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Open access

Marian Cosmin Gabriel

Abstract

The process of administrative decentralization of the education system in Romania proceeded in chaotic steps. It was done under the pressure, on one hand, of the EU integration requirements and, on the other hand, of the local administrations who wanted more control over how their money were used in the schools and of the parents committees that wanted to have a say in the local schools. The road was scattered with new reform legislations coming with every change in government composition and ministers. The result was a combination of local autonomy and central control that had the potential to produce confusion and conflict. The multiple and complex blend of divided responsibilities and powers turned out in the process of setting up the new form or entry grade in the Romanian primary education cycle in a rational strategic play scholarly designated as anticommons. Each separated actor tries to obtain a maximizing share of the cooperatively generated benefit for a minimum possible cost. The interactions are modeled as a Game of Chicken where, because actors calculate separately, each selects a higher price/lower quantity position than is optimal, resulting in a lower net payoff both individually and collectively.

Open access

Małgorzata Pietrzak and Marek Angiel

Abstract

The paper deals with the issues of the symbolic dimension of a city created from the urban and social subsystems. The city and its landscape are understood here as a system of signs functioning in two distinct orders of reality, yet still dependent on each other, i.e. the material order and the imaginary one. In the paper, we ask questions about the role of the symbol in the contemporary process of creating the specificity of a place. We also speak about the identity of a place, about endowing a place with features of familiarity, about the social need to recognise the symbol. The presence of a dragon, a creature born in the human imagination, in the urban space of Krakow was chosen as an example of the symbolic dimension of the city. Krakow is a historic city, the former capital of Poland, a city rich in diverse symbolic capitals. The dragon is a symbol of Krakow. It is present in the legend about the city’s origins, and is also commonly present in the material space of Krakow. It is part of the city’s identity.

Open access

Adam Radzimski

Abstract

Area-based interventions are one of the ways of addressing problems of disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods. In this paper we take the example of the German urban development support scheme (Städtebauförderung) with the purpose of determining the factors behind the spatial distribution of funds from this policy. The results show a positive association with unemployment rate, and a negative one with the dynamics of population and jobs. This suggests that the allocation of funds to a large extent resembled the distribution of structurally weak areas in Germany. Using geographically weighted regression, we found spatial differences in the goodness of fit of the model as well as in coefficients of explanatory variables. Finally, we also point out some differences between specific programmes forming part of the urban development support scheme.

Open access

Grzegorz Libor and Stefan Bouzarovski

Abstract

Energy poverty can be understood as the inability to secure a socially- and materially-necessitated level of energy services in the home. This article presents the results of empirical research on energy poverty in Bytom. The study was carried out using a questionnaire delivered to 121 persons living in Bytom. The questionnaire consisted of 20 single and multiple-choice questions. The primary aim of the research was to achieve typological representativeness by identifying the differences between six age categories. Some of the results confirm what is already known about the relationships between the age of the head of household and energy poverty, while others are surprising. On their basis it is possible to formulate some recommendations for local anti-poverty energy policies.

Open access

Wiktor Głowacki, Janusz Komenda, Magdalena Zalasińska, Ilona Morawska and František Imrich

Abstract

The paper addresses the role of local spatial planning in the implementation of the heritage related goals of Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians. The paper analyses heritage related regulations in the spatial plans of three historic Carpathian towns as compared to the results of heritage inventories made for two pilot areas in the Czech and Ukrainian Carpathians. On the basis of the analyses we conclude that local planning regulations are to a great extent in line with the declared goals of the Convention and therefore can play a more significant role in their implementation whereas the concept of a separate Carpathian Heritage Inventory, in spite of its initial intentions, is of little use for these purposes. In the end we call for the use of local spatial plans as tools for the protection of the Carpathian heritage in future activities of the countries party to the Carpathian Convention.

Open access

Mixed use and diversity as a New Urbanism principle guiding the renewal of post-industrial districts

Case studies of the Paris Rive Gauche and the New Centre of Lodz

Monika Maria Cysek-Pawlak

Abstract

The revival of post-industrial areas, understood as a factor determining contemporary urban development, is a key process in regeneration. Such areas attract strategic renewal projects, because despite their perfect location next to city centres, they have long been inaccessible to city residents. The backbone of the projects is provided by programmes laying out the future functions of such areas and their target users. In the past, mono-functional districts were popular but their numerous weaknesses have meant that mixed use and diversity are increasingly being introduced into urban areas today. Mixed use and diversity underlie the urban design movement known as the New Urbanism. This article assesses the role of mixed-use and diversity as the New Urbanism principle guiding the renewal of post-industrial areas. It is based on desk research and a comparative analysis of two case studies: the Paris Rive Gauche (France) and the New Centre of Lodz (Poland). The article concludes that regeneration based on the New Urbanism principle of functional and user diversity leads to an effective renewal of run-down urban areas. The applicability of other New Urbanism principles stressing the need to ensure harmony between an urban design strategy and the human scale in the revival of urban neighbourhoods is also worth considering in the long term.

Open access

Neil Reid

Abstract

In recent decades, the number of craft breweries in the United States has increased dramatically, increasing from around a thousand in 1996 to over six thousand today. In order to minimize start-up and initial operating costs, many craft breweries have located in older buildings in economically distressed neighborhoods. Craft breweries are particularly adept at engaging in adaptive reuse, with the result that they occupy buildings that were previously once churches, cinemas, fire stations, etc. This investment by craft breweries, in conjunction with investment by other businesses (as well as the public sector), has resulted in the revitalization of many of these neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that were once full of abandoned buildings and suffered from social problems such as high crime rates have become destinations for residents and tourists alike. At the same time, however, there is a dark side to this neighborhood revitalization as rising real estate values has forced many established, often low-income, residents to leave these neighborhoods. In this paper, I examine the growth of the craft brewing in the United States and the preference of many craft breweries for inexpensive building space in economically distressed neighborhoods.

Open access

Justyna Brzezińska

Abstract

Visualization in research process plays a crucial role. There are several advanced plots for visualizing categorical data, such as mosaic, association, double-decker, sieve or fourfold plot that are based on the graphical presentation of residuals in a contingency table. In this paper we present new methods for visualizing categorical data such as rmb, fluctile and scpcp plot available in extracat package in R. This package provides a well-structured representation of categorical data and allows for a detailed presentation of the relationship between categories in terms of proportions. We describe rmb, fluctile and cpcp. Those plots are based on the concept of multiple bar charts, a fluctuation diagram from a multidimensional table and parallel coordinates respectively. Such plots are mostly used for a visualization of a contingency table or a data frame; they can also be used for exploratory analysis and allows for a graphical presentation even for a high number of variables [Pilhöfer, Unwin 2013]. All the calculations and plots are obtained using R software.

Open access

George Mark Onyango

Abstract

Kisumu has had a massive growth of informal settlements forming a belt around the urban core. These settlements house more than half of the city’s population. Because of the unplanned nature of these areas there has been very poor road infrastructure development, with narrow, unpaved roads constituting the road infrastructure. This situation has limited the opportunities for regular urban transport minibuses providing transport for the majority of the urban poor who live in these settlements. The coping mechanism and the development of alternative coping strategies are explored and assessed to see how effective they are in providing public transport for this majority of unserviced urban population.