Quality of Life in an Urban Environment: A Typology of Urban Units of Olomouc
Studying the internal structure of cities is one of the traditional topics of geographical research. The aim of this article is to show a possible approach to the study of an objective dimension of the quality of life in an intra-urban environment focusing on detailed studies of selected indicators of the quality of life. There exist many approaches to evaluating the quality of life because it is an interdisciplinary term; we are going to focus on this issue in terms of the quality of living conditions. Using multivariate statistical methods, we are going to try a typology of an urban area in just those terms, and the results will be confronted with the perception of the quality of life by residents themselves. The area studied will be the city of Olomouc.
The service sector is quite broad: it includes basic services for the population as well as highly sophisticated services, public as well as commercial services, etc. Commuting to services is one of the fundamental regional processes and together with work commuting it creates an entry basis for the construction of socalled catchment, or nodal regions which should be crucial in the construction of an administrative division of a country.
The main objective of this paper is to identify a selected group of spatial interaction in the daily urban system of Olomouc, i.e. in a region dominated by work commuting to the city of Olomouc. More specifically, the paper deals with the interaction of commuting to a wide range of services of non-commercial (social) as well as of commercial character in two hierarchical levels - local and micro-regional. Based on the data obtained by the method of questionnaire research from local leaders (mayors) we analysed the mobility of people to primary and secondary schools, hospitals, shops, culture and sport. As far as the retail network is concerned, the analysis of spatial differentiation of the catchment area to three large department stores was made for villages in Olomouc hinterland. Individual catchment regions for specific services were constructed by a verified method based on commuting flows. Synthetic evaluation contains an identification of so-called complex service regions in the daily urban system of Olomouc. In comparison with our previous studies we tried to describe basic trends in service infrastructure and changes in travelling to services.
Some fifty years in the development of ideas about the definition and use of functional regions are elaborated in this article, as an introduction to this Special Issue of the Moravian Geographical Reports. The conceptual basis for functional regions is discussed, initially in relation to region-organising interactions and their behavioural foundations. This paper presents an approach to functional regions which presumes that such regions objectively exist and that they are based on more or less tangible processes (however, a different view of regions is also briefly described). A typology of functional regions is presented and the development of methods for finding a definition of functional regions is discussed, as well as a typology for these methods. The final part of this article stresses the importance of functional regions in geographical research, and introduces some emerging new prospects in the study of functional regions.
The delimitation of the urban hinterlands of the most important settlement centres in the Czech Republic, based on transportation flows, is presented in this paper. Transport flows are a very good indicator of complex spatial relations. Therefore, one can hypothesize that the delimited transport hinterlands are strongly associated with other types of urban hinterlands (e.g. commuting hinterlands). Transport regions of the Czech regional capitals are defined in the empirical section of this paper. These transport regions, supra-nodal territorial units of the Czech transport system, identify the main transport relations within the Czech road network and define the hinterlands of the main settlement centres. The metropolitan regions defined by transport relations are compared with regions of the Czech Republic based on commuting flows. There is a high concordance between the two regional delimitations.
Pavel Klapka, Marián Halás, Pavlína Netrdová and Vojtěch Nosek
An attempt to provide a procedure for the assessment of the efficiency of various regional systems for the purposes of spatial analysis is presented in this paper. Functional regions as well as approximated functional regions and the existing administrative regions in the Czech Republic are evaluated, as examples of regional systems to be compared and assessed. Functional regions and approximated functional regions are defined according to the adjusted third variant of the CURDS regionalisation algorithm, using the latest knowledge on the operation of the constraint function. The comparisons of individual regional systems are based on LISA maps and particularly on the assessment of regional variability, including the measures of internal homogeneity and external variability in the regional systems.
Martin Erlebach, Marián Halás, Jan Daniel and Pavel Klapka
Selected traits of the spatial organisation of a geographical environment which stem from two types of human behaviour (locational and interactive) are examined in this paper. An attempt is made to find and account for similarities in the spatial patterns of scalar and vector geographical data. In doing so, the paper analyses a core-periphery dichotomy, based on socio-economic information, and travel-to-work patterns. The paper uses the concept of a region as an integrating and focusing framework for the study. Formal regions (peripheral areas) are defined through the application of principal components analysis and cluster analysis; functional regions are defined by a standard rule-based regionalisation algorithm. The territory of the Czech Republic is used as an area for testing the basic hypotheses. The results show that there is some form of interrelationship and complementarity between the spatial distribution of scalar data and vector data, i.e. between spatial structure and spatial interaction patterns, which together form the spatial organisation of a geographical environment.
Pavel Klapka, Marián Halás, Martin Erlebach, Petr Tonev and Marek Bednář
The issue of defining functional regions in the Czech Republic is presented in this paper, which contributes to both theoretical discussions (e.g. the modifiable areal unit problem) and practical applications (e.g. spatial administration, regional planning). A multistage agglomerative approach to functional regional taxonomy is applied, which has been used in Czech geographical research for the first time only recently. The regionalisation algorithm provided four optional solutions for this issue, based on the analysis of daily travel-to-work flows from the 2001 census. The resulting regions correspond to the micro-regional level and two additional tiers were identified at this level. The basic statistics for all variants are presented.