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Abstract

Two interconnected questions are addressed in this paper: (i) why urban agriculture (UA) and food-related initiatives take usually years to materialise in Portugal; and (ii) why resilient initiatives do not scale up and shift from practices to local food policies. We argue that existing initiatives are viewed as single events and therefore garner quite limited long-term political commitment and support. Based on interviews with food champions and a literature review, four Portuguese UA initiatives are analysed and these highlight the constraints that hinder their scaling-up. We conclude that drivers to lead to scaling-up are a combination of factors, with an enabling environment the most relevant one. On the other hand, constraints are related to limited democratic governance and poor policies, insufficient funding and weak participatory processes. Such findings are quite in line with existing literature. The limited integration of Portugal within the international UA and food debates might partially explain why UA is still struggling to find its proper place in Portuguese cities and their peripheries. Raising awareness among decision makers is critical to scaling-up UA initiatives and turning them an integral component of local food systems. A national observatory able to gather relevant data and produce knowledge, assess and monitor on-going initiatives may be the key step to gather different stakeholders together, that can then better advocate and then lead to higher political support, not only in Portugal but in any country where UA and food issues are emerging.

Abstract

Population ageing in the EU28 is an important twenty-first century phenomenon, affecting virtually every aspect of life in these countries. The results of the latest EUROPOP2018 population forecast indicate that the rate of ageing is accelerating. The aim of this paper is to analyse the current level of population ageing in the EU28, identify spatial differences, and point to likely trends by the middle of this century. For these purposes, we have used a combination of conventional chronological indicators of population ageing and a set of new indicators based on prospective age that allows for a more comprehensive and realistic view of population ageing. We use multivariate statistical methods (factor and cluster analysis) to identify groups of countries with similar population ageing characteristics, using both a retrospective and prospective approach. We decompose changes in selected ageing indicators into the separate effects of changes in the population composition (children under 15, working-age population, elderly). We then identify the effect of major demographic factors (migration, mortality, cohort turnover) for the set of EU28 countries

Abstract

A recent “shift” in flood risk management is associated with putting more emphasis on private mitigation and protection measures, and on shared responsibility. Based on case study research in the South Bohemian municipalities (Czech Republic) endangered by floods, this paper reports floods-related attitudes and actions of local inhabitants. A total of 305 respondents participated in a survey; responses and additional commentaries were examined through qualitative content analysis. Results show that though most of the local residents are aware of the constant threat, a minority of them take up any mitigation measures or have some strategy to handle a flood. Several cognitive biases and non-protective responses, the lack of interest and personal responsibility, perceived costs, as well as the prevailing low perceived importance of floods for the local quality of life, hamper improvements in general preparedness. From the viewpoint of Protection Motivation Theory, neither the locals’ threat appraisal nor their coping appraisal is high enough to sufficiently incentivise them to adopt private mitigation strategies and measures. Flood information seems to be at hand for local residents, who are, however, mostly not interested in using it. Perceived obscurities in handling the financial resources contribute to the prevailing unwillingness to participate financially in flood protection. Differences in perceptions and actions are associated with respondents’ individual characteristics (age, gender, level of education, previous experience with floods). Based on our findings, we discuss several relevant policy implications.

Abstract

For several decades, second homes have gained popularity across Europe. For various socio-economic reasons, it is important to understand the factors prompting owners to migrate to the destination area or preventing them from doing so. Discussions about “home” and “migration” here consider the emerging explanatory opportunities brought about by the “new mobility paradigm”. The purpose of this work is to examine whether second-home owners are prone to switch their housing pattern, hence permanently move to their second home, or to maintain the status quo, following a more flexible lifestyle by using both homes. An empirical investigation aimed at identifying the key factors fostering second-home owners’ intentions of future relocation to a holiday destination is proposed. Individual observations were collected through a survey posted to second-home owners in the Lake Maggiore region (Southern Switzerland). Results show that most of the second-home owners are happy to continue their current flexible housing patterns and enjoy the best of both homes, rather than opting for permanent relocation. This study also demonstrates the importance of the owner’s socio-demographic and psychological traits, as well as objective and subjective host-community characteristics, in explaining individuals’ future housing intentions.

Abstract

By using the concept of perceptual region – an essential part of the identity of a region and a part of every person’s mental map – this paper demonstrates a way to examine the understudied transformation of (the identity of) a region and, specifically, its territorial shape (boundaries). This concept effectively fuses the “institutionalisation of regions” theory and the methodologies of behavioural geography. This case study of the perceptual regions of Bohemia and Moravia shows how and why these historical regions and their boundary/boundaries developed, after a significant deinstitutionalisation by splitting into smaller regions in an administrative reform. Many people now perceive the Bohemian-Moravian boundary according to the newly-emerged regional boundaries, which often ignore old (historical) boundaries. Thus, the territorial shape of Bohemia and Moravia is transformed, with the Vysočina Region emerging as one of the new regions to witness the most eroded consciousness concerning these historical regions and their boundaries. The impact of administrative reforms on the perception and thus also the transformation of regions and boundaries is obvious, but the results also suggest that the more radical the administrative changes (in terms of toponyms and boundary mismatches), the fuzzier the collective perceptions of historical boundaries become, as well as peoples’ consciousness of historical regions.

Abstract

Most of the railway lines in Slovakia were built in the second half of the 19th century, or until 1918 (the establishment of Czechoslovakia). Except for the post-World War II period, when approximately 71 % of the Slovak lines had to be renewed, limited funds have been spent on repair and reconstruction works on the lines located in the Slovak territory. As some trans-European corridors cross the Slovak territory and the Slovak Republic assumed obligations arising from the AGC and AGTC agreements, the line modernization is more than desirable. The primary objective of the modernisation of railway lines in the territory of Slovakia is to ensure a high-quality and safe railway, which by its qualitative parameters corresponds to the standards of developed European countries. In this context, the paper deals with a section of the modernised corridor no. Va, specifically the section Považská Teplá - Žilina. During the period 2014-2017, quality diagnostics of the performed work was carried out on the sub-ballast layers of the above-mentioned line. Consequently, we carried out an analysis of the obtained values of the deformation resistance of the subgrade surface, as the weakest element in the construction of the sub-ballast layers.

Abstract

Currently, significant development of methods supporting decision making under uncertainty conditions is observed. One of such methods includes Bayesian networks used in many fields of economy and science. The paper presents the use of the Bayesian network method in civil engineering problems with particular emphasis on construction engineering projects. In addition to the existing examples of the use of the method cited, the authors’ method for the risk estimation of additional works is presented.

Abstract

This paper depends on a test examination on basalt fibres which started from volcanic shakes and were dissolved at high temperatures. These stones were accessible from the world’s profound hull. M30 evaluation of concrete was structured according to is 10262:2009 with basalt fibres. The fibres alongside mineral admixtures were utilized in three distinct extents, that is 0 %, 1 %, 2 %, 3 % by heaviness of cement. The goal was to decide the characteristics of fibre reinforced concrete with various fibre extents. The strength properties, for example, compressive strength, split tensile strength, flexural strength, shear strength and the impact on strength of concrete when it was unprotected to sulphate attack after stipulated extended ages of curing were contemplated and thought about. From the examination, it was discovered that the basalt fibre expanded the strength of concrete notwithstanding when unprotected to sulphate attack bit by bit when compared with consistent concrete. The ideal strength of concrete was accomplished with an enlargement of 2 % basalt fibre.

Abstract

The distance a person is willing to commute has a direct influence on her/his employment opportunities and wage level. It raises a lot of interesting questions, especially whether intra-urban commuting (due to a well-developed transport infrastructure, geographical concentration of job opportunities, etc.) is connected with any wage returns, and how they differ in comparison with those of inter-urban commuting. This article uses three data-sets at national (N1 = 1,884; N2 = 933) and local (N3 = 3,193) levels from the Czech Republic, and different approximations of commuting in order to contribute to the discussion. It provides robust evidence on positive wage returns to both inter-urban and intra-urban commuting, comparable with Western countries. The differences between large national and limited urban labour markets are reflected in functional form: wage returns are linear for intra-urban and non-linear for inter-urban commuting. The article also explores the validity of different measures of commuting time and distance provided by the on-line application Mapy.cz, and suggests that it represents a suitable approximation in the case of missing or limited data.

Abstract

Considering that the unevenness of the road surface is the primary source of the kinematic excitation of the vehicle, it is necessary to map the unevenness, and then to describe it mathematically. The data sets thus obtained represent an important input for numerical simulations of the motion of vehicles on the road. This paper deals with the analysis and comparison of results from two methods of mapping the surface of the road - exact levelling and spatial scanning. The obtained results are evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively by methods of mathematical statistics and probability theory.