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Volume III, Number 2, 2007

Theoretical Foundations for an Integrated Assessment Framework in Landscape Research
Pages 3-8

ABSTRACT – It is stated, that ecological theories like the one of organizational levels in living systems, if combined with a general systems approach, can be useful also for understanding and manipulating social systems and its “hidden socio-cybernetic processes”. Especially in relation to trans-level phenomena affecting different organisational levels, different research approaches have to be introduced, showing that descriptive-observational (which also means more holistic) and quantitative-experimental (which also means more reductionistic) approaches are complementary. Therefore, to include all relevant information in delineation and description of systems at any integration level, a ”staircase” or ”scaling” of research steps appears to be the most useful approach. This combines comparative and quantitative research and is related to the various organisational levels and, also, takes into account that there are continuous transitions between observations and experiments, and between structures and processes. Landscape management, already traditional, deals with practical problems and concepts for solutions. Hence, specific efforts like translating the scientific models and indicators into models and indicators people can understand as well as evaluation procedures of the scientific outcome into a social and political context have to be provided. This approach is problem as well as data and knowledge driven and similar to general systems approaches. To conceptually overcome these gaps of interfaces for integration, translation and communication between science and society we have worked out an Environmental Impact Assessment Multi-level Approach. It is a combination of the multi-level scaling and integration approach, and the environmental impact assessment concept.

Keywords: indicators, sustainable development, environment, assessment science, landscape research, systems approach

Historical Cultural Landscapes in Middle and Eastern Europe
Pages 9-22

ABSTRACT – In the paper, the preliminary results of the international student workshop “Inventory and Comparison of Cultural Landscape Elements“ carried out by Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (RO) and the University of Applied Sciences of Erfurt (DE) in Arcalia, near Bistrița, between 20th – 25th of May 2007, are dealt with. The purpose of the workshop was to test some German methods of mapping, surveying and encoding typical cultural landscape elements in selected villages and their rural environs. The activities were part of the INTERREG III B-Project “CULTURAL LANDSCAPE” and were financially supported by the European Union and the federal state of Thuringia.

Keywords: mapping and registration, endangered cultural landscapes, Bistrița 

An Outline of the Evolution of Rural Cultural Landscapes in Poland
Pages 23-28

ABSTRACT – The paper outlines the evolution of rural cultural landscapes in Poland against the background of landscape classification. It defines cultural landscape types and subtypes, based on several criteria of landscape classification, such as: genetic, morphological, functional, and economic. A review of rural landscapes, based on genetic criteria, considers the following historical periods: the primeval community, the feudalism, the manorial system, the industrial revolution, the interwar period of 1918 – 1939, the period of socialist economy, and market economy. The processes that most significantly influenced the contemporary shape of the rural landscape occurred just after the Second World War: urbanization and industrialization, settlement in western and northern territories, as well as structural and spatial transformations that took place after the year 1989 related to the promotion of sustainable and multifunctional development of rural areas.

Keywords: rural landscapes in Poland, evolution

Optimal Land Use Exemplified by a Village of Pojałowice
Pages 29-36

ABSTRACT – This paper deals with some issues connected with the determination of optimal land use in rural areas. A method of Bajerowski was applied and two basic assumptions were made. The first assumption was that it was possible, on the basis of a set of 56 selected features, to initially determine the optimal function of a given rural area. The second assumption was that the features selected and compiled in this set, represented, sufficiently adequately, the impact of all other features regarded essential for generating the optimal function of a given rural area. The described concept of optimal land use makes it possible to approach the methodology of determining the optimal state/mode of land use as one of the elements and a part of a study of conditions and trends in managing a rural gmina (commune).

Keywords: optimal land use, present use, and transformation

Natural Environment Protection Instruments as Stimulators of Positive Changes in the Natural Environment and Landscape in Poland
Pages 37-44

ABSTRACT – The article presents a systematic set of instruments for environment protection as the background to describe major achievements Poland can boast of in the field of environment protection. In the presented group of instruments for environment protection, regulations, institutions and a financing system are concerned as rudimentary since they constitute a legal, institutional, and economic basis for environment protection. The achievements of environment protection in Poland result both from the political transformations that took place after 1989 and from a consistent application of environment protection instruments on all the state managerial levels.

Keywords: instruments of environment protection in Poland

The Voivodeship’s Program of Malopolska Heritage and Cultural Landscape Protection
Pages 45-52

ABSTRACT – The main goal in the field of landscape management includes the protection and improvement of landscapes’ condition and departing from their degradation. This goal is included in the European Landscape Convention. Its aim is to care for continent’s landscapes through the processes such as identification, evaluation, protection, management, and planning. The Convention is to apply to all landscapes, not only to the landscapes of a unique value such as national parks or to the landscapes that are on the List of World Heritage UNESCO. The article includes the analysis of the Voivodeship’s Program of Malopolska Heritage and Cultural Landscape Protection from the point of view of the Convention. Due to the fact that Poland has ratified this Convention, certain responsibilities follow. On voivodeship’s level, the Voivodeship’s Program should be recognized as a device to carry out the policy in the field of landscape in accordance with Article 1 of the Convention.

Keywords: the Voivodeship’s Program of Malopolska Heritage and Cultural Landscape Protection, the European Landscape Convention, cultural landscape, heritage, UNESCO World Heritage List

Cultural Landscape and Tourism Potential in the Transylvanian Plain
Pages 53-58

ABSTRACT – Contradicting the general belief that the Transylvanian Plain has a poor tourism potential, we bring proof that even in a non-tourist region there are many elements that can provide a generous support for a variety of tourism activities, such as: rural tourism, agro-tourism, recreational tourism, cultural and religious tourism, eco-tourism, and even the critical tourism may occur if the resources are not properly managed. Definitions, examples, two tables, and a map are offering additional information and data, in order to reveal a less known side of the Transylvanian Plain.

Keywords: cultural landscape, tourism potential, the Transylvanian Plain

Wooden Churches – A Representative Component in the Cultural Rural Landscape of Transylvania
Pages 59-62

ABSTRACT – This paper analyses one of the most representative components of the rural religious material culture – the wooden churches – typical for the historical province of Transylvania and especially for Maramureş. Wooden churches are specific for the rural space inhabited by the Romanian communities, with an accented character of conservatism and preservation of the traditions from Maramureş, the Someş Plateau and the Apuseni Mountains. The physiognomic architectural characteristics and the technique of the buildings, joining the archaic means with a science of equilibrium and of wood resistance have imposed this category of objectives, offering originality and even uniqueness to the rural landscape to which they belong.

Keywords: wooden churches, cultural patrimony, villages of Transylvania, wood civilization

Differential Digital Terrain Model Applied to Evaluate Changes in the Relief Features
Pages 63-72

ABSTRACT – Under this research study, on the example of a village of Kasinka Mała, a possibility of applying a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) to evaluate changes in the cultural landscape was assessed.

Keywords: cultural landscape, Digital Terrain Model

Demographic Processes in Hungary and their Manifestation in Small Towns
Pages 73-82

ABSTRACT – Hungary, belonging more and more to the prestigious group of developed countries, can be characterised increasingly by the demographic characteristics of that type. Ageing population, decreasing number of live births, decreasing population size are commonly used terms when analysing the demographic profile of our country. This simplified picture can be modulated and coloured with the help of spatial data. In spite of the comparatively small-sized and relatively homogenous structure of Hungary, several differences can be found. The network of small towns could be an obvious and representative sample for the spatial investigations since it almost totally covers the area of Hungary, it is numerous enough but still easy to handle. Within a Hungarian geographical context, settlements having a maximum of 30,000 inhabitants and possessing city rank can be defined as small towns. Because of their size and functions, small towns are sensitive enough to illustrate the national demographic tendencies, but they are numerous enough to be split into different groups according to their remarkably diverse character. Traditional historic small towns widely differ from the ones located in the rapidly urbanising agglomerations, even though the socialist new towns, having similar origin, reflect significant demographic variants.

Keywords: demographic crisis, small towns, demographic types of small towns 

A View on the Geographical Space Organisation of Trascău Mountains
Pages 83-94

ABSTRACT – The geographical space of Trascău Mountains is made up by a series of longitudinal ranges, corridors and plateaus, which are named according to their position within the analysed region: the Western Corridor, the Western Plateau, the Central Corridor, the Central Range, the Eastern Plateau and the Eastern contact area or border. The valleys crossing these longitudinal units create beautiful gorges between depression areas. Most settlements are small and very small, lying along the corridors or the valleys, but some are scattered on the hills. Their importance increases eastwards. Their economic function is changing, from forestry and breeding towards agriculture. The polarizing flows are organized along the main rivers, but there is a need of improving the infrastructure. A model of the Trascău Mountains is presented, and several proposals are made to take the region out of isolation.

Keywords: Trascău Mountains, geographical space organisation, Romania

Disfavoured Zones and Tourist Areas in the Apuseni Mountains
Pages 95-101

ABSTRACT – The transformations that have affected the region of the Apuseni Mountains after 1990, have determined a precarious economic and social status in the mining areas, a fact officially recognized through the delimitation of some “disfavoured zones”. The Apuseni Mountains are also a region with a very rich touristic potential, which led to the development of tourism in some of its parts. Yet, spatially, the two types of areas (disfavoured and touristic) do not overlap. Functionally, two different systems manifest themselves, separated by the Arieş Valley and the planned development strategies tend to emphasize the already-appeared differences.

Key words: the Apuseni Mountains, disfavoured zone, tourism, spatial disparities