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Local walkability index: assessing built environment influence on walking

Abstract

Walking is a more sustainable transport mode, and governments around the world are trying to deliver highly walkable areas to their people. Due to its importance, walkability has been a research topic in recent years. Vast empirical studies have reported evidence related to the influence of built environment on walking as a major physical activity. Considering the recent literature, this study developed a framework to quantify walkability by applying a set of indicators related to built environment. The indicators were normalised, weighted and integrated into an overall walkability index. The research was conducted on Chaharbagh Street, which is a major and ancient street in the Isfahan metropolitan area, Iran. The proposed framework would be helpful in investigations of whether a specific area is an appropriate option for a car-free plan based on its built environment features. The outcome of the study could be applied to understand issues related to pedestrian infrastructure and to propose corrective actions.

Open access
Residents’ perceptions of tourism activity in a rural North-Eastern Portuguese community: a cluster analysis

Abstract

The recognition of the role of tourism planners in seeking to contribute to local residents’ well-being by mitigating the potential costs of tourism development has been given more attention in the last decades. Several studies on the perception of positive or negative impacts, based on sustainability (namely the three pillars: economic, sociocultural and environmental) have been developed. However, the studies have been somewhat limited in terms of approaches, namely with respect to the contribution and participation of stakeholders. In this study, we attempted to use a bidirectional analysis of involvement and tourism knowledge to segment the residents and analyse their perception of the impacts. A total of 373 valid surveys were applied in a rural mountainous municipality (Boticas) during 2015 and 2016. In this municipality, tourism (activity) is an emergent activity. The results show that more informed and more involved residents have more positive perceptions of tourism than other groups, while less informed and less involved residents have more negative perceptions of it. The study contributes to increasing the knowledge about residents’ perceptions of tourism, adding the aspects of involvement, especially in rural areas. This type of proposal can be applied to any destination to help manage residents’ opinions and, consequently, their support of tourism development.

Open access
Territorial polarisation of the economy and population distribution in post-Soviet Russia

Abstract

Scientists, experts, and politicians have differing views on polarisation and levelling in the development of regions. Many researchers consider polarisation to be an objective process that benefits the country and the region because labour productivity is higher in larger centres. As for social differences, many states (and the European Union as an organisation) redistribute part of their revenue from more prosperous regions to poorer ones using regional budget policies. The article provides useful data on the regional specificity of polarisation and levelling in Russia at macro-, meso-, and microregional levels based on statistical, economic and cartographic analysis. The article shows that in Russia the polarisation of the economy and population distribution strongly prevails over the levelling of regional differences.

Open access
US Global Cities as Centres of Attraction of Foreign TNCs

Abstract

The concept of global cities and the importance of transnationalisation processes in their formation are widely acknowledged. However, the debate surrounding global city identification continues. The study introduces a new approach to evaluating global cities by primarily looking at them as locales for foreign multinational corporations. By analysing the location decisions made by foreign TNCs in the Forbes 2000 rankings, two things become apparent: the “nodality” of US global cities and their hierarchical pattern. Our findings show the key role that Alpha global cities play in attracting and fostering international business. We identify five uneven groups of cities. These groups are defined in accordance with our methodology and are as follows: the New York city-hegemon, leading cities, heavyweight cities, middleweight cities and outsider cities. The article specifies several key factors determining a city’s attractiveness to foreign corporations: its geo-economical power, functional specialisation, location, historical and cultural ties, and position on different sectoral markets.

Open access
The variety of industrial towns in Slovenia: a typology of their economic performance

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to make a typology of industrial towns according to their economic performance and to establish place-specific local factors influencing the typology and their territorial distribution. We collected 15 indicators of economic performance for 23 small industrial towns in Slovenia, and with the method of Principle Component Analysis with k-means clustering made a typology of small industrial towns. The results show a great variety of small industrial towns, with many of them having a strong economic performance. In the discussion, we relate the findings to the overall transformation of industry in the post-socialist context, to re-industrialisation tendencies and to place-specific factors such as peripherality and specific historical events (polycentric policies). We conclude with the call to continue studying small industrial towns through the prism of opportunities and to address their weaknesses and maximise their place-specific strengths.

Open access
Application of 239,240 Pu, 137Cs and heavy metals for dating of river sediments

Abstract

The periodical nature of overbank sediment accumulation makes their detailed dating much more difficult than dating sediments in water reservoirs. To improve the commonly used dating with 137Cs, we combined this method with Pu isotopes and heavy metals in order to date sediments of the Chechło River (southern Poland), which was polluted by a lead-zinc mine. We analyzed 137Cs, Pu isotopes and heavy metal concentrations in three profiles of overbank sediments and in two profiles of subsidence basins in the lower river reach. The results indicate a lower accuracy and higher uncertainty of the overbank than the dating of reservoir sediments. The application of plutonium isotopes provided very important information validating caesium peaks or providing the principal information regarding horizons dated with heavy metals. The obtained dates give the earliest possible age of particular horizons with the actual sediment deposition delayed by several to a dozen years. This investigation shows that using plutonium radioisotopes can be a useful tool for dating, particularly of the youngest overbank sediments where numerous sedimentation gaps cause uncertainties in the application of other methods, e.g. radiocaesium and heavy metals.

Open access
Luminescence chronology of fluvial and marine records from subsurface core in Kaveri delta, Tamil Nadu: Implications to sea level fluctuations

Abstract

South-Eastern coastal plains of India experience some of the major delta formations of the Indian subcontinent majorly affected by fluctuations of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) and sea level. Past shoreline signatures in the form of palaeo beach ridges in Kaveri delta (Tamil Nadu, India), suggest a wave-dominated delta and thus past sea-level variations affecting directly the sedimentary dynamics of the Kaveri river forcing the river to either aggrade or prograde. Chronostratigraphic and foraminiferal study of the 25 m deep sediment core taken 2.5 km onshore from Tamil Nadu coast, Kaveri delta shows evidence of changing coastline over the last 150 ka. Various units in the core reflect eight major phases of increased sea level (~3.4 ka, ~5.0 ka, 9–6 ka, 60–57 ka, 89–81 ka, ~102 ka,~121 ka and 143–140 ka) partly coinciding with the global climate cycles MIS 1, MIS 3, MIS 5, MIS 6 respectively during the late Quaternary period. During ~121 ka and 9–6 ka, direct signature of marine transgression is observed by the presence of foraminifera in the core location. The study also shows that the sea transgression during ~121 ka was much longer-lasting and higher than during 9–6 ka, even though not revealed in the Quaternary sea level curve given by previous authors. Depositional breaks are observed in the core during periods of lower sea levels as the river responded by incision. Total organic matter of the deposition between 9–6 ka was observed as high as 2.5–6% suggesting oxygen stressed conditions during the period.

Open access
Modelling the time-dependent behaviour of soft soils

Abstract

Time dependence of soft soils has already been thoroughly investigated. The knowledge on creep and relaxation phenomena is generally available in the literature. However, it is still rarely applied in practice. Regarding the organic soils, geotechnical engineers mostly base their calculations on the simple assumptions. Yet, as presented within this article, the rate-dependent behaviour of soft soils is a very special and important feature. It influences both the strength and the stiffness of a soil depending on time. It is, thus, significant to account for time dependence in the geotechnical design when considering the soft soils. This can result in a more robust and economic design of geotechnical structures. Hence, the up-to-date possibilities of regarding creep in practice, which are provided by the existing theories, are reviewed herein.

In this article, we first justify the importance of creep effects in practical applications. Next, we present the fundamental theories explaining the time-dependent behaviour of organic soils. Finally, the revision of the existing constitutive models that can be used in numerical simulations involving soft soils is introduced. Both the models that are implemented in the commercial geotechnical software and some more advanced models that take into account further aspects of soft soils behaviour are revised. The assumptions, the basic equations along with the advantages and the drawbacks of the considered models are described.

Open access
Deformation analysis in central west Bulgaria using triangulation and GPS data

Abstract

The article discusses a method applied for combining the results of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and 75-year old triangulation measurements to estimate the crustal movements in central western Bulgaria region. It was examined for joint analysis based on the results of GNSS with angular measurements of the first order triangulation network in Bulgaria during the period 1923–1930 year. As a result of the processing of GNSS and angular measurements, horizontal velocities of 15 points, strain rates, and rotation rates have been obtained. The results show dominating N–S extension at a rate of 1–2 mm/y and the deformation is not uniformly distributed over the studied area. The obtained results indicate the possibility of using old angular measurement of first-order triangulation points, together with GNSS data, to obtain estimates of the horizontal crustal movements.

Open access
Actual tendencies in the evolution of financial sciences

Abstract

Present article places in the center of attention finance as a science, which examines all relations of distributive and redistributive nature between different economic actors related to the formation and use of monetary resources and funds. Finance has a relatively long history of development, with ongoing substantial transformation. The results of generalization of related studies show that there are three periods in the genesis of finance as a science. First is the scientific status. Second - is related to the transition to the scientific process. The third is the scientific or rational. The fourth period is related to the formation of the neoclassical theory of finance. This transformation takes place so far under the influence of a new factor related to the establishment of the post industrial type economy. Equally important was the process of internationalization and then - of globalization. Last has a double impact. On one side, there is the consolidation of the financial system scientifically accepted as the single global vision on different areas of financial sciences. From the other hand, there is the process of adaptation and development of scientific concepts under the influence of new financial and economic conditions imposed by the superlative form related to globalization. The development of the financial sciences is also related to the need to solve a large complex of important problems of a financial nature, which will ultimately lead to the change of the global financial picture.

Open access