Our study is focused on the natural environment significance and potential for the development of a wider region. A special emphasis is put on the geographical category of small towns, which play an important role in stabilizing the population of the Czech Republic. In this context, a key factor of planning in the rural region is the demarcation of a catchment region and the determination of its potential. Natural environment (primary landscape structure) is a basic determinant of area development at all the levels. This paper aims at the natural environment analyses of the small towns in the South Moravian Region, with emphasis on the development opportunities and limitations. In this study, small towns are considered to be all the residential units holding a town status, with the exception of district towns and the city of Brno. The study is a part of the research project supported in 2011 by the Internal Grant Agency of Mendel University in Brno titled “Small towns - Motors of the South Moravian countryside development”.
The research question is the relationship between the local community and globalization tendencies and transformation or maintenance of local traditions. The research area is a specific locality of a Czech village in Romanian Banat. The local community has evolved in a relative isolation. Agriculture was the most important activity despite the fact that a mining factory was opened there. Agriculture was and in many features still is traditional, self-supplying, and hard-work. The life-style has always been environmentally friendly as it has been without modern technologies. Nevertheless, modernization exploded dramatically in these villages after 1989, when the communist policies collapsed along with Romania's isolation. People from the Czech Republic have rediscovered Romanian Banat and a rather busy (agro) tourism has developed there. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports development projects for making living conditions in the village better. Simultaneously, strong migration from Banat to the Czech Republic has started. People find living conditions in the Czech Republic easier and leave hard work, poverty and unemployment. It brings huge land cover changes because people who remain cannot use all arable land, which is thus abandoned and left for the natural process. One of the distinct manifestations of globalization tendencies is the build-up of wind power plants.