the production of rice as staple food in Indonesia. Local food crops have been neglected in the agricultural development policy in the last 50 years, leading to the dependency on imported commodities and creating a vulnerability in the national food security. This paper aims at assessing the factors constraining local food production in Indonesia based on empirical experiences drawn from a research in Kulon Progo Regency, Yogyakarta Province. The government of Kulon Progo Regency has declared its commitment in the development of local food commodities as a part of its agricultural development policy, as it is mentioned in the long-term and medium-term development planning documents. There is also a head regency decree mandating the use of local food commodities in any official events organized by the government organisations. The research shows that there are at least six policy-related problems and nine technical factors constraining local food crops production in the regency. Some of the policy-related and structural factors hampering the production of local food crops consist of (1) long-term policy biases towards rice, (2) strong biases on rice diet in the community, (3) difficulties in linking policy to practices, (4) lack of information on availability of local food crops across the regency and (5) external threat from the readily available instant food on local market and (6) past contra-productive policy to the production of local food crops. The technical factors constraining local food production comprises (1) inferiority of the food stuff versus the instantly prepared food, (2) difficulty in preparation and risk of contagion of some crops, lack of technology for processing, (3) continuity of supply (some crops are seasonally available), (4) low production and productivity level and (5) lack of knowledge on production and processing, (6) lack of skills and knowledge among the young people to grow the crops, (7) higher price as a result of commodity scarcity in the market, (8) attitudes towards local food commodities as secondary products, and (9) bias of information in marketing whereas local market is very small.

Keywords: local food crops, constraining factors, technical factors, policy-related factors, Kulon Progo Regency, Indonesia

The Territory, a Container of Local Specificities: Evidence by Analysis of the Local Productive System of Ksar-Hellal
Pages 109-116

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ABSTRACT – This article aims to highlight the relevance of the territory in the experience of local development. Indeed, by an application on a Tunisian case, it was shown that the territory of Ksar-Hellal is implicated in the functioning of its local production system, specializing in textile and clothing. It turned out that the Hilalian territory is abundant in specific economic resources such as competition, complementarity, and non-economic such as cooperation, technological externalities and social values. Those resources that are specific to the Hilalian territory are essential to stimulate the local dynamics of the productive system in question.

Keywords: local productive system, territory, specific resources, industry of textile and clothing, Ksar-Hellal (Tunisia)

The Road Connectivity Index Applied to the Settlements of Banat Using GIS
Pages 117-124

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ABSTRACT – Based on previous works on the connectivity index applied to the settlements of Banat (Rusu, 2007; Rusu, 2008), the paper assesses the road connectivity index for the same settlements using a slightly different approach, based on the road distance from every settlement to the nearest central places, ranked on nine levels. Therefore, it is not the position on a certain road that counts, but the means by which specific groups of people (either urban or rural communities) might access a set of services or facilities deemed socially necessary and located in the above-mentioned central places. The welfare of the communities depends mainly on the standards of connectivity and accessibility to such services or facilities. We considered that the most valid measure of connectivity would then be the assessment of the space (distance) needed to be crossed for the population of every settlement to reach specific destinations. The overall values for each settlement have been interpolated using GIS in order to produce a map of the road connectivity index in Banat. The map clearly shows the existing disparities between well-connected regions, especially around the main cities, and isolated areas, usually in the mountains, the hills or along the borders.

Keywords: road connectivity index, settlements, Banat, accessibility, isolation, GIS

Book review
ZOLT, PÉTER - Issues of the Regional Processes of Tourism with Special Regard to Northern Hungary, Miskolc University Press, Miskolc, 2012, 129 p.
Page 125

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Book review
GYŐRFFY, ILDIKÓ - Effects of Accessibility Conditions on Territorial Differences. The Case of Hungarian Micro-Regions, Miskolc University Press, Miskolc, 2012, 91 p.
Page 126

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Book review
CONŢIU, HADRIAN-V. - Bazele geografice ale fenomenului turistic[The Geographical Bases of the Tourism Phenomenon], Presa Universitară Clujeană, Cluj-Napoca, 2012, 382 p.
Pages 127-128

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ISSN-L: 1841-1576
Online ISSN: 2344-3707
Frequency: Semiannual (issued in June and December)