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Volume IV, Number 2, 2008

Spatial Nanostructures and Dynamics of the Territorial Systems. A Theoretical Introduction
Pages 3-10

ABSTRACT – The present paper attempts to demonstrate the theoretical role of elementary structures in the dynamics of territorial systems. Territorial systems are conceived as complex entities, defined by differentiated quantities of interdependences between natural and anthropic components, spatially projected. Analogously to physical structures at a spatial level, territorial macro-systems (global, continental, national), territorial medium-systems (regional, intraregional), and micro-systems (local and infra-local) could be individualized. At the level of the last category, it is important to individualize an indivisible territorial organization structure whose dynamics is essential for all the territorial systems placed at upper scales. By their number, such structures – having thresholds defining their critical mass, by cluster or functional integration types – respond to anthropic and natural interventions through specific forms resulting from adaptation-type processes, with great self-organizing capacity. Synthetically, we could define such a hypothesis as being connected with spatial structures similar to those existing in physics, called spatial nanostructures. Since such a structure, as a physical size compared with the Earth size, could be a multiple of 10-9.

Keywords: spatial nanostructures, dynamics, territorial systems

The Pentagon and Other Geometrical Figures of Europe’s Economic Core
Pages 11-20

ABSTRACT – This study focuses on the spatial structure of the European Union. The aim of the research is to analyse the geometric models of Europe’s core area. We have a lot of flat shapes for the spatial structure: we have axes, polygons and they have a lot of different geographical extensions in Europe. These formations have been collected from numerous studies and they have been compared based on different statistical data. Moreover the pentagon, the newest model of EU is described in different respects.

Keywords: Europe, spatial structure, geometric figure, the pentagon, GDP per capita

Lake Balaton: Development of a Unique Region in Transition
Pages 21-30

ABSTRACT – The area of Lake Balaton is one of the most familiar and, after the capital region, the second most frequented part of Hungary. No wonder, this region is an accentuated topic of Hungarian social, economic, and ecological researches. This paper aims to deal with its two crucial problems: first, this area does not compose a separate planning and statistical region, so it does not fit the NUTS system, which serves as base of development policy. On the other hand, this area needs to be handled as a complex, because, since the change of regime, it has had a decreasing development course and a lot of problems have arisen not only in local economy and, thus, in local society, but also in the context of environment.

Keywords: Lake Balaton, tourism, regionalism, regional inequalities

Stages in the Formation of the Romanian Mental Space
Pages 31-42

ABSTRACT – In the evolution of the Romanian mental space, four distinct stages can be emphasized, each of them bringing its specific contribution to its defining and structuring. These stages are the following: the forerunning, Dacian stage, the 2nd century B.C. – 106 A.D.; the incipient, Dacian-Roman stage, 105 – 275 A.D.; the structuring, proto-Romanian stage, 275 – the 6th and 7th centuries; the Romanian stage of completion and affirmation, the 8th century – nowadays. Each stage is characterized by different forms, in continuous affirmation and improvement, of interrelations between the human communities and the site, of spiritually sublimation of the physical-geographical substratum features, of the territory inhabited by them.

Keywords: mental space, Dacia, Carpathians, Romanian, civilization

The Demographic Situation in the Northern Economic Region of the Republic of Moldova
Pages 43-48

ABSTRACT – The demographic situation within the Northern Economic Region is worse than the national average. This fact is determined by the decrease of the birth rate values, the increase of the mortality values and the negative natural and migration growth. They also lead to a change of the rate between age groups, in favour of the elderly. In order to diminish such a situation, urgent measures should be taken (policies for economic increase and income increase) at local, department and regional level, to stop the deep demographic crisis of the region.

Keywords: birth rate, mortality, negative natural growth, demographic situation

The Romania 2030 Spatial Development Strategic Concept – A Trigger for the Reform in Spatial Planning
Pages 49-62

ABSTRACT – The changing of the economic, social and political system in Romania brought the need of a significant shift in spatial planning paradigm. Between 1990 and 2005 it became clear gradually that the spatial plans, as they were conceived, are not anymore able to really support a structured approached of spatial development. The main problems identified are: the lack of strategic dimension of spatial (territorial) development plans; the modest cooperation among sectoral ministries and other national relevant bodies in order to organize and integrate national public investments programs at the national scale; the lack of awareness of sectoral and territorial actors regarding their potential and responsibilities in territorial development; the lack of core technical and legal tools in territorial planning. Few consequences of the above situation are: the lack of the vision for Romania’s territorial development at the national level and as a state member of the EU; there are no in place yet national policies, based on intersectoral cooperation, that could be implemented by sectoral policies, and could provide background for national public investments programs, for strategic documents that substantiate the use of EU funds; very few institutions use the spatial plans as instruments in the process of planning specific issues with territorial impact and relevance. In 2005, the former Ministry Delegate for Spatial Planning, Public Works and Constructions (within the Ministry of Transport, Constructions and Tourism), currently Ministry of Development, Public Works and Housing (MDPWH), initiated a process of the reform in spatial planning. The paper presents: a) the reform process and design, its components and main directions for action, and b) the strategic document which takes the role of trigger of the reform process, relevant steps in its development and current stage of ellaboration.

Keywords:  reform, spatial planning, spatial strategic development, inter-institutional and territorial partnerships

Law and Space: Juridical Organisation and Central Places in Banat, Western Romania
Pages 63-76

ABSTRACT – The paper analyzes the relationship between the juridical system and the hierarchy of settlements in Banat, Romania. The historical development of the law institutions is presented, highlighting the peculiarities of the region. The present juridical organisation is also thoroughly analysed. Emphasis is laid on the importance of the Appellate Court in Timişoara, the county courts and the trial courts, and their magistrates. The number and territorial distribution of the auxiliaries of justice, the lawyers and notaries public, sheds light on the significance of certain settlements for the law system. The hierarchy of central places in Banat is studied from the perspective of the juridical organisation. In conclusion, the established hierarchy is uncontested for the first four levels, including the cities of Timişoara, Arad, Reşiţa, Lugoj and Caransebeş. Nevertheless, there are significant differences between the smaller towns of the lower levels.

Keywords: juridical organisation, law, central places, courts of justice, space, urban system, Banat

Contemporary Rural Tourism on the Example of Crişul Repede Valley Territorial Planning Unit (TPU)
Pages 77-86

ABSTRACT – In the Crisul Repede Valley TPU, an area lying in the northern part of the Apuseni Mountains, alongside the attractions as regards the relief there are, beneficially, other natural attractions such as: a climate suitable for winter sports (a large amount of snow, for a long period of the year), thermal and mineral water sources, Karstic intermittent springs, numerous lakes and waterfalls; forests that are habitats for important game; unpolluted rivers, with a species-rich fish population etc. The heavily inhabited feature of the area means that there is a wealth of man-made resources for tourism: forts, wooden churches, monasteries, museums, historical monuments; all this justifies the development and promotion of rural tourism. Equally importantly, the Romanian village falls into the category of the most generous and attractive human settlements in the context of European Rural tourism offer. Therefore, it is imperative that the endeavor of implementing modernity should be assimilated without thwarting, altering or compromising these invaluable qualities. At present, the economic, political, psycho-social and legal conditions have been summoned with a view to the development of tourism in the rural space in the area, and the local population has expressed availability for involvement in and commitment to administering their own resources, including that of supporting tourism. The defining features of rural tourism are discernable in the space analyzed here: i.e. a wide, varied offer range, that meets the requirement for authenticity, the originality and sheer quality of the physical environment, the specificity of the economic life-styles, mentalities, traditions etc.

Keywords: rural tourism, the Crisul Repede Valley TPU, potential for tourism, development strategy

Impact of Mining Activity upon Environment in Roşia Montană
Pages 87-96

ABSTRACT – Roşia Montană is the greatest gold ore in Romania and one of the greatest in Europe, and its exploitation has been carried out since Antiquity up to nowadays. If the traditional extraction and processing technologies had a minimal impact upon environment, the ones adopted in modern times have affected all the components of the natural environment. In the perspective of capitalizing the gold ore through the programme elaborated by the Canadian company, Gold Corporation, the zonal geographical space will be degraded up to the level of industrial dessert over an area of 100 km2 and in case of damage, the affected area can extend enormously. The environmental problems are related both to the specific nature of such an industrial activity and, especially, to the use of enormous quantities of sodium cyanide directly on the preparation flux from the industrial plant. Few such cases are known worldwide, in several economically less developed countries. Usually, cyanides are used for treating the gold concentrations, operation done in conditions of maximum security, in closed spaces, situated in isolated zones and the neutralization (detoxification) of cyanides is done in situ. The treatment of cyanides in open spaces has always generated environmental problems. Moreover, none of the cyanide treatment technologies eliminates entirely their toxic effect (less toxic chemical products are obtained). In order to avoid the production of an environmental disaster and to preserve the local patrimony values (in this place there lies the richest mining archeological site in Europe), we elaborated several recommendations we consider feasible as they allow both the capitalization of ore, which is a socio-economic necessity of the area, and the ecological reconstruction of the affected geographical space.

Keywords: gold, Roşia Montană, mining activity, ecological impact, risks

Critical Precipitation Spells in the Transylvanian Depression
Pages 97-101

Abstract – The increased frequency of the climatic hazards requires more and more detailed studies on this issue. Thus, the present paper aims at identifying the critical precipitation spells for the Transylvanian Depression area. In this respect, statistical data from 1971-2000, recorded in 10 weather stations (Cluj-Napoca, Blaj, Sebeş, Tg. Mureş, Dumbrăveni, Sibiu, Făgăraş, Dej, Bistriţa, Odorheiu Secuiesc) were used. The main conclusions are the following: in the analyzed region, most of the days within the year (110…131 days) have a frequency of precipitation occurrence between 30…40 %; at the weather stations protected by the Apuseni Mountains and by the Southern Carpathians (Blaj, Sebeş, Sibiu), the “precipitation shadow” is felt and so, the number of rainy days with an occurrence frequency higher than 40% decreases if compared to the other analyzed weather stations within the studied area; the length of critical precipitations spells, common to most of the analyzed weather stations, ranges between one and 21 running days (for an occurrence frequency higher than 40%) and between one and 6 running days (with an occurrence frequency higher than 50%), respectively; critical precipitation spells, common for the entire region, are missing in March, while in August and October have a very low frequency (1-2 days).

Keywords: critical precipitations spells (CPS), daily amount of precipitations, frequency, Transylvanian Depression