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Use of State-of-the-Art Methods in the Architectural Design Process

Abstract

The following article summarizes a research with the intention to demonstrate the challenges that architecture students need to face throughout their design tasks. The study is also meant to contribute to the cognition of state-of-the-art methods that can help students with these emerging problems.

The main source of information was a questionnaire. Students were asked about the duties they accomplish when completing a design, about their adopted design methods and about their thoughts on a future profession. As a complement, Interviews were conducted with professional architects from local studios. This allowed a deeper insight into the requirements that the two sides lay down for each other.

The research charts how computer aided design could affect the difficulties that appear in the architectural design process.

Open access
Western European Example of Defense Development

Abstract

It is particularly important for the French political leadership to maintain French independence, to develop military defense capabilities and to maintain a balance between budgetary constraints. The publication presents a European way of continuously modernizing the French army and modernizing its technical tools. France has one of the strongest and most powerful armed forces characterized by adapting NATO-based applications and procedures.

Open access
Adaptive Development of a Regional Spatial Data Infrastructure Facing Local Prospects and Socio-Technological Trends

Abstract

The regional Lounaispaikka-SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure) in southwest Finland is being developed by a dynamic assembly of the region’s geospatial expertise and its networking, spatial data and geoportal services. Emerging as a data-centric constellation that supported the region’s geographical information professionals, this assembly has developed into a geospatial service with more broadly-focused public information on the region. This development has had five adaptive phases, each as a response to changing local needs and fast-evolving trends in information and communication technologies. Alongside these processes, the Lounaispaikka-SDI has also reinforced the region’s geospatial competencies with benefits offered to academia, public sector institutions, and companies.

Open access
Capacities of African-oriented Polish NGOs: a quantitative approach

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to investigate the capacity of Polish non-governmental organisations implementing development projects in Africa. Drawing on an integrated systemic perspective of capacity that recognises internal and external factors, this paper focuses on internal factors. Using a quantitative approach to operationalise capacity, the study suggests that those non-governmental organisations implementing the Polish development policy in Africa are highly polarised and can be divided in two groups. Whilst the first group comprises two fairly large organisations with long track records and the ability to fundraise internationally, the second group consists of smaller NGOs of different capacities and working strategies. Most Polish NGOs operate within independent networks – Catholic and secular ones. The study identifies a research gap related to the lack of comprehensive study of religious organisations’ contribution to development assistance in Africa.

Open access
Demographic changes in Polish cities in the years 1950-2016

Abstract

The study presents the demographic development of big cities (≥100,000 inhabitants within the city’s administrative borders) in Poland from 1950 to 2016. The article demonstrates the similarities and differences in these cities’ demographic development, showing demographic trends in Poland’s various periods of socio-economic development using the graphical trajectory method. The presented study on demographic development of Polish cities uses trajectories, showing them to be an additional useful tool in analyses of demographic development of cities, regions and other territorial units. It was indicated that this simple graphic representation opens new interpretative possibilities; it demonstrates development stages, shows both the process nature (demographic development of cities in this case), and whether this process is progressive or regressive in nature. The trajectory method allows us to read the dynamics of changes in a particular process (in the distances between successive trajectory points).

Open access
The determinants of travel mode choice: the case of Łódź, Poland

Abstract

In this study, potential factors influencing the decisions made by citizens of the city of Łódź, Poland, regarding the choice of transportation mode used in their daily travel activities were examined. In addition to a brief literature review, an empirical study was performed. Data from a previous quality-of-life study were used to enhance the scope of explanatory variables in a regression model. In order to identify the determinants of travel behaviour, binary logistic regression models were used. The results show that socio-demographic characteristics of respondents and household access to a car most influenced transport mode choices. Also, the relationship between geographic distances and subjective opinions regarding public transport were found to be statistically significant. The determinants for choosing either public or private transportation varied.

Open access
Foreign Trade of the Republic of Belarus in the International Business Environment

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to assess the current state, problems and prospects for the development of foreign trade in the Republic of Belarus in the international business environment. The evaluation of foreign trade indicators is based on information from different sources and on comparative economic analysis research methods. Our results indicate the export-oriented economy of the Republic of Belarus, and its dependence on the state of foreign markets and the international business environment. The identified problems in the development of Belarusian merchandise exports are due to the orientation towards primary products, and to poor diversification of products and geographical destination. Particular attention is paid to the internal and external factors restraining exports from the Republic of Belarus. Further development requires the full use of the Belarusian export potential and the implementation of measures to promptly resolve the export difficulties on international markets that stem from internal and external factors.

Open access
The impact of economic crisis on regional disparities and the allocation of economic branches in Greek regions

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to analyse the changes that occurred in the regional disparities and sectoral specialisation of the Greek regions due to the economic crisis. The research problem is to identify the effect that the crisis had on the developmental perspectives of the regions and on regional policy priorities. In this framework, we explore the regional disparities, along with the allocation and specialisation of economic sectors in two separate time periods: the pre-crisis period (2000–2007) and the crisis period (2008–2014). The variable used is regional employment in the branches of economic activity. The methods used are Coefficient of Variation, Location Quotients and Shift-Share Analysis. According to the results, we classify the spatial units into categories and we propose means of regional policy. The results show that the disparities increased during the first period of the crisis and declined in the next, without, however, reaching the levels of 2000. In the first period the dynamic economic sectors are concentrated mainly in the metropolitan region of Attica and in the island region of South Aegean, while local advantages are shown in several regions except Attica. During the period of crisis, Attica and South Aegean lost their sectoral dynamism, while a few regions resisted. Regarding the local share effects, the more urbanised regions show negative local shares. The rest of the regions exhibit local advantages. Thus, according to these results, a concluding remark is that the more traditional activities seem to be more resilient, unlike the modern activities, which seem more sensitive to the crisis and are located mainly in the large cities and the most urbanised regions of the country. Regarding the proposed regional policy means, infrastructure improvement is indicated for most of the urbanised regions in order to improve their developmental environment. For the other regions, a more balanced sectoral structure must be promoted. Of course, in order to propose more targeted policy measures, it is important that regional development features (according to the classification of the regions and the proposed policy measures) be adapted to smaller areas and to a greater number of narrower economic sectors, rather than simply applying them at the regional level. This is also true of the effect that some other factors such as human capital and innovative capacity have on regional resilience. Future research will focus on this.

Open access
Local planning attitudes: Comparative content analysis of municipal director plans of shrinking Portuguese cities

Abstract

Traditional planning practice, in its essence, usually pursues urban growth, and is more comfortable dealing with population increase and other growth dynamics than with population decline and what ensues. The main goal of this article is to assess local planning attitudes in Portugal towards demographic change, and in particular towards population decrease, in terms of housing development. In order to do so, a comparative content analysis of municipal director plans (PDM) – Planos Diretores Municipais – of the fourteen Portuguese cities that shrank prevalently and persistently across both conjoining periods 1991– 2001–2011 was completed using a simple matrix of analysis. The qualitative analysis of the regulations of these PDMs showed that aspects of population decrease and shrinkage in relation to housing development are gradually entering local planning practice, though there is not yet an overall intelligible strategy. In Portugal, demographic change and housing development are only just starting to come together in local spatial planning.

Open access
A multidimensional analysis of spatial order in public spaces: a case study of the town Morąg, Poland

Abstract

Centrally located public spaces, such as old towns, are an important feature of historic towns. They are often the most characteristic and representative element of a town that brings together members of the local community, plays various sociological and social roles and promotes direct interactions between the users of space. Only high-quality public spaces can effectively fulfil their role. The aim of this study was to analyse spatial order in public spaces on the example of the Old Town district of Morąg in North-Eastern Poland. The quality of public spaces was analysed with the use of a self-designed method, a field inventory and a questionnaire survey involving 100 members of the local community who were asked to evaluate the quality of public spaces in the town. The results of the comparison were used to identify public spaces that require revitalisation. The study demonstrates that spatial order directly influences the quality of public spaces. Our findings indicate that multidimensional analyses of spatial order and opinion surveys provide valuable inputs and should be included in studies evaluating the quality of public spaces.

Open access