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Volume XI, Number 2, 2015

Aspects of Spatial Economic Processes of Disadvantaged Areas in Hungarian and International Perspective
Pages 3-18

ABSTRACT – The examination of disadvantaged regions goes back to a long history, greatly influenced by the ever-changing natural, economic and human resources. Consequently, while examining the disadvantaged areas, we face new systems of coherences. Today’s regional policy also needs to answer the question whether the spatial development funds of the past have been efficient or not and whether the land use distribution influences the spatial competitiveness or not. As we move towards 2015, we must consider the actual state of delivery of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and address the above-mentioned issues in order to realise the international political commitment to leave no one behind. In this paper, we have shown some aspects of spatial economic processes through the example of the Hungarian disadvantaged areas. These issues are timely because the usefulness of the research is important, ranging from rural development to spatial planning and the elaboration of local and regional development strategies. Spatial discrepancies in Hungary cause the disadvantage of rural areas, contributing to their lagging behind compared to the urban areas (Kollár, 2012).

Keywords: disadvantaged regions, developing countries, Millennium Development Goals, Hungarian micro-regions

The Sustainable Development of Less-Favoured Areas: A Study of the Romanian and Austrian Experiences
Pages 19-30

ABSTRACT – The objective of this paper is to contribute to the discussion of new policy options for less-favoured areas by presenting two case studies concerning rural communities from Romania and Austria and their pathways towards sustainable development in regions with so-called natural handicaps. First, we briefly introduced the less favoured areas in Romania and Austria, with their constraints and characteristics. Secondly, we focused on the local development strategies of two less-favoured communities from these countries. Finally, we drew conclusions, serving as policy recommendations for actions targeting the development of less-favoured rural areas.

Keywords: case studies, rural sustainable development, sustainable resource management, research project, success factors

Patterns of Social Marginalization and its Spatial Expression in the Urban Area of Râmnicu Vâlcea: Preventing vs. Controlling the Outcomes
Pages 31-40

ABSTRACT – This paper aims to underline the dynamic patterns of social marginalization, which ultimately leads to social exclusion within the urban area of Râmnicu Vâlcea from the communist period to present. Conclusions were drawn from field observations, semi-structural interviews conducted with the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) beneficiaries (according to the Law no. 416/2001), the meta-analysis of the statistical data collected by the Directorate for Labour and Social Protection, content analysis of the local press and cartographic and historical materials. Data confirm the clustering of the GMI beneficiaries, mostly in the peripheral areas (Nuci Colony, Morilor-Izvorului, Alunului-Poienari and Gib Mihăescu colonies), as well as the ethnic fingerprint of the urban poverty along with the absence of the spatial concentration of the ethnic majority, only the areas with a high rate of marginalization (social as well as spatial) making an exception. In areas with concentrated social dwellings such as Nuci Colony, the effects of the intensive social contamination and disorganization emphasize that once installed, the social disorganization is much more difficult to eradicate or even to control the sprawl than to prevent the social disorganization, conflicts and increasing crime.

Keywords: marginalization, Râmnicu Vâlcea, transition, residential mobility, peripheralization, social exclusion

Managing the Urban Image. Cities as Scenery for Events: A White Night Event as a Case Study
Pages 41-48

ABSTRACT – Organizing street events in the cities is not something new. Many cultural, social or religious events take place on the streets, whereas many of them have become international events and attract pan-european attention and coverage. Mega cities are organizing festivals and cultural events in order to attract tourists and contribute to local and regional development. This trend has started growing and spreading around Europe. Medium-sized cities are also organising such multi-dimensional public space events. As a case study it is interesting to present a white night event that took place in Kalamata (a medium-sized city in southern Greece), in August 2013. The shops stayed open until 3 in the morning, offering their products at reduced prices and encouraging people to consume. The city center provided the scenery for an alternative massive celebration. Parties were thrown and concerts took place, around the city. Many people from the Kalamata Region visited Kalamata City. The success was unexpected. This article describes what good can come out of the adoption of a successful north-European cultural white night event (in St. Petersburg and elsewhere). The implementation of an interesting idea, adjusted to the local circumstances, is worth to be looked into. The article concludes that urban scenery can play an important role to the organisation and success of such multicultural events.

Keywords: Kalamata, scenery, urban image, white night, Greece

The Socio-Occupational Structure of the Population in the Apuseni Mountains. Case Study: the Land of the Moţi
Pages 49-56

ABSTRACT – The aim of our study is to highlight the changes in the socio-occupational structure of the population living in the Apuseni Mountains between 1992 and 2011, through a case study example, namely the Land of the Moţi, a region in the central part of the mountains. The aim is to highlight any critical status induced by the geodemographic components. These changes do not differ significantly from other regions in Romania and they are expressed by a decreasing share of the population employed in the secondary sector, in parallel with an increase of the same segment of population employed in primary and tertiary sectors. However, due to changes in the Romanian economy in the last two decades, agriculture and forestry have become dominant in the region. Even if an obvious risk situation is not noticeable, as striking as depopulation or ageing, we must sound the alarm about communities in the mountain area. Despite the obvious intensification of the tertiary activities, this area remains weakly developed, dominated by the agricultural sector, less productive and low yield.

Keywords: socio-occupational structure, geodemographic risks, sectors of activity, active population, employed population

A Creative Class Research and its Difficulties – Empirical Evidence from a Southern Hungarian City, Pécs
Pages 57-68

ABSTRACT – Creative industry, as a concept, first appeared at the beginning of the 21st century and spread worldwide when the American urbanist, Richard Florida, published his book “The Rise of the Creative Class” in 2002. Today, there is no question anymore that the creative industry and creative workers will play a huge part in the European Union’s future economy, and hopefully in Hungary’s economy as well. This article can be divided into three parts. In the first part, it aims to give an overview of the creative class definitions published by Florida, and it also outlines the up and down sides of the theory. Then looking at the problems of the article, a possible alternative is disclosed, which includes not only the occupational-based definition, it but also combines it with the industry-based view. In this way, a complex approach is created, which can be used for further research. As this new approach is based partly on the creative industries classification, the second part of the article aims to shortly summarize the main characteristics of the creative industries definition. The final part focuses on the survey conducted among the creative businesses in Pécs. The survey focuses on the creative class preferences of living. With this analysis, we hope to find the key factors that attracted or kept the members of the creative class in the city and its wider area, an important element in creating long-term development strategies.

Keywords: creative class, Richard Florida, critique, creative trident, creative industries

Territorial Differences of Rural Cities and the Development of Transport Infrastructure in Hungary
Pages 69-84

ABSTRACT – Regional disparities can be explored from many aspects, however, most researchers agree in that due to political and economic changes, the former trend of decreasing regional disparities turned back and started to increase rapidly. In the early 2000s, a new structure with more competitive, more innovative areas and also with lagging settlements and areas seem to emerge. As result of the differentiation processes of the past two decades, in comparison with the EU member states, Hungary has the largest gap in GDP per capita among its regions. A little more than 50% of the Hungarian micro-regions have disadvantaged conditions for 30% of the population. Even now, in many studies and disputes, the under- and over-valuation of the role of highways are combined with each other. In our opinion, highways have strong, if not the strongest economic stimulus effect and settlements bordering highways formulate a single, coherent cluster. In general, these areas belong to the more developed areas of the country, which have better employment, income and infrastructure conditions. Currently, Hungary has strongly central and radial transport network. This structure hinders the formation and strengthening of large rural cities, as the capital city is the political and economic centre of the country, and its central location makes it easily accessible from the major part of the country. This state however does not help strengthening rural growth centres.

Keywords: project of modern cities, transport infrastructure, rural development, territorial differences, global economic crisis

Constraints on Tourism Development Caused by the Road Network in the Apuseni Mountains
Pages 85-94

ABSTRACT – A well-developed road network constitutes an asset for tourism development in any given region. However, the presence of these roads is not in itself a guarantee of a high level of accessibility and connectivity to the tourism resources. For the Apuseni Mountains, these two features actually rely more on the viability of different road sectors. One can note malfunctions regarding the access to some sites in the analyzed region, malfunctions that have a deep negative effect on how resources are being capitalized in the study area. Another constraint that takes its toll on tourism development is the relatively limited possibility for exploiting the tourism resources in an integrated and efficient manner, by connecting them in thematic tourism routes. In most cases, the causes are not orographic barriers or the absence of connections, but rather the scarce viability of some of the existing road sectors. These observations make the case for the decisive role transport infrastructure is playing in the tourism development of regions and highlight the need of an integrated approach in tourism planning.

Keywords: accessibility, connectivity, tourism, route, Apuseni Natural Park, Trascău Mountains

Managing the Occurrence of Natural Disasters for Improved Public Health and Social Issues
Pages 95-106

ABSTRACT – This paper provides a review of the past extreme weather events encountered in Romania, threatening the physical and psychological health of millions of people, damaging economy, infrastructure and communities, rendering different types of vulnerability. The impact of natural disaster on health is felt globally at different degrees depending on the relief, and particularly on the specific prone areas in each country. The fundamental objective of this work is to reveal a method for estimating the existing vulnerabilities of the population, mainly by socio-demographic indicator analyses, quantified by developing a Public Health Vulnerability Index (PHVI), for a future estimation of the social susceptibility area to natural hazards. By means of a selected area of interest, which highlights socio-demographic analysis in the field of public health, it is revealed the composition followed by the processing method of a partial Public Health Vulnerability Index.

Keywords: natural disaster, Public Health Vulnerability Index, population, public health

Preliminary Considerations on the Main Types of Speleosites in the Apuseni Mountains (Romania)
Pages 107-114

ABSTRACT – Speleosite assessment is a complex process due to the specificity of caves that contain particular intrinsic values. Eight main categories of speleosites are outlined based on the main intrinsic value of the analyzed sites. Speleosites for their morphology represent the first category of speleosites, containing those sites that are important because of spatial development or cave formations. Hydro-speleosites, ice speleosites, bio-speleosites, paleontological and archaeological speleosites, speleosites of landscape importance and complex speleosites are the other categories of such sites. Regarding the functional value, one can note that caves have a high scientific value due to their intrinsic qualities, while having a significant role as scientific resources. The tourist potential of these geosites is also very high, but tourism development is not suitable for many speleosites because of the need for protection of these fragile environments. Show caves, allowing the practice of underground geotourism, and caves where recreational caving is carried out are the main speleosites of actual tourist value.

Keywords: speleosites, Apuseni Mountains, intrinsic value, scientific value, geotourism, caving

Planning and the Public Interest. A Critical Review
Pages 115-121

ABSTRACT – From an ethical perspective, the biggest difficulty for planners is to take the best approach in responding to the decision makers and in acting in the public interest because it always becomes subject of pressures arising with the governmental change, on the one hand, and the societal change on the other hand. Even though many debates arise regarding its existence, for planners, as well as for the planning profession, the public interest has always been legitimizing principles as a norm of practice (Alexander, 2002). The paper critically analyses the planning activity in relation to the public interest and highlights the importance of reciprocity between the two. In order to analyse this issue, the article starts with the presentation of different perspectives regarding the public interest, touching upon its conceptual meaning which is followed by a historical review of its origins and transformation. The third section presents its contextual meaning, its representatives, and the change of its content starting from the 19th century until nowadays and discusses the planners’ ability to represent it. The final part comprises the conclusions that indicate that the planning activity should serve the public interest and, by that, it would serve also the interest of planning as a profession. It emphasises two important issues of the present days: the definition of the public interest and the rational decision making within the planning process.

Keywords: public interest, planning theory, community involvement