Journal Archives

An Introduction to Macro-Level Spatial Nonstationarity: A Geographically Weighted Regression Analysis of Diabetes and Poverty

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Type II diabetes is a growing health problem in the United States. Understanding geographic variation in diabetes prevalence will inform where resources for management and prevention should be allocated. Investigations of the correlates of diabetes prevalence have largely ignored how spatial nonstationarity might play a role in the macro-level distribution of diabetes. This paper introduces the reader to the concept of spatial nonstationarity—variance in statistical relationships as a function of geographical location. Since spatial nonstationarity means different predictors can have varying effects on model outcomes, we make use of a geographically weighed regression to calculate correlates of diabetes as a function of geographic location. By doing so, we demonstrate an exploratory example in which the diabetes-poverty macro-level statistical relationship varies as a function of location. In particular, we provide evidence that when predicting macro-level diabetes prevalence, poverty is not always positively associated with diabetes.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012

The Aesthetic Value of Socio-Cultural Identities and the Cultural Dimension of the Landscape

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This paper summarizes an individual theoretical study on how the landscape could be shaped by economic globalization and political restructuring. Providing a socio-cultural approach to the landscape notion I am trying to discover through the international literature the subjective dimension on landscape definition, in order to understand its ‘cultural dimension’. In this paper, the notion of ‘virtual landscape’ is introduced in order to investigate the incoherence that exists in the nowadays megacities regarding their social reality and their iconic existence through architecture and urban planning. In addition, it is also explored in theory how an ideological turn is re-inforced through political orientation focusing on ‘virtual landscape’ images in order to obtain a favorable publicity in a contemporary context of ‘globalised cities’ consisting in the elimination of the ‘cultural landscape’. Therefore, this contribution has as main objective to define, negotiate and start the debate on radical socio-cultural approaches of landscape notion in the nowadays ‘megacities’, inside a strict capitalistic context.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012

The “Unity of Statement” as the Interpretation of Space: The Case of Archeo-Park in Turkey

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The aim of this article is to form a “unity of statement” about an ‘Archeo-Park’ by using M. Foucault’s archeological analysis The article attempts to trace the process of “discursive formation” in the ‘Archeo-Park’ that is designed from the excavation of “Bursa Aktopraklık Mound” as the space of organized discourses of prehistory, architecture and sociology. As relevant units of discourses, the unity of prehistory, architecture and sociology based on the ‘systems of dispersion’ of their own statements about the objects in the ‘Archeo-Park’, exist as a unity of statement for conserving and displaying archeological ruins in their original places as open-air museums. As a follower of this “unity of statement”, the ‘Archeo-Park’ defined as “Developing Cultural Sector at the Bursa Aktopraklık Mound: a Multifaceted Project” as would be the space of both “discursive formation” and “formation of objects”

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012

The Assessment of and Adaptation to Disease Risk in Liouciou Township, Taiwan

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Liouciou Island, located off the south western coast of Taiwan, has 12,550 inhabitants of which high proportion are elderly and fisherman. The medical services are provided mainly by the local Public Health Clinic. Any emergencies or major medical treatment requires patients to be transferred to a regional hospital in Taiwan, which normally takes 40 minutes by the Ambulance boat. The aims of this paper are: 1) To examine the potential risk factors of disease based on the geography and medical services of Liouciou island; 2) To analyze the participants’ perception of disease risk on the island at various spatial scales (individual, family, neighbor, island or nation); 3) To analyze the adjustment strategies towards disease risks used by the Liouciou island people. Questionnaires and in-depth interviews were used to gather the information. The results show that participants in Liouciou worried about the Ambulance boat not being able to sail in bad weather conditions. In addition, the young people complained about the local medical facilities and physician’s skill while the elderly admitted their life was predetermined by God. The fishermen also reported that they were unable to follow up on their chronic disease. As a result, most of them ignored their health.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012

Changing Place: Palm Oil and Sense of Place in Borneo

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The conservation of tropical ecosystems is complex and contested, not least in terms of cultural and political perspectives between developed and developing nations (Bawa & Seidler, 1998; Colchester, 2000; Brosius & Hitchner, 2010). In Sabah, on the island of Borneo, Malaysia much of the forest has recently been converted to oil palm plantations. The plantations cover vast areas and leave relatively little space for native flora and fauna. Whilst efforts are underway to enhance biodiversity within the plantations, there is no clear consensus as to how this might best be achieved and this has led in part to divisions opening up amongst stakeholders (Othman & Ameer, 2009). A range of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working within Sabah endeavour to conserve threatened biodiversity; at the Governmental level there are significant drivers for development and economic stability; while the plantation owners are trying to improve their yields and increase their global market. There is also increasing consumer pressure in Europe and North America linked to concerns about the survival of iconic rainforest species such as orang-utans. This paper considers these issues within a context of globalisation and profound economic and social change within Malaysia.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012

Population ‘Habitation Comfort’ Indicators for Areal Comparison in Central Russia

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This paper reports on research to develop local indicators of ‘habitation comfort’ that are relevant for population health in the Vladimir region, located in Central Russia. We present a conceptual model based on the literature which led us to include three groups of factors for assessing population habitation comfort: natural-anthropogenic, social and medical-ecological. To assess and display a ‘comfort map’ of socio-economic conditions, a single database has been developed Higher comfort level is associated with better social-economic conditions, and also with proximity to major economically developed regions like Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod. The lowest comfort level index was detected in the regions with the worst natural-anthropogenic and social-economic conditions. In further analysis, demographic conditions in the Vladimir region were evaluated by administrative region, and medical-ecological zoning was carried out based on principal causes of diseases affecting the population.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012

Tourism Development: An Economic Recovery Opportunity for Câmpulung Muscel Depression

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Developing tourism in an area represents the continuous process of planning and building tourist facilities, refurbishing and modernizing the existing ones, resizing them according to the types and sizes of tourist fluxes, shaping demand and offer, rendering a sustainable tourist activity. Perspective studies on the evolution of the phenomenon are necessary to design the tourist activity, following the insertion of the future area parameters into the decision models allowing them to be monitored and changed during the modelling process. Given the geographic really of space, the present study focuses on highlighting several indicators concerning tourism development in an area severely affected by economic cut backs, suggesting and also trying to monitor the social and economic effects tourism development could have upon. Besides determining the function of the territory, authors have conducted a diagnostic analysis which underlines the favourable factors of tourism, indicating, at the same time, the necessary measures to insure the best development. Thus, given the conditions of massive cut backs in the major economic sectors, the local development of tourism is of a crucial importance. As a key element of the sustainable development, tourism could provide new business and work places in the same time; it could determine the increase of incomes for the rural area habitants through the capitalization of local resources.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012

Modelling the Cognitive Map of the City Centre: A Case Study of Bucharest, Romania

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The city centre is a place of emblematic significance for the urban community, where the essence of the socio-urban identity is condensed. The centre of the post-socialist city has travelled varied meanings and extensions that have been perceived differentiated between sequences of generations. Functionalist stratifications have induced in the collective imagination a superposed series of centres: historical, tourist, economic, cultural, each dilating or contracting the urban centre’s limits, depending on the significance that has been inoculated to the receiving subject. It was starting with year 1977 that the political will imposed the achievement of a new “Civic Centre” which was desired to be an imprint of the cultural and scientific progress of that moment. Communist interventions attempted to uniform the urban landscape by inserting visual and emotional mutations. The present analysis regards the perception of Bucharest`s centre and offers a perspective on the relation between residents and place, considering that human behaviour indicates some inconsistencies related to the urban planning of the post-socialist city that deals with intense processes of identity transformation.

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Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2012