Journal Archives

Assessment of the religious-tourism potential in Romania

Author: , and

This paper aims to provide a model for the assessment of the religious-tourism potential in Romania. The religious practice has been in a continuous change over the past 20 years, making the pilgrimage phenomenon to have an upward trend. In the same time, many religious edifices are becoming more attractive to visitors, as they are included in package tours, and visited by large numbers of tourists. In Romania, there are many religious places visited both, by tourists or pilgrims; it is difficult to assess their numbers and also to distinguish between religious practices and touristic visits as no studies have been conducted in this direction. They are centres of religious (spiritual) power, in which people regularly spend money and time while around them it has been developed a real infrastructure, from roads or construction of facilities to more complex services that include accommodation, stores or commercial stalls, selling souvenirs or items more or less related to religious practice. Therefore, the objectives of this paper aimed at evaluating the tourist valences of religious edifices in Romania as well as the degree of their valorisation; in order to meet these objectives, three dimensions were considered and assessed: the historical-cultural dimension, the religious dimension, and the economic dimension. Many relevant elements for these dimensions have been quantified, giving them scores based on unitary criteria. The results help to see better the differentiation/association between the tourist value and the religious value of religious edifices in Romania, highlighting particularities at the national level, which will be the subject of further analysis.

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Issue: Volume 12, Issue 2, 2018

Exploring the symbolism of traditional Szekely gates in heritage tourism

Author: , , , , and

Gates represent an important component of the Romanian domestic life since historical times. They function as a barrier between the sacred family space from inside the household and the space and potential dangers from outside it. Traditional wooden gates have been inscribed with specific elements, thus functioning simultaneously as a household utility and conserving a common identity through their symbolism. Szekely gates represent a lesser-known and studied element of ethnocultural heritage, although the area where they are located has been in the last few years and will probably continue to be a very dynamic and sought after tourism destination. The wooden Székely gates, found in areas inhabited by this ethnic minority, represent a true accumulation of both Romanian and Székely rituals and symbols. The aim of the study is to highlight the importance of the gates for the traditional ethnographic heritage of this ethnic minority with real implications for the development of local cultural and heritage tourism. The objectives of the study consist in identifying the main areas of distribution for Székely gates in Transylvania, the significance of their main symbols and the level of their current national and international promotion. The research methodology included direct observations, GIS techniques, and field investigations. The results of this exploratory study show the location of the traditional Székely gates and their diversity, and the coexistence of a Romanian symbolism with one that is exclusively local through specific motifs and colours. This diversity and coexistence of symbols gives the possibility of inserting Székely gates as added cultural values into an already visible and viable tourism area.

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Issue: Volume 12, Issue 1, 2018

The collapse of the state industry in Romania: between political and economic drivers

Author:

Deindustrialisation is one of the most complex and dynamic processes that have shaped the global economy over the past half century. This article aims to highlight the factors behind this process and their implications in the national state industry. In Romania, deindustrialization has profoundly marked recent history, after 1990, through the closure of hundreds of factories and the loss of over 2.5 million jobs. The process resulted in the rising of unemployment and of the crime rate and generated the phenomenon of poverty. The research results were obtained by studying the economic policies adopted by eight governments between 1990 and 2006. The study underlines that deindustrialization in Romania was a consequence of an accumulation of internal and external factors whose impact was amplified by the failure of government policies.

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Issue: Volume 10, Issue 2, 2016

The Urban Nexus: Contradictions and Dilemmas of (Post)Communist (Sub)Urbanization in Romania

Author: , , , and

The process of urbanization in Romania was a very tumultuous and slightly different one compared to other Central and Eastern European countries, being marked by the constant willingness to increase the degree of urbanization. The communist period was the most significant from this point of view, by considering both the number of newly declared towns and urban population growth. The urbanization of communist era corroborated with the excessive and forced industrialization has generated imbalances in the urban system and created distortions in the urban hierarchy. However, the legislative inconsistency and the lack of urban regulations during the post – communist period have lead to the increasing number of new (quasi) urban units (many of which without urban amenities) to the chaotic sub-urbanization of cities and urban decline. In many cases, the ability of local authorities to manage the urban development in the early years of transition has been hampered by inadequate legislation that regulates the urban growth in a completely different socio-economic system. Thus, the lacks of specific urban policies and urban regeneration plans have determined indirectly a hypertrophic evolution and an uncontrolled suburban expansion. Bucharest, the capital of the country has been most affected by these processes determining multilayered space transformation within the city and open space conversion to commercial and residential use, both affecting the urban environment and quality of life of urban-rural communities. The paper focuses on the patterns, the driving forces and the consequences of two opposing processes: socialist forced urbanization vs. post-socialist chaotic urbanization unfolding across the national urban landscape.

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Issue: Volume 10, Issue 1, 2016

From Veneto (Italy) to Timişoara (Romania): the birth of an industrial cluster

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At international level, industrial clusters have drawn the attention of researchers and policy-makers through their role in revitalizing local economies and generating regional growth. This article analyses the way in which the Italian footwear and textile companies have transferred the concept of Marshallian district from the “Third Italy” to Western Romania. Empirically, the study explains why and how the Italian shoe and textile-makers have relocated their basic production activities to Timişoara. The analysis reveals the development path of the cluster in Timişoara in the context of important barriers to innovation and lack of visibility for local and regional authorities.

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Issue: Volume 7, Issue 2, 2013

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

Author: , , , , and

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

Romanian spa tourism: a communist paradigm in a post communist era

Author: , , and

Spa tourism is one of the oldest forms of tourism which continuously evolved in time as the leisure industry paradigm and the consumers’ behavior changed. Similar to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, spa tourism is an old phenomenon in Romania which expanded to the dimensions of a well defined tourism industry during the mass tourism period which also corresponded to the communism epoch. Although severely affected by the major political and socio-economic changes which occurred after the Revolution in 1989, this industry coexists with new emergent forms of tourism orienting, itself towards new dimensions embraced by the contemporary leisure consumerism (e.g. medical tourism, cosmetic treatments). Lying on considerable balneal and climate resources and displaying an important communist heritage both in physical terms (large and massive tourism structures) and in virtual and psychological terms (social supportive ticket granting system), Romanian spa tourism faces various challenges in the attempt to adapt in a new tourism era.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

The Curse of the Gold: Discourses Surrounding the Project of the Largest Pit-mine in Europe

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In 1996, a Canadian company started geological explorations in the Rosia Montana area in the Romanian Carpathians. Two years later it formed a joint-venture with a Romanian state company to exploit what is believed to be Europe´s largest gold reserves. However, as of June 2011 extraction has not started yet and it may never start due to the opposition of numerous NGO´s that have pointed out the environmental, social and economic unsustainability of this mining project. This situation is highly unusual for a country that is hungry for foreign investment especially since up until very recently the state had supported any project promising to revitalize its mining sector. This paper will investigate the changes in the discourses surrounding this mining project taking into consideration the effects of globalization and the effects of Romania´s EU membership after 2007.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

Assessing Geo-demographic Dysfunctionalities within the Urban-rural Interface. Case Study: The Cities of Botosani County

Author: , and

The main objective of this study does not focus on analyzing exhaustively the urban – rural relations, but it is trying to emphasize both a theoretical interpretation and the applicability of the concept of rural-urban interface by pointing out the ways of determining the dysfunctionalities in the evolution and population structure of an administratively defined area. In order to point out these dysfunctionalities, analyses were performed at Botoşani county level, considering all the geodemographic indicators regarding the population dynamics, natural and migratory balance, and population structure. The study is based on data provided by population censuses and the statistical records of the basic territorial administrative units (communes and towns), for the period 1990‐2008. Out of these indicators only those significant for the characterization of the human potential of the urban-rural interface and for an assessment of the polarization capacity of the seven cities in the county were selected: the size of the territorial administrative unit in 2008, the population dynamics during 1990 and 2008, and the human potential standardized index. The results showed differences between the complexes(interfaces) urban-rural from the western part of the county (Botoșani, Dorohoi and Bucecea) and the Eastern one (Darabani, Săveni, Ștefănești and Flămânzi), which should promote the concept of treating the two areas (urban and rural) as a whole through the implementation of programs / projects of cooperation between local governments and various internal and external partners, the main objective being diminishing the differences (not only the demographic ones) between the two parts of the county.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

The administrative – political function of human settlements and the role it plays in organizing geographical space. Case study – Romania

Author:

The functional typology of human settlements is shaped, among others, by their political-administrative function. Its distinctive place is determined by subjective factors, such as the political-administrative decisions, which have changed the course of some settlements to the benefit of others, or reverted them from their normal, natural evolution. That means outside involvement in space organization to the detriment of self-organization, the latter being the outcome of the permanent tendency of territorial systems to rebalance from exogenous factors-induced dysfunctions. Lately, the country’s territorial-administrative organization has been steadily challenged years over the past few based either on the 1925 administrative map, or on the disparities in the structure of the present counties and the economic and social fluxes going on at the local level of the settlements system. In view of the above, we have attempted to work out an optimal model for the administrative organization of Romania’s territory by proceeding from the distance between communal seats and the town towards which they gravitate. The latter’s capacity for discharging an administrative function, and the relations of subordination or competition amongst these towns in also discussed.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 1, 2011