Journal Archives

Charting geographic mental maps in foreign policy analysis: A literature review

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In recent years geographic mental maps have made a comeback into the spotlight of scholarly inquiry in the area of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA). While never disappearing completely from scholarly examination, geographic mental maps were side-lined in most geographic and international relations (IR) research agendas. While geographers had long acknowledged the importance of mental maps in the study of international politics, few studies centred on the influence of geographic cognition on foreign policy. Only with the cognitive revolution in IR did geographic mental maps find space to develop conceptually and empirically with regards to international politics. Beginning with Henrikson’s initial conceptualisation over three decades ago the mental map research agenda has adopted several different theoretical and methodological approaches which will be analysed in the current article.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

A comparison of methodological guides for creating microregional strategies of Central European rural areas. Case study: Czech Republic

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This paper discusses the complementarity of methodological guides dealing with microregional development in Central Europe. As an example, the Czech Republic framework has been selected. This study compares seven common methodologies written in Czech, which the author has divided into three groups, namely manual-like methodologies, semi-scientific texts and hybrid texts dealing with other complementary aspects. The result is a comparison of methodologies, their usage and implications for the practices of regional development. The paper also includes a brief analysis of sustainable development elements incorporated into the methodological texts. The final part outlines links to the four-capital model of regional development.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Aspects of the phenomenon of demographic population aging in Czechia and Slovakia: Time and regional dimensions

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Over the past decades, the ageing of our society has become a widespread phenomenon. A continuing increase of the elderly population is particularly present in more developed regions of world. However, demographic changes are soon expected in less developed regions as a consequence of socio-economic development. The paper reports on the development of characteristics of the burden carried by the productive population as the consequence of the demographic ageing of population in the conditions of Slovak and Czech regions. Population was divided into to the age groups and burden on the productive population was analysed using burden coefficients, age index and coefficients describing the dynamics of burden changes, specifically the inflow, outflow and substitution coefficient. The significance of this analysis is based on the fact that ageing influences – to the great extent – the spatial structure of human activities.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Post-communist land use changes related to urban sprawl in the Romanian metropolitan areas

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The landscape pattern of the Romanian urban system has experienced significant transformations as a result of the rapid and irreversible changes undertaken after the fall of the communism. In Romania almost 34% of its total population are living in metropolitan areas. The paper is aiming to analyse the landscape-related challenges land-use/land-cover changes in the Romanian metropolitan areas in relation with the main factors involved in the patterns of change: demographic, political and natural. Based on the investigation of relevant cartographic supports of the last 20 years, the authors are making use of different GIS methods in order to conduct a series of complex analysis of the spatial-temporal landscape challenges. The paper will mainly focus on four metropolitan areas considered as case-studies: the capital-city (Bucharest) and the three functional metropolitan areas (Oradea, Iaşi and Constanţa), each metropolitan area is facing different patterns and causes of change.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Land cover and land use analysis of urban growth in Romania

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While cities appeared and disappeared during the history, and different disciplines, such as ecology and geography attempted to model the process from a systemic perspective, the growth of modern cities, particularly under the form of urban sprawl, is an important phenomenon due to its environmental and socioeconomic impacts. CORINE data allow for analyzing the growth of cities based on the changes in land cover and use. This study aimed to assess the magnitude of long-term urban growth in Romania, chosen as an example of a transition country, hypothesizing that the phenomenon is visible at the national scale. The results locate urban growth in area where the real estate boom is prominent, but its extent is masked by the small share of urban areas from the total territory. If growth is analyzed in relationship to the urban area, its magnitude becomes visible, supporting the underlying hypothesis.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Urban expansion – Urban shrinking considerations on Braşov agglomeration urban dynamics

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The study of the vision of spatial development at different scales can often suggest different solutions, due to the different priorities imposed by the distinct territorial governance levels. In this respect, it can be useful to point out the meanings of the terms like urban growth, urbanisation, urban expansion or urban sprawl and their relevance for the future of a defined human settlements system. The presentation of the case of Brasov city and its agglomeration emphasised some of the problems of urban dynamic.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Characteristics of the unemployment in the Republic of Macedonia

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This paper focuses on the fact that Republic of Macedonia has faced for many years a high unemployment rate of over 30%. The indications that average third of the unemployed are aged 25 to 34 years are alarming; almost half of the unemployed are without qualifications; and over 80% of the unemployed wait for employment for over 11 months. Obviously, these situations differ on a regional level, depending on the demographic and economic characteristics of the region. This paper emphasizes the need for further knowledge of the structural characteristics of the contingent of unemployed persons in Macedonia as a basis for further planning in the field of economy and non-economic sector, providing additional guidance in education, forming a strategy for equally regional economic and demographic development, which largely depends on the ability or inability of the person to be employed in some place.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Legal and institutional issues concerning settlements extension through parcelling operations

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This paper focuses on the legal and institutional aspects faced by practitioners during their professional actions. There are two situations: parcelling for private housing on private terrains promoted by private promoters and parcelling for young people housing on local council lands. Urban plans have been and still are facing the gloomy reality of suggested changes inside the legislation and methodology of approving the urbanism documentation, the LAP (Local Area Plan) and UDP (Urban Design Plan). In order to establish differentiated responsibilities for local administration and private developer (initiator of the Local Area Plan) regarding the ensuring of necessary resources so that the urban plan should be applied and without whose completion the building permit cannot be issued. To further illustrate the issues, a successful operation of building a 240 apartment housing development on 11.00 ha given in Chitila, Ilfov County is presented. The involved project partners were: Chitila Local Council which provided with the land and pledged to carry out the infrastructure works, architects’ design office which produce the parcelling plan and provided the execution projects for a set of 6 types of buildings and the young beneficiaries.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Urban sprawl – the legal context and territorial practices in Romania

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Urban sprawl limitations are objectives of public policy of all European Community documents referring to urban and territorial planning. Nowadays clear and stable boundaries between the areas of towns built during the communist period are replaced by their fragmentation and perpetual transformation. Presently, the strategies and instruments of urban sprawl control depend largely on the legal tools and the efficiency of the cooperation between local public administrations in urban and metropolitan areas.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012

Spatial structure changes inside post-communist capital city of Bucharest

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The paper focusses on the analyses of the recent development concerning post-socialist urban transformation of Bucharest, the Romanian country capital. The paper describes the spatial typology of metropolitan landscapes, and underlines the changes occurred inside the residential, commercial, services and industrial areas. The most noticeable occurrence is the urban sprawl and multiplication of the buildings and implicitly the diminishing of the agricultural area., It has been confirmed, at least theoretically, that spatial development of the largest cities determined a continuous decreasing of agriculture in the metropolitan area, landowners preferring selling or seeking to sell their land. The paper is empirically trying to argue the fact that post-socialist development of the land market in Bucharest metropolitan area determined a decline of agriculture in the city’s proximity. It is also showing that at increasing distance from the Bucharest city agriculture still has its importance as subsistence activity – in the south-eastern part, or as market oriented – in the south-western part or in the northern border.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2012