The paper analyses the problem of a rural region in the peripheral position. Bojkovice micro-region on the Czech (Moravian)-Slovak border has been chosen as a case study. Economic transformation of productive and non-productive branches, demographic development (depopulation and aging) and networking in the area were characterized by using statistical data and field research. Development, understood as improvement in quality of life and not in sense of quantitative growth, is highlighted with regard to the changing perception of the countryside. The question remains: how to use peripherality for prosperity? Peripheral countryside is known as “the right countryside” in comparison to suburbanized and globalized countryside in core regions. Based on the research, production embedded in local sources and traditions, ecological agriculture using the protection of landscape and soft tourism are proposed as solutions. Networking like the association of municipalities, LEADER local action group or White Carpathian Euroregion could be the instruments of micro-regional collaboration. The human and social factors seem to be more important than objective conditions. Long-term population stability is the main advantage. However, a lower level of formal education could be a problem. The character of social capital is considered as a decisive circumstance - whether it is passive social capital resistant to outer innovations or active social capital open for now ideas.
Students are increasingly recognised as important actors of urban change in contemporary cities. The article presents an analysis of incipient studentification processes in Gdańsk. Its general aim is to reveal patterns of students’ presence and activity which translate into spatial and socio-economic transformations of a post-socialist city at the level of neighbourhoods. The study consists of a survey on students’ residential behaviour, complemented by field and desk research. According to the results, due to the fact that Polish students’ housing and lifestyle choices are limited by their low purchasing power, student-dedicated services have a rather negative impact on the quality of urban space. Furthermore, under these conditions studentification may not be regarded as a stimulus to the gentrification process, which is rather driven by hipsters and affluent foreign students.
Magdalena Bialic-Davendra, Pavel Bednář, Lukáš Danko and Jana Matošková
Since the accession of the Visegrad Group of countries (V4) to the European Union, the importance of clusters has increased. With growing global competitiveness and EU 12 trends, a gradual awareness of creative industries is observed in V4 countries. Therefore, this article analyses creative clusters and factors conditioning their establishment and development. On the basis of a literature review and a questionnaire survey, a mapping of creative clusters was conducted. In addition, catalysts, main motives and key factors in the process of their establishment were identified, as were the activities and factors hampering their development. The scheme of cluster development is presented as the outcome of the qualitative analysis, along with a comparison to findings of other studies. Research findings show that trust building and administrative obstacles are among the main barriers, especially for design clusters and cultural clusters.
De-facto states constitute an interesting and important anomaly in the international system of sovereign states. No matter how successful and efficient in the administration of their territories they are, they fail to achieve international recognition. In the past, their claims for independence were based primarily on the right to national self-determination, historical continuity and claim for a remedial right to secession, based on alleged human-rights violations. Since 2005, official representatives of several de facto states have repeatedly emphasised the importance of democracy promotion in their political entities. A possible explanation of this phenomenon dwells in the belief that those states which have demonstrated their economic viability and promote the organization of a democratic state should gain their sovereignty. This article demonstrates the so called “democracy-for-recognition strategy” in the case study of Abkhazia. On the basis of the field research in Abkhazia we identify factors that promote, as well as those that obstruct the democratisation process in the country.
The area of Zachodniopomorskie voivodship is characterized by specific features, resulting from its position in space. The location of the regional capital Szczecin at the mouth of the River Odra and near the Polish-German border, in the close vicinity of well-developed Nordic countries, and on the outskirts of the region creates special conditions for development. At the same time, the considerable remoteness of most small towns from the capital region and the inadequate network of connections in a natural North-South direction make it difficult to work with the assets of larger centres of development like Szczecin and Koszalin. The present approach is based on Webb’s typology for the gminas of Zachodniopomorskie voivodship compared with the analysis of the characteristics of the transportation network. Traffic volume of real transportation network was simulated by using a model based on the idea of intervening opportunities. Two categories of movements were analysed: movements to work and, due to the specificity of the region, tourists’ movements.
Every year the Republic of Croatia, especially in its south part in Dalmatia, faces forest fire risks. The weather is exceptionally conducive to fires, so the main period of fire occurrences is between June and October, characterized by long lasting dry and warm weather with temperatures over 30°C. Research carried out by the authors in 1997 and 2012 have pointed to the fact that human impact is the main cause of ignition. This paper presents an overview of the total number of fires in the period from 1998 to 2012, with the emphasis on forest and woodland fires in the Croatian region of Dalmatia. Data on the situation in Dalmatia refer to the situation in the areas of responsibility of four Dalmatian Police Administrations. Analysis is based on official data of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior and the report of the National councillor for managing and controlling forest fires. The authors have analysed the frequency of forest fires in Dalmatia in a period of fourteen years (1998-2012) comparing it with the previous period, 1989-1996. The results that the authors have obtained reveal how forest fires most commonly (2/3) break out during the warm part of a day, from 09.00 until 18.00 hours in the warm period of the year. Particularly vulnerable are the forests of Aleppo pines and maquis being mostly thermal forests, whilst in the south of the country the forests of Holm oak (Quercus ilex) and English oak (Quercus robur) are at the highest risk. Reforesting of burned areas is very slow and Croatia has been far behind in reforesting in the continental part of the country.
Mexico has become a regular destination for retirees coming from the USA. To date certain aspects of this group of migrants have been analysed, but little is known about those who have changed their place of residence to the Mexico- US border. In this article, the geographical mobility among retired US migrants living in the coastal area of northern Baja California, Mexico, is analysed. Firstly, reasons for retirees moving from the USA to this area are considered, and secondly, the contacts and relationships maintained with the country of origin, measured by the mobility which takes place between both countries; attention will be given to the reasons for these frequent trips, their periodicity, the means of transport used and the impacts. The main source of analysis will be 29 in-depth interviews conducted in 2009 with pensioners living in coastal municipalities of this northern area of Mexico.
In our paper we deal with both the theoretical and methodological aspects of our research, which focuses on the quality of life in cross-border regions. The aim of the paper is to draw on the methodological system for assessment of the quality of life in those regions, taking into consideration both the objective and subjective dimension. The first part of the paper contains the use of qualitative methods when assessing the quality of life, which, in our understanding, are not sufficiently applied in the process of assessment of quality, not only in the field of Geography. We also focus on the definition of the key terms related to our work, such as ‘quality of life, border and border-region/neighbour’. The main emphasis of our work lies in the formulation of the theoretical and methodological model of the quality of life assessment in the cross-border regions. The methodological outline of researching this issue is presented in the chart. The scale of the region is a key element we take into consideration, since it is significant when choosing the appropriate method of life quality assessment. We also distinguish between the application of both the qualitative and quantitative research methods on various scales. In our opinion, the representation of the qualitative methods in research should increase with the increase in the scale of the area researched. In the conclusion we provide selected outcomes of our research at various scales, which confirm the validity of our theoretical basis, since we came to various findings, depending on the scales researched.
The aim of the paper is to analyze the selected investment in transport infrastructure in terms of its impact on the economy at the local level. The study involves ten gminas within a 60 km radius (approximately 1 hour’s traveling distance) of Poznań. Using the available statistical data set, it was determined whether the construction of the motorway had an impact on the number and the structure of enterprises located in the surveyed communities, the levels of gmina revenues, and the situation on the labour market.
Performed analysis allowed reaching a positive verification of the research hypothesis, which predicts that the A2 did not have a decisive impact on the economic development of the gminas. In all of the included aspects, gminas located along the A2 were characterized by a relatively high level of economic development compared to the Wielkopolskie Voivodship and the rest of Poland. At the same time, the level of development was lower when compared with gminas within the Poznań Poviat. These results suggest that the decisive factor in shaping the level of economic development was their geographic location in relation to the nearby urban agglomeration of Poznań.
Ricardo Almendra, Paula Santana, Elisabete Freire and João Vasconcelos
The main aim of this study is to identify the geographical seasonal mortality patterns in Portugal and, for the first time, to assess the relationship between seasonal and overall mortality. Monthly data from the Portuguese mortality database (2000-2009) by major cause of death were analysed and standardized to 30 days with adjustments for leap years. The chi-square goodness-of-fit test was used to compare the observed monthly deaths with deaths that could be expected if mortality were randomly distributed throughout the year. The seasonal burden was measured using the excess winter deaths (EWD) rate and the seasonal impact of winter on mortality was assessed through the EWD Index. The regions were clustered according to the overall mortality rate and the seasonal impact: 1-low seasonality and high values of overall mortality; 2-high seasonality and high values of overall mortality; 3-low values of seasonality and low overall mortality; 4-high seasonality and low overall mortality. Significant seasonal mortality increases were found in all causes of death. There were 86,000 EWDs, mostly through circulatory and respiratory diseases. 73% of the population lives in regions with high winter vulnerability to respiratory mortality and 60% in regions with high winter vulnerability to circulatory mortality. This study reinforces the idea that vulnerability to cold weather may play an important role in the public health in Portugal. This knowledge may be used to construct a set of regulations or policies designed to implement better health planning procedures and more effective warning systems.