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Volume X, Number 1, 2014


Microregion – A Regional Taxon Interposed between Commune and County
Pages 3-6

ABSTRACT – Unlike other countries belonging to the European Community, where the territorial grid was arranged in the matrix provided by the territorial units for statistics (NUTS) on five distinct hierarchical levels: macro-regions, regions, departments (districts), intercommunity associations (microregions) and communes, in Romania, we currently operate only with taxa 1, 3 and 5; regions and microregions are non-existent from the legal point of view. If regions are now put into question at various levels, microregions are still left at the will of ad-hoc initiatives. Hence, numerous confusions and distortions occur in the absence of their clearly defined status. The present paper reviews a series of situations in which the subject has been debated and the scientific framework in which it should be addressed.

Keywords: taxon, microregion, intercommunity association, commune, territorial system

Factorial Analysis of Territorial Disparities on the Hungarian-Romanian Border Region
Pages 7-14

ABSTRACT  During the socialist era, a significant developmental slope was settled along the Hungarian-Romanian border region, which separated a relatively more advanced Hungarian side from a backward Romanian one. Using a quantitative methodology, we try to identify the current territorial disparities on a lower spatial scale – namely on the level of communities – in order to highlight the presumably lagging-behind status of a narrower border strip. According to our hypothesis, this peripheral strip has a disadvantageous status mainly because of its increased isolation. The factorial analysis confirmed this fact on the Hungarian side; however, it was disproved on the Romanian side because of the presence of large cities and basic infrastructure networks on the proximity of the border.

Keywords: Hungarian-Romanian border region, factorial analysis, principal component, social periphery, positional periphery

The Role of Yogyakarta and Surakarta Cities ithe Intensity othe RegionaTransformation of Two Villages Located ithe Yogyakarta-Surakarta Corridor
Pages 15-22

ABSTRACT  This research was conducted in two villages in the Yogyakarta-Surakarta Corridor, namely Maguwoharjo, Sleman Regency, and Jatirejo, Boyolali Regency. The purpose of this study was: (1) to compare the intensity of the regional transformation in both villages located in the Yogyakarta-Surakarta Corridor during the period of 1990-2011, and (2) to determine the role of both Yogyakarta and Surakarta as the mother cities in the Yogyakarta-Surakarta Corridor in determining the regional transformation in both villages. This research used a survey method based on both secondary (Podes, 1990-2011) and primary data. In order to assess the role of Yogyakarta and Surakarta in affecting the intensity of the regional transformation in both research areas, qualitative-descriptive analysis was conducted based on field observations and in-depth interviews. The results showed that the intensity of the regional transformation of Maguwoharjo, as measured by four variables: population density, population growth, the percentage of non-agricultural household, and the percentage of built-up area, is higher than that of Jatirejo. This research also found that the role of Yogyakarta City in intensifying the regional transformation of Maguwoharjo is greater than the role of Surakarta City in intensifying the regional transformation of Jatirejo.

Keywords: role of cities, intensity of the regional transformation, Yogyakarta-Surakarta Corridor

Formal and Informal Planning Instruments as Catalyst for Urban Attractiveness. Enhancing Town Attractiveness in the Land of Beiuş, Romania
Pages 23-32

ABSTRACT – We are once again witnessing a directional change in urban studies. This simple and concise statement comes out from a brief analysis of both the latest interests of different scholars and the discourses of urban, regional, and governmental actors. The change we are talking about refers to a slight interest drop in environmental issues and an ever-increasing attention paid to the economic and social aspects of urban life. The conceptual shift from sustainable development to smart growth is a good example, and the fact that the recent European Union papers (EU 2020 strategy, EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020) have adopted it ensures its liability. Coming to urban planning, which is primarily conceived as sets of regulatory measures, one can notice that in order to achieve the latest standards it has to develop and implement new methods and instruments which will eventually lead to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Knowing that urban plans look to specific urban issues as zoning, layout and design, which are usually regulated by legally approved national guidelines, this new tasks fall into the charge of informal planning. In Romania, informal planning refers to local development strategies, local action plans as well as the Local Agenda 21, which was implemented throughout the world. Admitting that municipalities worldwide are in a sharp competition for inhabitants, investors and capital (from trade, tourism, exhibitions, etc.), we realize that small and medium-sized towns have to ensure that all of their valuable characteristics are as visible and as marketable as possible. In order to do this, they have to enhance their attractiveness through different actions, using different methods and instruments. The present paper highlights the ways that local actors in four small cities in Bihor County, Romania are trying to market their municipalities. The chosen cities organically fit into one of the most representative mental space in Romania, the Land of Beiuş. The Romanian lands are distinct areas, with high identical features, somehow isolated, hence in need for suitable management measures. The paper’s outline consists in an empirical attractiveness measurement of two of the four towns, what are the actual measures that local stakeholders are using to enhance their town attractiveness and finally some recommendations based on examples of good practices and successful stories from abroad.

Keywords: smart growth, town attractiveness, planning instruments, Land of Beiuş

Potentialities of Urban Centres as Growth Points: An Approach of Regional Development Perspective from a Developing Country (India)
Pages 33-46

ABSTRACT – Growth points are centres of economic activity, which are artificially created or stimulated in disadvantaged regions with the intention that they will eventually become natural centres of economic growth. They are centres of expanding industries, which trigger a chain reaction of production and promotion of associated services with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life. It is envisaged that by declaring promising and resource-endowed centres as growth points, the cumulative causation process would kick-start the process of economic development, whose spread effects would activate the quality of life in the periphery. In so doing it would attract investment and favourable government treatment, which would lead to both cumulative growth in economic activity and high population growth. Some growth poles have continued to prosper long after the initial stimulation factor gone through multiplier effects associated with a growing centre. In this paper, an attempt has been made to find out the potentialities of urban centres of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, India as growth pole and strategies for the regional development.

Keywords: growth points, services, spread effects, cumulative growth, potentialities

Accessibility to Nodes of Interest: A Practical Application of the Various Forms of the Impedance Curves
Pages 47-56

ABSTRACT – Impedance is, in territorial statistics, the greater or lesser difficulty of a territory to be served/provided with adequate infrastructure and related services, useful for the improvement of the resident’s quality of life. In the opposite, a greater impedance implies a low attractiveness of the territory for the establishment of new productive activities. The purpose of this research is to provide a picture as comprehensive as possible of the existing methodology for the elaboration of impedance, providing practical applications in relation to the Tuscan territory. The methodology used in this paper is part of the category of models called “gravitational”, which are characterized by the denominator of the equation (index) that expresses the impediment in relation to accessibility between points in geographic space. In this case, the calculations have been made considering the cost of travel, which depends on the distance or travel time between points located on the transportation network that represent the points of departure and arrival. The processing affect the function of impedance by elaborating linear, exponential and logistic forms for the infrastructures related to hospitals with emergency rooms, upper secondary schools, airports, and railway stations. Processing separately covered the metropolitan municipality of Florence. The research highlights the main existing methodologies in relation to determining accessibility (attractiveness) of the territories, according to their infrastructural facilities and services. The analysis reveals the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the salient features of the equation used. In this sense, the research has produced a real benchmark between different approaches, using from time to time the variation of the impedance function.

Keywords: accessibility, regional development, impedance curves, territorial statistics, infrastructures, logistic form, exponential form

Snapshot Views of the Romanian Economy on Regional Level Using Input-Output Methodology
Pages 57-66

ABSTRACT – Our present paper proposes to give snapshot views on the status-quo of the Romanian economy at the level of development regions. From a methodological perspective, the study is based on the construction of an aggregated national Input-Output table from the more detailed one of the National Institute of Statistics, followed by the derivation of regional tables using the non-survey GRIT technique. Quantitative sectoral interrelationships are going to be analysed based on multipliers, backward and forward linkages in order to identify key sectors within regional economies. This could serve as a baseline for assessing the impact of several policies of the European Union on the Romanian economy, such as the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. The lower territorial approach – i.e. the construction of regional Input-Output models – used within the present study is in accordance with the European Union’s NUTS2 level policy design and planning philosophy on the one hand. On the other hand, this analytic direction makes possible the use of the results as a base for regional economic development strategy design, highlighting structural specificities and discrepancies among regions of the same country.

Keywords: Input-Output methodology, regionalization, NUTS2 regions, GRIT technique, output backward and forward linkages, key sectors

Relocation of Business Services into Central and Eastern Europe (Evidence from Trade and Location Statistics)
Pages 67-78

ABSTRACT – Relocation of business service offshoring-related activities measured by foreign direct investments and exports in services have grown rapidly after the Millennium in the new EU member states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Besides Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), trade statistics support the assumption that an expanding export in business and in ICT services has been associated with relocation of shared services centres created by FDI in the six new member states (NMS). The service export data collected between 1996/2002 and 2012 gives a good proxy to identify those segments of service trade, which are considered to be offshorable. The paper examines the additional location factors selecting Central and Eastern European locations and summarises the effect of crisis on this industry. It concludes that the sector has demonstrated market resilience in the NMS and continued to expand rapidly.

Keywords: offshoring, nearshoring, service trade, offshorable services, Central and Eastern Europe, location advantages, economic crisis

The Evolution of Italian Farms and the Role of Subsidies Paid by the European Union for Rural Development
Pages 79-88

ABSTRACT – In Italy, there has been a significant emigration from the countryside towards urban areas with negative downsides on rural communities which have suffered of socio-economic marginalization and negative effects on the environment. The Common Agricultural Policy has been a pivotal tool able to reduce the marginalization in rural territories financing farmers able to promote the multifunctionality and the production of positive externalities. By using a quantitative approach on Farm Accounting Data Network time series on Italian farmers, it has been possible to access the role of subsidies allocated by the European Union on the rural development. The results have pointed out a positive role of financial supports and subsidies allocated by the Common Agricultural Policy to guarantee an adequate level of farm income. In the next period 2014-2020, the national and local authorities should take into account to put into action the Rural Development Programme aimed to implement the socio-economic growth in the Italian countryside specifically towards farms located in less favoured areas.

Keywords: Rural Development Plan, Farm Accountancy Data Network, Italian small farms, multifunctionality, less favoured areas, Common Agricultural Policy

Differences in the Socio-Economic Development of the Rural Space in the South-West Oltenia Development Region
Pages 89-96

ABSTRACT – The present paper aims to analyze the socio-economic differences from the rural space of the South-West Oltenia Development Region, and, in the same time, to make a correlation between the level of development and the natural background (the relief) where the rural settlements have developed along the history. In the same time, the long-term development potential of the region is analysed, depending on the natural and human resources available and depending on the outputs and inputs that take place between the urban settlements and the rural space from the nearby area. The proximity to the urban influence area can be a major factor with impact on the access of the rural population to certain services, determining a higher level of development. Also, an analysis of the poverty level was made, which characterizes most part of the rural settlements (especially the isolated areas or with aged population), by using statistical data from the National Institute of Statistics and a series of indicators characteristic for the level of development, correlated with the activity profile of the respective settlements. This analysis was performed for a better identification of the problems existent in the rural area of the South-West Oltenia Development Region in order to offer some viable development solutions that are concentrated especially on the natural resources and the local possibilities of the region.

Keywords: rural space, socio-economic differences, development region, restrictive and favourable factors

Analysing the Quality of the Process of Identification and Evaluation of Natural Environmental Risks on the Main Industries in the Republic of Moldova
Pages 97-108

ABSTRACT – In present times, in order to prosper and have a raised standard of living, human society needs a stable and healthy environment. Often, humans are not aware of the state or the evolution of the environmental components. To obtain an objective image and to be able to coordinate its daily activities, humans must identify and evaluate the sources of natural environmental risks. These processes of identification and evaluation offer the information needed in decision-taking and implementing risk management methods. For a pertinent evaluation of natural environmental risks and of the quality of the environment, this action has to be interdisciplinary, based on a complex system of investigation methods, procedures, techniques, feasible principles, and instruments.

Keywords: natural environmental risks, industry, environmental management, risk identification, risk evaluation, probability, vulnerability, impact, damages

The Influence of Decision Makers in the Evolution of the Built Heritage in the Land of Dorna
Pages 109-116

ABSTRACT – The present paper aims to describe the role that decision makers and inhabitants have in the evolution of the built heritage from the regional system of the Land of Dorna. In order to achieve this goal I analyzed and systematized all data and information relevant for this study. Data from different sources provided by literature and from the field research led to the identification of the local characteristics of the regional system. The analysis has revealed a number of inconsistencies between an optimal situation of a territorial system and the current state of the Land of Dorna system in which a number of monuments lie in an advanced state of decay. The improper management of the built heritage of the Land of Dorna by the local actors has led to a series of territorial dysfunctions. The conclusions of this paper have highlighted the urgent need to implement a series of measures aimed to revitalize the built heritage in the Land of Dorna.

Keywords: heritage, decision makers, responsibilities