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Volume XII, Number 1, 2016

The Social (Sociological) Turn in the Discourse About Space
Pages 3-12

ABSTRACT – Space is not a concrete physical element of reality but it is an interpreted social construction. It is a condition of possibility, which can only be observed in the multiple forms of appearance of beings. Space, time, the medium that makes them observable and the observer always “go together”. The representation of space that we live in and experience indirectly is very similar to external reality and, thus, provides ontological certainty and a sense of feeling at home in the routine of our everyday life. Space (structure) is not an external cause but the functioning mode of the relations that connect those who exist together; it is a zeitgeist and context. In the final section, the author provides examples of the possible applications of the socio-spatial perspective presented in this paper.

Keywords: space, time, theories of space, social constructivism

The Impact of Economic Crisis on Regional Disparities in Romania. Testing Williamson’s Hypothesis in the Context of Economic and Financial Turmoil
Pages 13-24

ABSTRACT – The economic downturn triggered by the economic crisis was installed in Romania in 2008, stopping the economic growth process. However, the impact of the financial turbulence presented asymmetrical effects on regional level, both in terms of GDP per capita and in terms of employment rate. The aim of present article is to analyze how regional economies reacted in this context and to assess the impact of the crisis on intra-regional disparities in Romania. From the methodological point of view, the research involves using panel data analysis tools that can provide evidence amongst the degree to which the crisis has induced a process of economic convergence between regions or increased regional disparities, according to Williamson’s hypothesis.

Keywords: Williamson hypothesis, intra and interregional disparities, beta and sigma convergence, economic crisis

Assessment of Functional Policentricity in the Romanian County Residence Municipalities
Pages 25-38

ABSTRACT – In 2002, John Friedmann concluded that “Almost everyone will coexist in a single global urban network, which will operate on the basis of global competition.” These challenges were mentioned in the EU 2020 Strategy (EC, 2010), where European policy is focused on competitive and inclusive metropolitan development. One of the main problems that emerge when adopting functional urban areas (or metropolitan areas) as territorial units of analysis and policy development in European countries is the lack of generally accepted standards for their identification. This problem prevents comparative research between European countries using functional urban areas or metropolitan areas as territorial units of analysis. This article presents an original methodology for assessing the functional policentricity of county seat in Romania, based on ESPON 1.1.1. programme criteria, particularly the classification of various categories of cities in the European Union.

Keywords: polycentricity, functional urban areas, ESPON methodology, GIS

Delimitation and Classification of Rural Areas in Hungary
Pages 39-50

ABSTRACT – The present study relies on the outcomes of a complex rural research programme based on the cooperation between the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian National Rural Network. A specific part of the research has been designated to study the state of Hungarian rural areas within the European context, to analyse processes of divergence of Hungarian rural areas and to define potential types of rural areas with their specific needs. In this paper, a new typology of Hungarian rural regions is presented together with the outcomes of relating case studies. The territorial basis for the delimitation and typology of rural areas was composed on LAU 2 level, “járás” (i.e. districts, new units of public administration established in 2013), supported by current statistic data and GIS methods. The identification of the characteristics of our eight newly defined region types and the verification of the preconceptions regarding these types were assisted by fact-finding case studies. The case studies relied mostly on local data, documents, field surveys, focus group discussions and technical workshops. All research activities and methods were focusing to one principal question: how are rural areas in an East-Central European country reshaping and fragmenting today?

Keywords: rural restructuring, spatial differentiation, classification of rural micro-regions, rural development

Unifying Two Regional Planning Methodologies in an Analysis of the Rural and Agricultural Development Potential of the Province of Yozgat, Turkey
Pages 51-64

ABSTRACT – This study will investigate Yozgat’s agricultural potential for rural development. There are many emigrants from Yozgat. The elderly population here is increasing, and although the agricultural potential is strong, it is not used effectively. The method used in this study includes a combination of two approaches. The first approach includes the critical factors of rural development: physical systems, social systems, creative systems, local systems and economic systems. The second approach includes the accelerators of rural population, in addition to the opportunities and limiters. The most important problem related to the analysis of rural development is the selection of a perspective on the province in question. This study will guide future studies of provinces and regions. The study concluded that Yozgat’s social life should be as lively and strong as its agricultural production and animal husbandry potential. Moreover, Yozgat has important ecotourism destinations, and this potential should be used. The greatest necessity of Yozgat is agro-industry that will serve for the processing of agricultural and animal husbandry products.

Keywords: regional planning, rural planning, agriculture, Yozgat

Role of Subsidies Allocated by the Second Pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy and Diversification in Romanian Farms through Agritourism
Pages 65-78

ABSTRACT – This paper discusses about the role and the economic impact of subsidies allocated by the Common Agricultural Policy between 2007 and 2012, predominantly through the second pillar, in order to stimulate farmers to stay in the countryside and diversify their activities by agritourism. The analysis has used a quantitative approach aimed at assessing the main correlations between the growth of agritourisms and the financial supports paid by the European Union in eight Romanian administrative regions using the Farm Accountancy Data Network. Findings have pointed out that in regions where the higher has been the development of agritourism, the more significant has been the positive socio-economic impact of the funds allocated by the European Union in favour of rural development. Rural areas characterized by a low level of farmer’s income and by a high incidence of subsidies paid by the European Union in supporting rural development have brought about a considerable growth of farm diversification through agritourism. This has also corroborated the hypothesis according to which the diversification in the countryside is sensitive both to the funds allocated by the EU and to a low level of income in farms.

Keywords: multifunctionality, rural areas, Kohonen’s map, Rural Development Plan, Farm Accountancy Data Network, rural tourism

The Role of Viticultural Landscape and Microregional Differentiation. Comparative Study: Alba and Bistriţa-Năsăud Counties
Pages 79-90

ABSTRACT – In this paper, we analyze the components of vineyard cultural landscape, its role in differentiating micro-regional landscape and micro-regional identity formation, under theoretical and territorial aspect, taking into account two Romanian counties: Alba and Bistriţa-Năsăud. The study focuses also on shaping the future evolution of the vineyard cultural landscape, following the proposals for its sustainable management.

Keywords: viticultural landscape, cultural landscape, territorial identity, territorial differentiation, viticultural micro-regions, Alba County, Bistriţa-Năsăud County

Household Livelihood Strategies of Dairy Cattle Farmers in Kepuharjo Village, Indonesia, Pre and Post 2010 Merapi Volcano Eruption
Pages 91-98

ABSTRACT – The research is conducted in the village of Kepuharjo, Sleman regency, located in the north of the Yogyakarta Special Administrative Region, Indonesia. The purpose of this research is to determine the livelihood strategies, patterns and phases of activity, as well as a determinant factor in the livelihood strategies of dairy cattle farmers before and after the 2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi. This research is based on the application of a single case study method. The single case study consists of several cases of household units in the village of Kepuharjo. The instruments used for data collection are direct observation, in-depth interview and document research. Informants are dairy cattle farmers in the hamlets of Kaliadem, Jambu, and Petung in Kepuharjo Village, Cangkringan sub-district, selected through snowball sampling. The results of this study indicate that there are three household livelihood strategies of dairy cattle farmers in the pre-eruptive stage: accumulation, consolidation, and survival strategies Base dominant strategy is livestock breeding. After the eruption, besides the three existing strategies, there is a new one, which is an option of compensation strategy. Base dominant strategy remains the same, namely dairy farming. Household activity patterns and stages of dairy cattle farmers between pre- and post-eruption have changed among other things in terms of the use of farming land, the use of water for household needs and livestock, forage utilization, return to livestock breeding activities and activities carried out in an effort to meet the needs of the household. Determinant factors in the choice of household livelihood strategies are the socio-economic situation of the household (household income and expenditure), resource utilisation (condition of the assets owned, utilisation of materials from the eruption of Merapi, employed household members of working age), and occupational diversification.

Keywords: Merapi eruption, household livelihood strategies, determinant factors

Built Heritage in the Land of Haţeg – Result of the Historic Evolution and Contemporary Urban Planning Tool
Pages 99-110

ABSTRACT – The Regional Geography papers, especially those dedicated to the “land”-type studies sequentially mention certain historical aspects, because historical evolution is treated largely as having a supportive role, far from becoming a component of interaction. This research aims to address the historical evolution of the Land of Haţeg in the light of the specific territorial elements and to provide evidence for using the built heritage as a tool for decision-makers. Methodologically, the research has implied the completion of three stages, each with its specific work methods (direct observation, mapping, chorematic analysis). The findings highlight the applicative and utilitarian character of historical studies in the land use planning documents.

Keywords: Land of Haţeg, historical monument, land use planning, chorem

The Development of Tourist Relations during the Economic Crisis through the Example of the Southern Great Plain Region and Serbia
Pages 110-120

ABSTRACT – Since the beginning of the economic crisis, nearby feeder markets have become increasingly important for Hungary’s tourism sector with cross-border cooperation schemes playing an ever increasing role. This also holds true for Hungary’s Southern Great Plain Region when viewed in its relationship with neighbouring Serbia. This paper examines tourism flow changes in the Southern Hungarian Great Plain Region during the period of the economic crisis especially as far as tourism flows from Serbia are concerned. The analysis is based on official statistical data available in respect of commercial accommodation facilities, analyses on tourism trends carried out at the European level, and regional development documents drawn up for the Hungarian-Serbian cross border region. The economic crisis caused a significant downturn in tourism flows in the Southern Great Plain Region. However, the number of tourists arriving from Serbia to the Southern Great Plain and the number of nights they spent there increased even during the crisis partly because of the favourable geographical location of the region, partly because of the intensive cooperation schemes implemented in the tourism sector, and partly because of organised marketing campaigns.

Keywords: tourism cooperation, economic crisis, Southern Great Plain, Serbia

The Tourism Development Strategy of the North-East Region of Romania. Myth or Reality?
Pages 121-134

ABSTRACT – Tourism development strategies play an increasingly important role, representing parts of those documents that aim to socio-economic development, undertaken at local, zonal, county, regional or national level. Frequently, tourism is viewed as one the best solutions for economic recovery, but without a detalied and realistic analysis of what territory offers from this point of view, this new trend for resolving the economic dysfunctions remains at a mirage level. The North-East Region of Romania, the fifth less developed region of the European Union, with a GDP per capita (in purchasing power standard) that amounted to only 34% of the EU-28 average in 2013, rushes to come with a development strategy for tourism, relying on “relief and environmental factors, diversity and beauty of landscape, cultural heritage”, strengthening the specific offers relying especially on mountain, cultural, and religious tourism. The present study uses multiple research methods (quantitative and qualitative analysis, graphical and cartographical representation of data, comparison) in order to establish the reliability of the concerned document and to provide solid arguments for the type of tourism that has the largest premises of affirmation in each county of the North-East Region of Romania.

Keywords: tourism development strategy, mineral water springs, health tourism, transport infrastructure, tourist arrivals, North-East Region

Book review
HOGNOGI, GHEORGHE-GAVRILĂ – Ţara Haţegului. Studiu de geografie regională [The Land of Haţeg. Study of Regional Geography], Risoprint, Cluj-Napoca, 2016, 270 p.
Pages 135-136