Regional geography

Volume XIV |

A model of land suitability general analysis for new infrastructure projects in the Bârsa country (Romania)

Abstract: This study focuses on a geographical area with historical connotations, located in the internal curvature of the Carpathians.
The prospects of transport network in this area are geographically conditioned mainly by the morphodynamics of the surrounding relief. The working methodology was based on the ArcGIS analysis of four main factors for the transport infrastructure: geodeclivity, lithology, pedology and land use. The land suitability analysis must represent the preceding stage of any infrastructure project because it perfectly highlights the degree of favourability of new designed routes and exempts from any additional costs for maintenance, rehabilitation and redesign in the post construction stage, improving the project reliability prediction. The land suitability for the transport infrastructure is an issue of present interest for this region since in the last century the transport network has exponentially diversified and expanded, more pronounced and accelerated in recent years, due to increased road and railway traffic. This global trend requires the resize and adaptation of the transport infrastructure to the new mobility needs of society. With this development, the areas suitable for the transport infrastructure have high urban saturation. Thus, new routes are necessary on less suitable lands that must be analyzed for the optimization and sustainability of new routes converging in the Bârsa Country. The final map resulting from the GIS analysis provides the focused area with positive prospects for the transport infrastructure development, particularly in the depressionary area, new routes of moderate suitability being outlined for the mountainous area.

Volume XIV |

Impact of Common Land Resources in Sustainable Regional Development: a Geographical Analysis

Abstract: India is an agricultural country where people’s livelihood is highly dependent upon their land resource. The increasing population has created immense pressure on the land resources of the country, specially the agricultural land. Due to the continuous fragmentation of land in time, the small landholdings have become economically non-viable for the poor farmers. There has been a regular increase in the agricultural inputs over the last decades. Thus, the benefits from agricultural practices have declined in time. In this situation, the marginal and small farmers in general and landless people in particular rely upon the local common land resources (CLR) to supplement their income and earning their livelihood.
The CLR, being “accessible” to all and no one having any exclusive right upon them, are generally used in various ways for economic gains. The forests provide timber, various forest products especially firewood, the pastures support the livestock and the uncultivated and barren lands are utilized for construction of houses, poultry farms and animal husbandry. Various studies have revealed that they account for up to 16 to 50 per cent of the income of landless and poor farmers respectively. Due to “open access” and rampant use, the CLR are declining all over India in general and the Indo-Gangetic Plain in particular. The present study was undertaken to analyze the dynamics of CLR in the sampled district of Uttar Pradesh in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The study reveals that there is a considerable decline in these resources during the last decades. The detailed analysis of CLR utilization and its social correlates testifies for its role in providing economic gains and livelihood to its users. Thus, the present study reveals the significance of common land resources in sustainable regional development.

Volume XIII |

The Romanian urban system – an overview of the post-communist period

Abstract: The Romanian urban system reveals both the influence of the central-based inter-settlement relations and the influence of the historical conditions (persistence of regional influence centres inside the historical provinces). Its 12 urban sub-systems are formed of towns that gravitate towards the Capital city – Bucharest and the second and third-rank cities. The Romanian urban network appears to be insufficiently developed in terms of number of towns versus the total population and surface. In 2012, there were 320 towns, when 400–450 were expected to be as referred to the overall surface of the country. This proves an excessive polarisation area/town ratio compared to other West and Central European countries. Under the socioeconomic transformation determined by the fall of the communist regime, profound changes in terms of intensive spatial development (urban/suburban sprawl, metropolisation etc) were experienced, similar to other post-communist urban systems. Subsequently, the EU accession opened the former socialist cities to new challenges related to urban phenomena, turning them into points of connection at European level by promoting cohesion and competitiveness for a polycentric metropolitan development. The paper attempts to summarise the urban development in Romania and the particularities of the Romanian urban system in relation to the legislative and political context of the post-communist period and the EU accession.

Volume XIII |

Globalisation and Urban Spatial Reconversion. Case-Study: Commercial Services in Romania

Abstract: The ever-growing concentration of income in the capital-city and in major towns has encouraged the development of a series of specialized products and services and the opening of commercial units. The only limit to this type of localization seems to be the continuous social segregation which restricts demand and creates preferential segments of users. New types of urban-rural polarisation are created, directly proportional to the social and cultural segregation and polarisation that condition the Romanian urban system’s capacity to absorb globalizing fluxes. Thus, strong financial segregation among the urban population in the wake of restructuring industrial activities restricts the penetration of globalizing fluxes. Even if the products of the consumerist culture are intensely penetrating at local level, yet the population’s access to them is still limited. Global culture tends to combine with endemic culture, grafted on poverty, deteriorating the quality of life and stimulating urban subculture and organised crime. Financial investments constitute the basis of the spatial distribution of commercial investments. The outlet market potential is the decisive factor for commercial investments, that is chains of stores usually set up by transnational companies. The establishment and diffusion of these commercial units in the territory is closely correlated with the location of banks, dependent on the income-based spatial segregation of the population. Thus, big commercial units are more frequently found in large cities with macro-regional polarisation functions and a positive economic dynamic that ensures the presence of an outlet market competitive enough both financially and quantitatively, so as to guarantee that the investment is profitable. On the other hand, the east/west financial segregation existing in Romania directly reflects segregated localisation of commercial investments which are placed mostly in Bucharest and the large cities from the central and western regions of the country – Transylvania, Banat and Crişana.

Volume XIII |

The impact of the community development on electoral turnout in rural areas at the parliamentary elections (2008), Romania

Abstract: In the countries with a consolidated democracy, but also in post-communist Romania, the turnout has experienced a downward evolution. The difference lies in the fact that while in Western European countries the turnout is higher as the economic and educational level is higher, in Romanian during the last general elections (2008), the turnout was higher in rural areas (traditionally more precariously from the economic and educational point of view than the urban areas). In this way, the article strives to identify to what extent there is a causal relationship between the development index of the rural localities and the turnout, the descriptive statistics highlighting a relevant aspect: there is a higher turnout in the less developed counties than in the developed ones.