Volume XIV |

Mapping the differences in online public information by local administrative units in Romania

Abstract: We evaluated the differences existing in the public information presented by local administrative units in Romania by analyzing the websites of 3175 local administrative units based on a standard database which contains 17 indicators (grouped into three categories: identification, content and administrative support). We used descriptive statistics for analyzing results and ArcGis 10 for mapping the geographical patterns of distribution. 2769 local administrative units (87.09%) have a dedicated website, but the information presented on them are scarce, and in a direct connection with its rank in the network of settlements. The unbalance between content indicators and the administrative support indicators reveals a politicization of the websites, detrimental to public information and participation. The lowest values of online public information (<20%) are present in counties with a high proportion of profound rural settlements or a particular ethnical distribution of population.

Volume X |

Land Use Change in the Bucharest Metropolitan Area and its Impacts on the Quality of the Environment in Residential Developments

Abstract: The Bucharest Metropolitan Area (BMA) is undergoing a major and alert phase of reorganisation as a response to changes in the political, institutional, administrative, economic and social environment. Over the last 20 years land use has profoundly changed in the area under study, mainly by means of agricultural land conversion and the subsequent formation of residential and commercial areas. These two kinds of land uses were also expanded over industrial spaces in the Bucharest Metropolitan Area. Residential areas are showing a large quantitative increase and extremely non-concentrated dispersion, as well as complex and diverse typology. The present study analyses the possible direct and indirect consequences of land use change regarding the quality of the environment in the residential areas of the Bucharest Metropolitan Area (focusing on new residential districts). The results show that agricultural and forested areas are decreasing in surface and suffer from fragmentation, while residential areas are expanding in a chaotic manner, thus indicating the possible areas of conflict regarding the quality of the environment. The lack of coordination in the numerous institutional or private projects in real estate is the main cause of this situation. Public authorities administered the real estate projects between 1947 and 1990 (Communist Era) as the majority of the land and the constructed property were state-owned by law. After 1990, in the era of private property, in absence of legislation and convenient decision-making, the consequences of the privatization were difficult to manage (spreading of residential districts, overused and insufficient infrastructure in many areas, poor accessibility and waste management problems).

Volume IX |

Indoor Air Quality in Bucharest Housings in the Framework of Present Environmental Changes

Abstract: The indoor air quality represents one of the factors conditioning housing quality in urban residential spaces. The paper analyses the spatial and temporal distribution of parameters defining the indoor air quality from representative housings in Bucharest, correlated with their influence factors. The characterisation of permanent, seasonal and circumstantial influence factors was realised using the US EPA (1991) and WHO (2006) methodologies. Between November 2008 and February 2010 there were applied questionnaires for appreciating the dimension of influence factors inside and outside the housings. In the same time, for determining the values of representative indicators analysing the indoor air quality, measurements were realised in selected housings. From analysing the obtained results, it can be stated that in the indoor habitat of most residential spaces from Bucharest, the quality of air is unsatisfactory, values of human comfort recommended by international legislation being exceeded at indicators such as: volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide or particulate matter. The building’s ventilation systems are mostly dismantled or not functioning, and as a result the thermal isolation of buildings only aggravates these problems as it isn’t compensated with an improvement of the ventilation systems. The significant expansion of areas affected by Sick Building Syndrome, which are economically, ecologically and/or sanitary inefficient, in the framework of recent environmental changes, it requires an integrated approach of problems concerning the air quality management in Bucharest residential spaces.